Perceptions of ELT Among English Language Teachers in China

2009.第37卷第1–2期(Vol. 37 Nos. 1–2).pp. 137–154


Perceptions of ELT Among English Language Teachers in China


Jackie Fung-King LEE(李鳳琼)


There has been growing enthusiasm for English learning in China in recent years. This development, along with the introduction of a new English curriculum in 2001, has brought a breakthrough in English language teaching (ELT) in China. In the new curriculum, the traditional emphasis on grammar and vocabulary is replaced by a focus on the development of communication skills. How do Chinese mainland teachers perceive ELT these days? Are they ready for the paradigm shift? This article reports a study that attempts to answer these two questions. The study includes a questionnaire survey with 214 primary English language teachers from Guangdong and observation of two demonstration lessons conducted by local teachers. The findings reveal that although many teachers had a heightened awareness of the importance of using the learner-centered approach to enhance students’ communicative competence, their teaching was still directed by textbooks, with authentic teaching materials seldom being used. This article identifies some issues that the education authorities in China need to address in order to implement curriculum reform successfully.