Journalists in Shanghai are reporting that the principal of an English language school in the city has sought a commercial deal with President Obama.
The English language school, New Way English, has taught Presidential-style English for two years or so. During classes the students are encouraged to read aloud various speeches given by President Obama.
Now the principal, Qu Gang, has written to the President seeking a commercial arrangement allowing him to buy the copyright to the speeches. He’s even volunteered a price tag ($30,000 or thereabouts) for the speeches that he feels reasonable.
I suspect that won’t be needed. Presidential speeches are public domain material. A reference and a thank you would be more than appropriate. Can he use them? Yes he can.
His approach to the President has invited a fair share of ridicule in Shanghai. But it’s a fact that the President’s speeches are well-written. The sentences are short and the words are simple for easy listening. We’d hope that the students don’t have to declaim his every word, but it probably does boost speaking confidence.
Any publicity for New Way English has to be good publicity.