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China café

Teaching English at my local nursery school has proved to be a soul-destroying experience. The same could be said of the typical life of a Chinese athlete

By Mark Kitto   June 2008

Rote learning in nursery school

Many of the prospering foreigners that you meet in China began working here as humble English-language teachers. It is something of a standing joke. I seem to have got things back-to-front; after 12 years of working in China, I finally became an English teacher.

It was the head of my children’s nursery school who had the idea. Nothing too academic, she suggested, just teach the children a few basic words to give them a head start for primary school, for half an hour a week. It’ll be fun. There was no pay, but I was…

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