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Seeing himself as a Citizen of the world, Hans Starlife has long been an ardent supporter of the good sides of globalization - a world coming together in peace and prosperity. But that requires that we can understand each other, an effort which start already when we are small kids.

After years of studying traditional and often old-fashioned learning techniques in Asian countries such as China, he wanted to help their students to learn English in a more natural and pedagogic way. Instead of sitting on the school bench, you must use the language. You must have the right environment.

Hans developed a system for learning English as a Second Language which he calls English Language Culture (ELC). This is not about teaching English culture, but about providing an entire culture and environment which support students' language training. You must "live the language" and use it just as if you were living abroad already. And you must learn the words automatically, in the same fashion small kids learn words, or just translating with a dictionary.

This is an advancement of the "English Salon" phenomenon in China, evolved from mostly "talking English" to "living English". Since Hans' concept were tested among students in China and elsewhere, he could notice not only improved learning, but also a much more enjoyable and satisfactory experience for the students. The students liked it, because suddenly, learning was fun! However, some parents still questioned it. Education shouldn't be fun, right? Well, it should.

In China, most students there learn English in school. But often they learn it only for one reason: to pass their exams. They never really get used to actually use the language. And when the day come they have to go abroad, or need to talk to a foreigner in China, they can hardly say anything except "hello". At worst, it can destroy a great business opportunity.

But Hans didn't settle with language learning. Language is related to culture, to customs, habits and manners which differ dramatically between countries. Even if you know the language, you can still have a hard time and do many mistakes, if you don't know about these differences. Therefore, Hans incorporated this cultural education into his strategy, as well as information and advice about studies abroad, visa applications and other legal requirements, providing the "whole package" to his students.

This educational concept is unique. It literally opens up the entire world for the students, offering English conversations in natural, lifelike environments, just as you would meet if you travel abroad - and often together with real, western guides. No more formal teaching in front of black boards. Instead, the students meet in causal groups, telling jokes or stories and sometimes even going out for picnic or sing karaoke Why? Because scientists have found that if you have fun while you learn, you are more likely to remember it!

The same concept which Hans have implemented for students learning English as a second language, can also be used to learn other languages - such as Chinese as a second language. China has become a leading world player, and people of Chinese background can be found in every big city around the globe. By learning to speak each other's language more fluently, we can speed up the making of tomorrow's world and ensure that global exchange & affairs will run much more smoothly - the objective which motivated Hans to engage in the first place.

Nowadays, Hans seldom teaches English in the classrooms himself. But he is often visiting schools and language training centers to hold presentations and participate in various Language Culture activities, and always take time to listen to the views of individual students.

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Picnic with students in China

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