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Jobseekers keen on brushing up English

By Chen Jia and Li Yao (China Daily)

16:28, December 28, 2011

College representatives at an exhibition booth during the Beijing International Education Fair in March.(Photo/China Daily)

BEIJING - Luo Yi, a 28-year-old Beijinger, has just cleared one of the major hurdles for his planned career move next year - the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

"It is not for overseas study or an immigration application. I need it to bargain for better pay," he said.

"A good proficiency in English is necessary if you want to be promoted to a management post in most companies in China," he added.

Besides those who want to go abroad for further study, Luo is among the increasing number of Chinese who are taking the test to improve their English skills in the hope that it will help them succeed in job interviews.

"We used to focus on people planning to study overseas, but market research found that professionals hoping to improve their office English are also our potential clients," said Mou Mingming, the public relations manager at EF China, a private company that specializes in language training, educational tours and cultural exchanges.

"Originally, IELTS was very much focused on people going overseas to study, but we have noticed more people use IELTS for other reasons now," James Shipton, director of exam services at the British Council in China, told China Daily.

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