China / Society

51Talk endorsed by tennis star Li Na

By ZHU WENQIAN ( Updated: 2015-09-18 19:24

English learning website 51Talk, the largest online English training site in China, signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese tennis player Li Na this week. Li, the first Asian woman to win a Grand Slam title, has become the ambassador of the website.

Li, whose fluent spoken English often gains positive comments from foreign media, said she experienced learning English on the website of 51Talk, and she hoped that more people can master the English language and broaden their horizons.

"The language environment is a must for English language learning. I used to attend tennis training sessions and various competitions abroad, this helped me tremendously with my English learning," said Li, who appeared publicly for the first time after her pregnancy.

"Taking an one-to-one course is like hiring a private teacher. It creates an immersive learning environment, and this is the most effective method for language learning."

51Talk offers online learning courses at affordable prices. Its teachers mainly come from Southeast Asian countries, and they speak English as their native language. The website has more than 4,000 foreign teachers, and more than 2 million registered users.

Huang Jiajia, the chief executive of 51Talk, said English learning in China has entered an era of online learning. This follows stages of learning English by phonetic notation and in order to pass school tests, and learning English by taking extracurricular classes.

"It's critical for students to learn English with foreign teachers through a one-to-one course, this helps to teach students in accordance with their aptitude. Besides, learning online by video chatting is more convenient for students and saves their commuting time. Students can take lessons during their free time anywhere," Huang said.

The website offers yearlong courses from 6 a.m. to midnight, and students can make a course reservation half an hour beforehand.

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