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ERIC Number: EJ865169
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0218-8791
Teaching the Book and Educating the Person: Challenges for University English Language Teachers in China
Wette, Rosemary; Barkhuizen, Gary
Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v29 n2 p195-212 Jun 2009
Recent accounts of college-level English language teaching in China describe environments that, although constrained by the College English Test (CET), are undergoing changes in a number of curriculum areas, including recognition of the need to incorporate communicative approaches and the assessment of practical language abilities. In such times, tensions between the needs and desires of society, teaching institutions, teachers and students are inevitable. In this article, we report on a study involving a group of university English teachers from across China who attended a professional development programme in Beijing in the summer of 2006. We explored the experiences of 83 teachers in their working environments, using four one-page reflective frames, which we distributed at regular intervals during the 2-week programme. Teachers described tensions between the need to achieve socially-oriented and subject-centred goals, such as passing examinations and developing communicative competence ("teaching the book"), and their desire to bring about enduring personal changes in students' awareness of themselves as learners and their approaches to learning ("educating the person"). Like colleagues in other countries and contexts, they faced ongoing challenges in trying to harmonize students' needs, curriculum obligations, and their own theories of best practice. (Contains 1 note, 7 tables, and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; China (Beijing)