I will begin my talk by a discussion of the recent ‘de-emphasis’ of English in Chinese foreign language policy and situate my study against the backdrop of a growing enthusiasm for English in different education sectors in the context of a fast globalizing China. I will link the Chinese desire for English proficiency with modernity and prosperity, and claim that the general ideology of language learning that the Chinese people have acquired is that they are denied success in education and career development if they are not efficient in English.
I will give a historical review of English language education in China, and then adopt a synchronic perspective in examining the status quote of English language education in China and investigate the language ideologies embedded in the Chinese foreign language education policies and in institutional discourses. To probe whether the formally planned language policies have achieved their objectives in implementation, I will investigate the discourse of teachers and students. The data was based on 28 interviews and 1,300 questionnaires in six universities in China.
I suggest that Chinese language policy makers, educators,English language teaching practitioners and learners need to redefine the English language education according to the current Chinese situation, as well as its strategic plans in the 21st century, so as to develop distinctive forms of intercultural competence, making the Chinese competitive at the modern world system.
About the speaker
Dr Lin PAN is a John Adams Research Fellow, and International Alumni Ambassador for China at Institute of Education (IOE), University of London. Before joining the IOE, she was an associate professor and had worked for Beijing Language and Culture University, the Chinese Ministry of Education for ten years. Her research interests are language ideologies, globalization, and multilingualism. She is the book author for English as a global language in China: deconstructing the ideological discourse of English in language education published by Springer International.She has publications in Language Policy (SSCI & AHCI), Journal of Sociolinguistics (SSCI), Visual Communication (SSCI), System (SSCI), Applied Linguistic Review, Language Learning Journal and English Today.