Beijing Launches English Program To Help Win Bid

Beijing is hoping a program to improve the English-language ability among service personnel in the city will help promote Beijing’s 2008 Olympic bid.

Tour guides, taxi drivers, traffic police, shop assistants and staff in hotels and restaurants will undertake language training tailored to their specific needs.

About 15 per cent of Beijing residents speak English and the government plans to increase this to between 20 and 30 per cent by 2008.