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Foreign Language Festival Opens in Beijing

Foreign Language Festival opens in Beijing

BEIJING, The Beijing Foreign Language Festival opened in Chaoyang Park on Saturday. Established in 2002, it regularly attracts thousands of people to “tell Beijing stories in different languages”.

These international volunteers are teaching basic English in this “English corner”, as part of the Beijing Foreign Language Festival.

The two-day event is aimed at breaking down language barriers, and enjoying the learning process.

“We had a great enthusiasm for English learning back in 2008 during the Beijing Olympic Games. It takes us two to three months to learn a new song. Over the years we’ve performed more than 100 songs in foreign languages,” said Tang Shaohua from “Happiness Chorus”.

“We played a game called English chains. We use a lot of letters to make words. It’s hard to get a high score. I think it’s good for my English and I’ll come to the festival again,” student Cheng Ziming said.

At this year’s Foreign Language Festival, the passion of Chinese people for foreign language is echoed by language learners of the world.

Brazilian student Gabriel is very proud of his Chinese proficiency, as well as his own country.

“Welcome to Brazil! (Chinese) Today we’re going to play soccer, do hair braiding and face painting. There are so many people representing their countries today. I’m learning Chinese because it’s a language that’s growing so fast, and China has a lot of connections with Brazil. I hope more Brazilians can start learning Chinese as well,” he said.

Many say it’s all about bridging between cultures.

“Chinese is such a difficult language, so if you can manage to speak Chinese fluently, you have a very good opportunity to get a good job,” said Mexican student Centli Venegas.

There are dozens of performances, including dramas, talk shows, singing, and poetry reading. The festival aims to emphasize communication, interactivity, and the practical use of language.

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