Mr. Gang with his tennis crew, the second one from the left. (Source: archive GL)
Teaching the English language brings unique and extraordinary relationships and both, teacher and student, can benefit each other.
Chinese are extremely passionate about learning the English language. It is usually a great and unique experience for the English language teachers because Chinese students are eager to learn English. They all are hungry for the wisdom, new information, and skills they can get. Regardless the age. All in all, it’s just the number.
Our English language student Mr. Gang is not an exception. He’s in his late 40s and still willing to learn, practice, and acquire the English learning competencies. He’s the student every teacher wishes to have.
We interviewed him recently during the recent lockdown restrictions in his hometown Shanghai, China. He works for the Japanese brewery and is in charge of the financial operations in the company’s Chinese subsidiary in Shanghai. As he says, “the importance of the English language in my position is inevitable.” He also speaks fluently Japanese, however, there are a few ups and downs with his second language too, as he admits – “Learning Japanese is easy at the beginning, however, becomes harder later.” Therefore, he thinks “the English language is much easier to learn.”
English is my passion
He is very passionate about English now and enjoys talking to foreigners and reading English books and newspapers. We can admit that he is very talkative. The international environment in his company made him begin learning the English language two years ago. Since that time, he made huge progress.
He has an amazing approach to English language studies on a daily basis. Our teachers Regina and Martin are the ones who started the course with him two years ago. They confirmed that “he could barely talk about any simple topic at the beginning. However, after two years of regular practice, we can have a great debate about the financial situation and economy in China now. His progress is remarkable and just clearly shows how ‘practice makes your skills perfect’.”
Positive in mind ahead of the future opportunities
Currently, he’s grounded at his home office due to the recent lockdowns in Shanghai. However, the situation won’t let him down as he remains persistent and overly positive. “We cut the commuting, therefore I can spend more time on my online calls with our brand subsidiaries in Italy and the Czech Republic. I’m in constant touch with English speakers. This helps my fluency and I feel more confident in using my English. The English language is a must in our company, so great English helps us work efficiently. And luckily, I still have time for my English studies.”
On the other hand, Mr. Gang faces some negatives too – “the most challenging in my English learning is my laziness during the lockdown. We don’t need to go anywhere, however, it brings so many new opportunities. And besides all, I have too much free time now.” He’s a passionate tennis player and his great attitude in sports drives him successfully not just in a game, but also in English learning. Sadly, he cannot play the game outside now, luckily, he can always practice his English language skills online. As he says, “only keeping our minds positive can give us enough power to overcome that.”
Sleeping at work
As Mr. Gang admits, he’s “the lucky one, because we can work from home. There are thousands of employees in Shanghai who were locked in their offices and opted to stay at work during their lockdowns.” As CNN reports, “they rather voluntarily brought their daily necessities and work and sleep by their desks. They call their company home.” An extraordinary approach to work is nothing uncommon in China. Shanghai, a global and domestic financial hub, cannot afford to sleep. However, the longer there is a lockdown, the worse for the economy.
Mr. Gang is aware of that and recollects that “our beer company didn’t suspend the operations, but we lost on the revenue because people cannot drink beer in the pubs and restaurants.” Our student, the beer guru as we familiarly call him, recollects all the stories he heard when meeting friends and traveling around the world. There is also a strong beer culture in China, Shanghai mostly. “However, it all depends on the season. Unfortunately, as we are heading to the spring now, there’s a lockdown season going on and we must wait or postpone any outdoor and marketing activities.” It’s always fun to have classes with him. One story changes another one in our classes and unfortunately, also our interview comes to the end soon. However, we always feel that every single class with Mr. Gang is like talking to a friend.
How to improve? Only you can make a change!
Our last question of what is the best advice he can give to all English learners on how to become fluent English speakers, he clearly states, that “there is no shortcut, it’s all about the hard work you need to do. Nobody else can learn it, no app, no amazing magic tricks, only you.”
He added the best practices that helped him and he wishes to share them with you, our precious students – “My first and best suggestion is: talk to real live humans. Any AI (artificial intelligence) cannot make you a great speaker. Always be curious, ask a lot of questions, and lastly, what I enjoy the most, is listening to the podcasts and watching TV news in English.”
We wish Mr. Gang a lot of patience in lockdown, and continuous amazing experiences with his English learning.
All our Good Day English team are looking forward to boosting his English language skills to a higher level. Indeed, the sky is the limit.