The English language in Mainland China: a sociolinguistic profile. Most international business transactions, including emails, memos, reports and contracts, are written in English. Despite this status given to the English language in India, there is disparity in the education system. S1_S6 and S1_S8: Simply [NFLS] a good school where high quality of English education is provided that can help find a good job. Ethos: American Anthropological Association 35(1): 85–127. Beijing: China Agriculture Press. It’s easy to see just how important English is around the world. Importance of English as a language 1. Implementing language policy: lessons from primary school English. S2_S6: I think that I should say after I grow up, English is useful if travelling overseas. With the exception of two students, the remaining eight students started English very early and much earlier than it was offered at school. As China’s economy was boosted due to open foreign policies and the use of English, the policy makers of the Ministry of Education (MOE) decided to include English as the first compulsory subject in the secondary school curriculum and tertiary level of study. The students from School One, the prestigious school, reported that they had early exposure to English. Feng Anwei. In many countries, most tourism autho… In summary one can state the following beliefs: • Language is more than communication skills • Language is also linked to the thinking process • Language is a tool for conceptualising, for thinking, for networking • Language supports mental activity and cognitive precision • Language for academic purposes helps to express thoughts more clearly (this is especially true for writing) • Language helps … ELT journal 58 (4):319–326. New specifications for the English curriculum at primary level were published by the Department for Education (DfE) in February 2013. English teaching and learning in China. English education in China is still examination-driven. 2002. All the available textbooks are designed in accordance with the National Curriculum. Many schools in metropolitan areas introduce English earlier, from Primary One, whilst for those in remote and rural areas, the introduction of English may have to be delayed due to inadequate teaching resources. Knowledge of the English language is important to learn to be able to communicate with others, in the teaching of immigrant students, and in finding and maintaining a job. Hu, Guangwei. This study has elicited and discussed the attitudes and perceptions of primary school students on the importance of English in primary school education in Nanjing, China. It is certainly important, but, with conditions along with learning the language. After reporting and discussing the different perspectives of the students, this paper concludes by considering the implications for English education in primary schools in China and other Asian countries. During colonial times, British rulers often obliged the people in those countries to speak English rather than their native language. This document supported the early introduction of English language teaching in China (Gao 2009). The importance of the English language as a second language means that how the English language is important for those people whose native language is not English. Due to the exceeding competition, acquiring knowledge of global languages has clearly become more than important. Nick Gibb on the importance of studying languages in school ... in Brighton is the first bilingual primary school (Spanish-English) in the country and it … S3_S7: … too many students in one class…and also too often a change of teachers…it was less fun compared to the school. If you speak good academic English, there're lots of opportunities for you to find an appropriate school and course to suit your needs. Asian Affairs: An American Review 39(1):69–71. volume 6, Article number: 1 (2016) S2_S1: My parents and I believe that English is very important for my future. Compared to the minor subjects, such as PE, science and music, English has a similar number of lessons (MOE 2001). Using thematic analysis in psychology. As the two well-resourced primary schools, the students of School One and School Three highlighted the importance of English, though they also related this to the examination system. Bianco Jane Orton Joseph Lo and Gao Yihong, 56–78. My parents agreed with my wishes of not continuing to study there. S1_S2: I have nothing too much [to say]. 2007. In contrast, there is a different story in rural areas of China. S1_S7: It’s rare that foreigners can speak Chinese (when you communicate with them). Interestingly, the School Two students whose parents were mainly rural migrant workers in Nanjing, ranked the useful subjects in schooling with the vast majority of them prioritising Chinese. In terms of reasons for English education, the students provided individual explanations, which also showed their perceptions of the importance of English. