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Senior police officers in Shanghai are taking English-language training courses to help them better deal with increasing numbers of foreign nationals in the city.

About 100 top-level officers from the city’s public security bureau and district bureau chiefs began their nine-month courses at the weekend.

“More and more foreigners are coming to work and live here, and this presents greater challenges for the city’s police,” said Guo Yonghua, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau.

“The city’s public security departments have been looking to develop high-quality police officers to deal with the demands of foreign affairs.”

English-language training company (ESL jobs here)Wall Street English have developed a range of tailor-made courses, including “senior police officer English ability training”, “Shanghai police officer online English learning and social practice”, and “oral English corner”.

The courses focus on improving English listening and speaking skills, with native speakers providing one-on-one training. Trainees will do the courses in their spare time.

Chen Changjun, deputy director of the command center of the public security bureau, was one of 30 officers who took English training courses in 2009.

“I already had some foundation in English when I was in school, but I used it little after I graduated. This training gave me a chance to improve and helped me to better deal with daily work,” Chen said at the launch of the training program on Friday.

“As Shanghai attracts more people from overseas, so the city has to intensify its efforts to fight an increasing number of international crimes. There is a greater need for language skills,” Chen said.

Dozens of international students at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing had a chance to learn more about Lei Feng, a Chinese model of altruism, at an international culture event on Friday.

The group’s instruction first started with a video clip showing Lei Feng volunteering for several days to transport bricks that would be used in the construction of a school and then asking to not be given credit by name. It then watched a short pantomime performed by two Chinese students who portrayed various episodes in Lei Feng’s life.

Jaime Vega Pinol, from Barcelona, arrived at the university two weeks ago and came to the event on Friday with a friend, Sofia Laura Algar Berrondo.

Both are exchange students who will be in China for a semester, taking classes in business administration. They said they are eager to learn about the country’s culture and will begin taking Chinese classes on Monday.

“In his short life, Lei Feng helped many people,” Algar Berrondo said. “What he did was modest, but it was important for society.”

After watching the short video, Vega Pinol said he better understood Lei Feng’s life.

“It was interesting to see that China in Lei Feng’s day was like Spain in the 1960s – the atmosphere and the environment,” he said.

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