“Long live Chairman Mao” was the first English language sentence the Lijia Zhang ever learned. “Foreign language is a tool of class struggle” was the second. On January 27, the author of Socialism is Great and Lotus, will take us back in time to the missile factory where she worked in the early 1980s, and discuss how learning English at night helped open her mind and break out into a career as an internationally acclaimed writer and journalist. She’ll share how English has helped millions of Chinese forge important bonds with the world, and how attitudes toward learning English are changing today.

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