Ans: NCE characters are serene. The people in it are entirely themselves, ‘in the moment’, innocently getting on with all the little things that people do. People do and say the funniest things, without being aware of it. The characters in JNCE do the same.
《新概念英语》里的人物都经得起时间的考验，他们与世无争，跟所有的普通人一样面对各种日常琐事，不经意间做出了各种好笑的事情，或是说出了那些让人捧腹的话。《青少版》里的人物也是这样。 2. How does JNCE differ from NCE?《新概念英语青少版》和《新概念英语》的区别是什么？
Ans. More gradual structural progression – 3 levels = same structural syllabus as NCE1. Bigger vocab. NCE1 has about 700 words. JNCE has about 1000 words per level. Pronunciation and Listening exercises. Guided Conversation, that was only in the TB in NCE is now in the SB as well. Modern kids live in a media-rich world. NCE reflects that – both in the physical materials, and in the world inhabited by the characters.
Ans. New features are that the SBs, audio and Workbooks make the students less dependent on the teacher: learners have access to material that was previously only in the hands of the teachers. There has not been a new edition of LLL. We wanted to write a course that would reflect the world that modern children live in – with mobile phones, the internet, DVD’s, fashion, international travel. It’s a world of much greater opportunity than the world reflected in LLL. JNCE is also specially written for China. It is set in the UK (though the story-line also takes us to the US in Level 3), but the setting is a window on the wider world.
4.In the past years, many latest English coursebooks for young learner were introduced into China from foreign publishers. While bringing in new methodologies, many of them can not meet the learners' learning habit and China's cultural background. How does JNCE fit for the requirements of Chinese teenagers pychologically and culturally in learning English?
Ans. I think that many other course books do not suit the learning habits of Chinese students because they do not have complete mastery of the 2 syllabuses. L.G. Alexander’s New Concept was that language teaching and learning requires not one syllabus, but 2. There is the Language Content syllabus – which consists of Grammar and Vocabulary. The Language syllabus is the ‘operating system’: the system we use, to do the things that we do with language. And there is the Skills syllabus, which is made up of understanding, speaking, reading and writing. Furthermore, each of the 4 skills is not a separate skill. We never just listen, or just read. We listen and respond, listen and make notes, listen and interpret, listen and laugh … the skills flow in and out of each other. Language is about communication, and communication makes us interact with different expressions of language (spoken, written, etc.) and with one another. The 2 syllabuses come together in 4 key language acts: understand, answer, ask, say. Many modern materials neglect some or all of these aspects.
回答：我认为很多教科书之所以不能适应中国学生的学习习惯，是因为这些教材没有完全把握住L. G. 亚历山大说的两个大纲。他的《新概念英语》编写理念是：语言教学不能只有一个大纲，其实是需要两个大纲的。一个是语言内容大纲——主要是对语法和词汇的要求。语言大纲是“操作系统”：我们通过这个系统来运用语言完成任务。另一个是技能大纲，包括听、说、读和写四项技能。而且，四项技能互不可分。我们不可能只会听或者只会读。我们会听而后作出反应，听而后记笔记，听而后理解，听然后笑…… 这些技能互相交错。语言是用于交流的，交流让我们使用各种表达方式（如说、写，等等）互相沟通。这两个大纲贯穿于听、答、问、说这四种主要的语言行为中。许多现代教学材料都忽视了其中的某些部分。
Many native-speaker teachers underestimate the difficulty of learning the system. Think how complex, for example, the regular and irregular verb system of English is. (e.g. What did you say? I said… Oh, you didn’t say that, did you? / Oh, you said that didn’t you? When did you say that? I wouldn’t have said that, if I were you! Etc.) There’s a fashion for making things seem easier than they are. Many native speakers think that repetition drills are old-fashioned and boring, that there’s no need for any of that: you just listen to a dialogue, and then you ‘communicate’. This is facile nonsense. Learners must be able to operate the system. How can they communicate without it?
