Language guru admits violence

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am


Li Yang, China's charismatic teacher of English, apologised on his micro-blogging account at the weekend after his American wife posted a string of pictures and comments alleging domestic violence.

Li has a large following because of his unique teaching methods and was described by the New Yorker magazine as 'China's Elvis of English, perhaps the world's only language teacher known to bring students to tears of excitement'.

He broke his silence on Saturday, which happened to be Teachers' Day in China, and confessed.

'I wholeheartedly apologise to my wife Kim and my girls for committing domestic violence. This has caused them serious physical and mental damage,' Li wrote. 'Based on Kim's request, we are currently seeking professional counselling. I would like to offer my deepest apology here. Sorry to let you down.'

Li is known for his controversial style of teaching English, in which he gathers students in large groups and demands that they shout out English phrases and sentences in unison as loudly as they can, in an effort to help them overcome bashfulness in speaking English.

He is the founder and head teacher of the 'Crazy English' brand of teaching, which he started in 1994. More than 20 million people have signed up for his classes.

The saga started when Kim posted a picture of her bruised forehead on August 31. The next day she posted another picture, featuring bruised knees and titled 'Love China, love yourself, do not use violence toward me in front of our child'.

Two days later, she posted another picture that showed an egg-sized lump on her forehead, with a comment saying: 'It would be easier if love had just disappeared the minute that your hand struck my face, but it did not. Seeing that you were having make-up applied for a TV appearance while I was in hospital hurts more than your slamming my head on the floor.'

Over the following days, she made additional posts, some featuring pictures she said dated back 12 years. She said she would have to divorce him for the sake of their three girls.

But her last comment, made on Saturday after Li apologised, said, 'LY (Li Yang) faced police charges, admitted the truth, accepted responsibility and asked forgiveness. With courage, love and faith in God, we will sort out the rest. My family needs to heal. Everlasting thanks for all support, understanding and love'.