How to avoid speaking English to Chinese friends

A difficulty I’ve encountered while trying to practise Chinese with my friends in China is that most of them speak to me in English!  This is not surprising at a beginner or even intermediate level, when your level of Chinese is likely far inferior to their level of English, so that, even if your Chinese friends aren’t deliberately “using” you to practise their English, you’ll most likely end up in a situation where you’re speaking far more broken English than Chinese.  Obviously, this is not good, as it doesn’t help you improve your Chinese, and even can even worsen your English!

Here are a few suggestions for how to avoid that trap.

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