FOREIGNERS WON'T have to worry about missing their stop on Beijing's buses any more, because conductors are being trained to announce the English equivalents of bus stop names. In the first half of the year, 1,455 drivers and bus conductors received a certificate of spoken English issued by the Municipal Commission of Education.
According to the Olympics English training plan, public transport staff aged below 35 will be encouraged to learn English and pass an exam.
Enthusiasm for English is also bubbling in hotels. In the first six months, 500 training classes for hotel staff were organised by the Municipal Tourism Bureau, and 30,000 trainees received a certificate after passing an exam. The Public Security Bureau has sent 28 policemen to countries like the U.S., Britain, and Australia to do a one-year course.
The Municipal Health Bureau is offering major hospitals 5,000 free VCDs and pamphlets for their nurses.
Beijing is campaigning to improve citizens' English level before the 2008 Olympics. Xinhua