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Academic Paper

Title: China ESL: An Industry Run Amuck?
Paper URL:
Author: Niu Qiang
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Wisconsin Madison
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: ESL IS BIG BUSINESS/L//L/In 1862, under the Great Qing Dynasty, the first English Language School was officially opened by the Chinese Government to train ten men for the newly created diplomatic corps. (Deyi, Diary of A Chinese Diplomat, 1992 Panda Books) Now, China annually recruits 100,000 'Foreign Experts' (FE) to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) (source: with an accompanying 10 billion Yuan price tag. (ChinaDaily, Hong Kong Edition, October 9, 2002.) According to one Internet recruiting web site there are 150,000 foreign ESL teachers working in China ( CENTRAL GOVERNMENT POLICY /L//L/It does not appear that the Chinese Central Government has issued any formal Resolution or Position Paper authorizing, condoning or supporting the current ESL revolution in China. Rather, it has been allowed and even encouraged to just evolve. Other than standardized testing for College entrance, the Central Government seems to have no set educational policy or curriculum for ESL. There does not appear to be any Central Government regulation of this 'big business', except for some limited guidelines for inviting Foreign Experts (FE), which has and will continue to allow for many deficiencies and abuses./L//L/This article will examine the various existing ESL school management models; the varied curriculum models; the ESL teacher recruitment process; the common problems encountered by the recruited native ESL teacher with analysis of how the existing system fosters these; the mentality of the various Chinese student groups and how this effects ESL teaching methodology and results; and suggestions for improving the existing system.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: Progress in Education, June 2003 (Chapter)

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