And finally... Disney is having success with its English language centers in China. Children as young as 2 years old are involved in the programs.
Disney’s English language business venture in China has been a success as enrollment numbers soar, and Disney now plans to double the number of schools in the Mainland in a year.
[Andrew Sugerman, General Manager, Disney English]: (English)
"It really brings storytelling into the classroom, and it brings the language to life through these stories. The brand really resonates so strongly with parents and with children and in a lot of our market research, we've heard over and over again that no one speaks the language of children better than Disney. When we heard that, we felt that there is such a connection that Disney English could fit that niche extremely well."
Pioneered for the Chinese market, the Walt Disney Company opened its first English language learning center in Shanghai in 2008, and has since expanded to 14 such centers in the Mainland.
Lessons are expensive, but some parents think it's money well spent.
[Hua Lan, Parent]: (female, Mandarin)
"Actually what I really like about Disney English is its development of a culture. What is behind the teaching of English here is the original culture of America. For example, what they teach children is not just to pronounce some words or say some sentences. What I really like is that they are cultivating the language through games, art and singing."
Using touch screen boards, props, games and online media, each center teaches an age-appropriate English language curriculum to children between the ages of 2 and 12.
[Paul He, Student]: (male, Mandarin)
"When the words appear on the big screen, the teachers will say 'Go' and they will tell you what they want. When you reach for the correct object, the screen will say 'You have won!'"
English standards in China have remained relatively low despite required English education in schools.