Crazy English – To Learn the Language by Shouting Out

Crazy English is a non-traditional Chinese method of learning English, which encourages students to practice by shouting English words at organized rallies and even on top of buildings.

According to Li Yang, the creator of this unusual learning program, Crazy English can best be described with the quote “To shout out loud, you learn”. He claims the traditional way of learning English in China is ineffective, and that in order to overcome their shyness and master the language, people have to shout out the words in public. It’s no secret that his revolutionary technique has long been criticized by many traditional Chinese people, because it goes against the ancient Oriental virtues of restraint modesty and moderation, but Li stood by his unusual methods despite all the opposition, and has so far lectured to tens of millions of people.

As a child, Li was very shy and showed no aptitudes for foreign languages. He was so shy that he was afraid to talk to people, and wouldn’t even go to the cinema by himself. Once he was electrocuted during physical therapy, but was to shy to even mention it to anyone. The years went by, but Li’s sistuation didn’t change very much. He got into the Engineering Mechanics Department of Lanzhou University, but failed all of his 13 exams, including English. Determined to make a change, the young student began preparing for the College English Test level 4, a standardized English test for college students.

At first he went through books of English exercises, like all the other students, but at one point realized that his learning was much more effective if he read the texts out loud. It made him feel more confident, courageous, and helped him focus his attention on studying. So, every day, he would go to a clearing on campus, and read all his English exercises and books out loud. The results were astonishing – he finished all the test exercises in 50 minutes and got the second highest score in his college.

The success inspired Li Yang to create Crazy English, a method of learning which he wanted to share with the rest of his colleagues. He posted a notice around campus and gave his first speech on how he mastered the language, which was applauded by those attending, despite the awkwardness of the presentation. Li graduated in 1990, and although he got a job at the Northwest Electronic Equipment Institute in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, he continued practicing Crazy English. He read English out loud on his way to and from work, and climbed on the office building every day, to shout out the words. In the following years, his talking skills improved so much that he was selected from 1,000 candidates for a post on the English channel of a Guangdong radio station, and later became famous as an English news reader at Guangzhou TV station.

In 1994, his English got so good that it was hard to distinguish him from a native speaker, but he was troubled by the fact that 300 million Chinese were struggling to learn the world’s most popular language the wrong way. So he quit his job and founded the Li Yang Cliz English Promotion Studio, and went on to lecture his Crazy English to millions of people across the country. He believes that in the 21st century, people with a mastery in both Chinese and English will be in great demand around the world, especially with China’s ever-growing economic influence.

Crazy English encourages students to shout out English words whether behind buildings, on rooftops or at organized rallies. Shouting together with others helps people overcome their shyness, because if everyone is doing it nobody is embarrassed. Language teachers have joined Li Yan’s Crazy English camp and travel around China gathering crowds of over 30,000 people, aged 10 to 40, all eager to learn the international language of commerce and business. You just have to see it to believe it, so check out the videos below:



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