Why are many Chinese people poor at speaking English, despite years of learning?
Ted Li, studied at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology（香港科技大学的学生）
Answered May 24
This is an interesting question. I will answer from my experience. Hope this helps!
I grew up in China and have received English education since I was 6 years old. Not only was I taught English in school for 12 years but also I was taking English classes even on weekends ? since I was 8 years old. (part of the reason why companies like New Oriental grew so fast in recent years), I consider myself as a very good English speaker.
The problem with English education in China is that almost everything taught in school is so exam-oriented. The textbook is very out-dated. Teachers are more focused on what will be tested in the exam instead of what will actually be used in real life. Speaking is definitely not included as part of the curriculum. The speaking test is optional in Gaokao at least in my province, which is pretty much a joke (You literally read a random English passage while being judged by someone who probably speaks worse English than you).
I have had native English teachers in primary school and high school but they only give 1 lesson per week and the content turned out to be mostly playing with the students, watching movies and in some cases teach cursing words (LOL, this is considered a way to interact with the student, sadly).