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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Academic Paper


Title: China ESL: An Industry Run Amuck?
Paper URL: http://www.teachers.net/gazette/APR03/qiangwolff.html
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

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:http://www.Chinatefl.com) 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 (http://www.AbroadChina.com).

NO CENTRAL GOVERNMENT POLICY

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.

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)
URL: http://www.teachers.net/gazette/APR03/qiangwolff.html


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