xi's moments
Home | Society

English course helps prepare convicts for outside world

By Zhou Wenting | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-17 10:09

In December, Shanghai Women's Prison completed its first semester of oral English classes. The course, which is intended to better prepare the inmates for life after prison, is expected to continue this year.

Initially, 20 inmates with no prior knowledge of English took part in the six-month course, and 16 completed the semester.

After the course, one inmate wrote a letter in English to the teacher and prison staff.

"Thank you for giving me the chance to learn to speak English. I am so happy because now I can see something good in my future life. I will study harder. I will never give up," she wrote.

Huang Yin, director of educational affairs at the prison, said,"It's hard to say how much these skills will help the inmates secure jobs after release, but the course has really helped to boost their self-confidence and prepare them for reintegration into society,"

The course was designed by a team led by Li Tianqi, an English teacher at Shanghai Normal University.

"It was based on games activities, such as role-playing games where the inmates could simulate different situations in everyday life, so they could practice speaking English in an effective way," Li said, adding that the prisoners' emotional needs were taken into consideration and they were given many opportunities for personal interaction and to collaborate as a team.

Some inmates said they initially found it hard to recognize the 26 letters of the English alphabet, but after the lessons, most could express their ideas in simple English.

"I can now talk a little with the foreign inmates in English, which makes me so happy," said a Chinese prisoner who is being held in a block alongside foreign prisoners.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349