Name: Crazy English (Fengkuang Yingyu)
Creator: Li yan, The Elvis of English
Country of origin: China
Popular in: China
Vintage: Around 1994
Philosophy: "In order to learn English you need to be crazy...you have to be 110% involved." and "the secret of success is to have [students] continuously paying."
Number of students: 20 million
Research support: None
In a nutshell: listen and repeat drilling on a Chinese scale.
Anything else:Crazy English involves huge numbers of people shouting at each other in stadium rallies that can reach up to ten thousand people.
Criticism: It's largely unknown outside China but Kingsley Bolton calls it "Huckster nationalism". Li is charismatic and learnt English in China -not as a rich overseas student which gives him a lot of credibility among the people. He's also unashamedly nationalistic. Some have described 'crazy English' as being rather cult like and this wasn't helped when as The shanghai daily reports in 2007 Li told his female students that if they shaved their heads to show their determination he would let them become his disciples. The New Yorker tells of a student selling blood in order to raise the money for a ticket to attend one of his stadium lessons.
Li's star has perhaps started to fade after it came to light in 2011 that he was a wife beater. His American wife uploaded photos showing the after effects of domestic violence at his hands and wrote that Li had "knocked me to the floor.[...] sat on my back [...] choked my neck with both hands and slammed my head into the floor," "The pair divorced in 2013 but recently Li has been bragging about his exploits saying:
Those who know I hit my wife, raise your hand! I am the spokesperson for domestic abuse!… This is a cultural clash between China and America; it has nothing to do with domestic abuse. One day, the Party and the state will rehabilitate me. I was doing something to educate Americans! My American wife was always criticizing China, accusing our Party of lying. In such a situation, could I not hit her?… Everyday accusing Beijing...She was lucky I could bear it, in America I would have shot her with a gun! (source)
Nice! Let's hope Crazy English disappears along with its woman beating creator.