Television

BBC signs deal with China's sina.com for English education

MUMBAI: This is an initiative by the beeb to spread English China. BBC Worldwide and BBC World Service will provide educational content for an English language teaching service via mobile telephones in China.

The contract, between BBC Worldwide and Sina.com, China's largest website, will enable the 200 million mobile telephone users in China to learn English through their mobile telephones. It is the first time that an international educational content supplier has used mobile technology in this way.

Users will receive a daily text message on their mobile containing a phrase in English together with the Chinese translation; they can then log onto Sina.com to listen to and read the phrase as part of a longer dialogue, and to read explanations about the language.

The messages will cover a range of business, sport and lifestyle topics, from "Danni quashes those Justin rumours" to "Do you know how to get into this computer?" . The message are designed to extend the user's English language repertoire and encourage them to log on to Sina.com to expand on the material contained within the text message.

The Beebs use of this on the move technology is not surprising considering that China is the world's single largest mobile telephone market. The market for learning English in Beijing alone is an estimated $2.8 billon per annum. An official release informs that students spend on an average 20 per cent of their income on learning English.

The mobile telephone service and a complimentary website will be available in China from April.

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