Li Yang is best known for his Crazy English language learning franchise in the mainland.
In fact, the instruction course, which encourages students to shout English words out loud as they learn them, has given him more than passing mentions outside China. His work has been featured in the venerable New Yorker magazine and dissected on social media.
Naturally, people are curious about what he does when he is not doing small English classes and million-yuan lectures.
Apparently, he has been studying to be a Buddhist monk of the Shaolin Temple in Zhengzhou, Henan province. On Tuesday, news website youth.cn reported that Li has been named apprentice of abbot Shi Yongxin.
The 30-minute ceremony was officiated by Shi himself and Li described the experience as making him feel blessed and at peace at the same time.
Li said he will conduct English training for Shaolin students to help promote Buddhism overseas and donate 10,000 copies of teaching materials.
He praised Buddhism as a religion with longstanding cultural traditions and plans to inject this aspect of Chinese culture to his franchise.
And for him, Shaolin Temple is a natural fit.
Next year, Li will organize a summer English learning camp at the temple, combining language training and martial arts.
Li is in good company. Shi Yongxin is known as the CEO monk because of his business acumen and technological savvy.
That makes Shaolin monks acutely in touch with the times. They’re equipped with smartphones and have Sina Weibo and Weixin accounts.
Now they even have an English mentor.
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