许多以英语为母语的老师低估了学习这个系统的困难。举例来说，你知道英语里的规则动词和不规则动词到底有多复杂吗？(e.g. What did you say? I said… Oh, you didn’t say that, did you? / Oh, you said that didn’t you? When did you say that? I wouldn’t have said that, if I were you! Etc.) 现在有一种普遍的做法是把困难的问题简化。这些外教认为句型重复这种练习形式落伍了，不能吸引学生的注意力，因此完全不需要这种练习存在：学生只需要听对话，然后“交流”就可以了。这绝对是胡闹。学习者必须能够操作这种系统，否则，他们怎么能实现交流呢？
It’s like turning on a computer that hasn’t been loaded with an operating system. You’d have to start by inventing your own o.s.! (And of course, this is what leaners do, when a course is inadequate: they invent their own solutions, and these solutions become embedded errors. This is how remedial students are created!) It’s no use learning to say, ‘I’d like a cup of coffee, please,’ if you cannot also say, ‘And my friend would like a cup of coffee, too.’ Learning to communicate requires learning all the basic stuff too. Chinese teachers and students know this. This is why they like and understand the Alexander course books: it’s because they really work! Nothing is left to chance. The books are designed to answer the questions that arise in learners’ minds as they progress. This way, we can prevent errors from arising in the first place.
Ans. Every year, the contestants are more and more fluent, more and more confident; their pronunciation has improved enormously. You see the biggest difference when the students respond to questions from the judges that they have not prepared: 5 years ago, fewer students had really good listening comprehension. Some of them seemed fluent in the prepared sections, but they didn’t always perform so well in the unstructured interview, with different speakers, with different voices and accents. These days, kids have had much more practice, and they do very well. Each generation builds on the achievements of the previous one. I think modern language learning in China began in 1981. If you count 7 years for every school generation since then, we are now in the 4th generation. The children today are standing on the achievements of the people who have taught them, and the level rises every year.
6.You have been in China many times in teacher training. How do you comment them in teaching English and what is your expectation for the future?
Ans. There are teachers at all levels of experience and ability in China. English teaching has expanded so fast in recent years, that it is hard for the supply of proficient teachers to meet the rising demand. There are always new people coming into the profession without much training, alongside those who have been teaching for years. This has always been so, throughout my working life. When I began teaching, I had a hard time with old-fashioned materials; then I came across New Concept English. That was how I learned my job. Before that, I just taught in the way I had been taught French and Latin at school – reading and writing, and learning lists of words. NCE changed my life – in more ways than one! The NCE Teacher’s Book trained me. I believe that many Chinese teachers have had the same experience that I did: NCE freed them to become as good at teaching as they could be. I hope and believe that Junior NCE will carry this tradition forward into the future with a new generation of teachers and learners.
7.How many languages can you speak yourself? Do you think it is difficult in learning a foreign language? Please give some suggestions to English learners and teachers in China. Thanks.
Ans. It depends what you mean by ‘speak’. I have a greater or lesser competence in 6 languages, but it’s hard to keep them all going at the same level all the time. I have to ‘tune in’ again when I go back to a country where each language is spoken. I have forgotten almost all the German I ever learned, because I never used it. My French is entirely fluent, because I use it a good deal, and my Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Greek come and go, depending on which has been used most recently.
The key to learning a language is listening. Listening and understanding language in context leads all the other skills. That is how we learn our first language – not be learning word-lists, and not by translation. (Translation is an advanced-level language skill – the product of successful learning. As a learning tool, translation is very destructive: it blocks the brain’s natural learning pathways.) When we learn a second language by listening and responding, we activate the same parts of the brain as those we used when we learned our mother-tongue. The human brain is set up by nature to learn language. We can all do it. That possibility remains with us throughout life. My Mum is 85, and she’s learning Swedish and enjoying it. Of course, it’s important that learning should be fun – and when I say ‘fun’, I don’t mean full of jokes and tricks. I mean ‘fun’ because it is rewarding, intellectually, imaginatively, creatively. Learning another language gives us another dimension of ourselves and opens up our wider potential. That is why it is fun.