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ERIC Number: EJ884124
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0958-5176
Translating Policies into Practice: The Role of Middle-Level Administrators in Language Curriculum Implementation
Wang, Hong
Curriculum Journal, v21 n2 p123-140 Jun 2010
This study explores middle-level administrators' perceptions of the implementation of English as a foreign language curriculum policies in the Chinese tertiary context. Drawing on data collected from interviews with the department heads of six universities in a north-western city in China, the article examines their perspectives on the national language policies and their roles in ensuring the implementation of these policies. The findings revealed a discrepancy between policy-makers' intentions and administrators' implementation. Policy-makers designed general, open-ended and abstract policies to offer local universities some flexibility and autonomy in their delivery. However, administrators as intermediary individuals interpreted the open-endedness of the curriculum policies in a different way than the policy-makers had intended. Instead of using the built-in flexibility to tailor methods of helping students to gain proficiency, they placed their emphasis on only one outcome--students' good scores on the national English test. The findings of this study point to the critical role that the department heads as middle-level administrators must play in translating policies into practice, as well as underscoring the need for them to provide the necessary motivation and resources for the implementation to occur. These findings are relevant not only in the Chinese context, but also in other educational systems, as language curricula share commonalities in other ESL and EFL countries, which can learn useful lessons from the current study. (Contains 1 table and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China