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Crazy English (Chinese: 疯狂英语; pinyin: Fēngkuáng Yīngyǔ) is a brand name related to a non-traditional method of learning English in mainland China conceived by Li Yang. Li believes that the traditional way of learning English in China is ineffective. Li Yang's method places heavy emphasis on practicing English orally. His method can be described with the slogan "By shouting out loud, you learn." Students practice his technique by going behind buildings or on rooftops and shouting English. They also go to his rallies and shout together; this helps them overcome their shyness (everybody is doing it, so nobody is embarrassed). In many ways it remains similar to the traditional pedagogic practices of Chinese education in that it still relies on repetition and recitation. Members of the school administration in China often disapprove of the method because they believe it goes against the traditional Chinese values of modesty and restraint.
"Crazy English" originated when Li Yang was concerned about passing the College English Test level 4, a Chinese standardized test on English for college students. During his studies he found that reading his assigned English work out loud was very effective for him. When he finally took the CET 4 he earned the second highest score in his department. Soon after an excellent performance on the exam, he gave a lecture on his method of learning English. Li Yang graduated from Lanzhou University in 1990. After graduation, he continued to practice English using this method, often standing on top of the office building where he worked and shouting English. He did not start promoting his method on a large scale until 1994 when he founded Li Yang Cliz English Promotion Studio. Since then, his method has become very popular; it currently has approximately 20 million practitioners, including several foreign teachers who work intermittently with the camps.
- Anthony, John; Richard Burgess; Robert Mikkelson. Access to International English. Cappelen Damm. p. 16. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- Li, Jingyan (2009). "Motivational Force and Imagined Community in 'Crazy English'". In Joseph Lo Bianco, Jane Orton, and Gao Yihong. China and English:Globalisation and the Dilemmas of Identity. Multilingual Matters. ISBN 978-1-84769-228-3.