I noticed this “English First Co.”, which is 2008 Beijing Olympics language training partner, because of their ubiquious ads (outside and inside) Cloud 9 building. I understand there are at least 2 levels of Olympics partners. Lenovo, Haier and Coke Cola, etc are exclusive sponsors (in its product category). In other words, they gave more money to Olympics committe and they got more exposure in return. MengNiu (diary product), “English First” and others are product providers. As the name implies, they gave products to Beijing Olympics. But still, I was puzzled why New Oriental did not go for it? I can think of two reasons:
Heard about this Kai’en English from a colleague, they offer spoken English, Youth English, Business English, test preparation, etc.
Why English training is so hot? According to the S1 prospectus of Xinhua Finance Media, page 108 (under Radio section), “the average wages of Chinese employees with advanced and intermediate levels of English are 72.5% and 24.3% higher than those with basic levels of English, respectively”. By the way, I listened its “Easy FM” here in Shanghai, and I think it’s a good source to learn English.
One year training cost at WallStreet English is CNY 15,000, my colleague joked it’s CNY 50 per day. It’s mostly spoken English. It’s not small amount for average workers in China.