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BBC uses mobile phones to teach English in China

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CHINA: BBC has joined forces with China's media and internet services company, Sina, to launch a unique mobile phone service, which will teach English to upto 200 million Chinese mobile phone users.

The new service provided by the BBC and hosted by Sina.com launched on 1 September 2003. An official release informs that the Beeb is the first international educational content provider to use mobile technology in this way in China.

BBC Worldwide - the BBC's commercial consumer arm - and BBC World Service will work with Sina to provide busy Chinese learners with a convenient way to learn spoken English whilst on the move. Users in the world's largest single mobile telephone market will receive a daily text message on their mobile containing an English phrase together with the Chinese translation.

They can then log on to Sina.com to listen to and read the phrase as part of a longer dialogue, and to read explanations about the language. Users can choose from three strands to suit their needs: language and lifestyle, work and sport. The messages using authentic everyday English will range from "Who's been on a spending spree?" to "Do you know how to get into this computer?" They 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.

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