Do tests get in the way of language learning or does the language get in the way of passing the tests. Try reading this article from China Daily about English learning in China. Below is a sample of the dog’s breakfast that is language learning in China. What about just listening and reading and forgetting all this junk. 400 million people in China study English in this sytem, how many speak it?

from the report…”However, English teaching is designed without coordination for elementary schools, secondary schools and postsecondary institutions. That makes the transition from one stage to the next difficult, especially for students with test-conscious teachers and obsolete textbooks.

College English teaching for non-English majors is divided into six progressive levels, known as College English Test (CET) Bands 1-6. Every non-English major must take 280 hours of English courses – roughly five hours a week for 17 weeks, a semester – to meet the requirements of the twice-yearly CET-4.

Students must pass that test, or risk being disqualified for graduation or a job with the many employers that require a CET-4 certificate. Test results remain the sole criterion of CET assessment.”

That is enough to discourage me from wanting to learn English.