Education

Professionals should view language as 'investment in their prospects'

Updated: 2014-11-24
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Read more on: New Oriental   EF Education First  

Yu Minhong (left), chief executive officer of New Oriental Education and Technology Group, talks with students who plan to sit the Test of English as a Foreign Language in this file photo. [Photo / Provided to China Daily]
   
A new study claims that young Chinese professionals with higher levels of English proficiency can expect better chances of career development.

The study, jointly conducted by Switzerland-based English training organization EF Education First and leading Chinese human resources service provider, 51Job.com, found that half of the 300 respondents, from all walks of life, thought a solid grasp of English meant a higher chance of promotion. That rises to 55 percent for those with an English degree.

It also found that people born in the 1980s, now the pillar of the jobs market, had the strongest English, four percentage points higher on average than people born in other generations.

Even though people born in the 1970s were relatively weaker in English in general, their chances of getting better jobs if they do have strong language skill are 4 percent higher than in other generations.

The report said that a lack of language proficiency is now becoming a significant barrier for promotion, especially for those born after 1970.

EF said there had been a growing demand for overseas study courses from Chinese professionals assuming management positions, indicating that the ability to communicate fluently in English will become even more important, not only for multinational companies with offices in China, but also for Chinese companies expanding abroad.

It emphasized, too, that improving one's English should be considered an important investment in any young professional's career.

Hou Yinjie, an interior designer at a French design firm who attended a course to improve his English, said he seldom used English in his previous job and as a result his dream of working for an international company was becoming increasingly unlikely.

"But now I have grown from a beginner to an advanced English learner who can talk confidently with expats. My salary has increased by 40 percent as a result," said Hou.

Hu Peikang, a Shanghai resident, said he could previously say just a few words in English. 
   
SOURCE: en.ce.cn
 
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