ERIC Number: EJ1096967
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Learner Views on English and English Language Teaching in China
Liu, Na; Lin, Chih-Kai; Wiley, Terrence G.
International Multilingual Research Journal, v10 n2 p137-157 2016
Since the 1980s, China has represented one of the major growth areas in the world for English language education, and studying English has been a priority among its foreign language educational policies. As English has gained more popularity in China, some have noted the potential value of English as a means to greater educational access and social mobility. Others, however, see cause for concern by claiming that English language instruction is not always effective or that learning English is a waste of time and resources because the majority of English learners will most probably not use English after they graduate from college. In considering these issues and their implications for policy and practice, this article reports findings from a research study of 1,613 Chinese undergraduates to understand how learners of English view and experience English Language Teaching (ELT) in China. Data were collected using an online survey questionnaire. Major findings indicate that the majority of respondents have strong motivations to learn English, based on the belief that English has been--and will continue to be--useful and important in their studies and future work, as they perceive themselves becoming more connected to the global economy and global affairs. Despite their motivations to learn and use English, the majority of English learners in China indicated that they lacked opportunities to use English both in and outside of school. The survey also investigated learner perceptions of their own strengths and weaknesses as learners of English in various skill areas. The majority of respondents reported reading and writing as their strengths and noted speaking and listening as their areas of weaknesses. Additionally, statistical analyses of data were conducted to examine the association between learner perceptions and learner characteristics such as gender, major, hometown, home dialect, extramural studies, and parents' level of education. The association between students' self-reported proficiency and their majors, hometown, and parents' level of education was statistically significant.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Educational Policy, Foreign Countries, Instructional Effectiveness, Language Usage, Educational Practices, Undergraduate Students, Online Surveys, Learning Motivation, Language Attitudes, Access to Education, Employment Potential, Literacy, Language Skills, Statistical Analysis, Correlation, Student Characteristics, Dialects, Parent Background, Educational Attainment, Language Proficiency, Majors (Students), Likert Scales
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A