Analysis of Reform of College English Teaching in China

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Analysis of Reform of College English Teaching in China

Ying Zhou

University of Regina

Ed 800

Introduction to Educational Research

Dr. Warren Wessel

April 9, 2013

Introduction

Foreign language teaching in China has a long history. Teaching English as a foreign language in China has existed for almost one hundred years. It actually began in the latter half of the 19th century with the “Westernization Movement” started by some Chinese officials in the Qing (Wang, 1986, P.153). As the development of globalization of Chinese economy and society, English teaching in China has been playing an increasingly significant role to meet the demand of students’ development and education research. Wang (2010) stated that there are millions of students studying English in secondary schools in China. In the higher education, “college English has been taught in China for nearly 23 years” (Du, 2002, P.72). In every large city there is at least one high school of foreign languages, which attaches importance to English teaching. For those who have had the experience of learning English from their elementary schools to universities, the time and energy they have spent on English language learning is greater than that on Chinese language learning (Du, 2001,p.126). English teaching in colleges has become an important and difficult part of the education in China, because of unbalance development of education and cultural diversity. So under current policy and environment, the English teaching in college is still far from satisfactory. We need to set up a reform of college English teaching. It is widely known that effective college English teaching reform has brought much more social benefits and advantages in educational diversity. In order to perform more effective reform, certain measures should be taken. Thus, the reasons why we need a reform and some significant measures we take will be discussed in detail.

Reasons

In the global information society, English, as the international language, is becoming a bridge to get information of technology and economy all over the world. In some sense, college English teaching has a positive effort on the development in China. The following reasons stated are to explain why we need a reform of college English teaching in details. First, on the hand, a majority of universities and colleges is a shortage of qualified teachers to meet the requirement of universities themselves and society. For example, plenty of teachers’ “ English pronunciation is not accurate enough and their vocabulary in most cases can hardly meet their needs in conversations since they have picked up their vocabulary from books and magazines, which makes it an impossible task to speak fluent idiomatic English” (Zhang, 2013, P.92). Wang& Gao (2008) mention that we have had limited information about how teaching is done and how teachers experience professional development in primary and secondary school settings. In the other hand, the teacher’s salary is not very high. In order to get more salary, teachers will pay much time to do part-time jobs rather than their teaching study. In addition, some teachers do not have enough opportunities to get further training and study. Besides their personal factor, they also need the financial support. It is so harmful to improve teachers’ personal development and teaching skills. Second, Wang (2008) thinks the goal of college English teaching “for undergraduate education is to cultivate them into advanced professional intellectuals who should not only love the cause of science and have consciousness of innovation but also are adapt at self study and have fine ability to practice”(p. 440). But many students and teachers pay much attention to the examinations, such as CET Band 4/CET Band 6. It is widely known that the assessment of the students is based on their passing certificate of national examinations. However, “while CET...
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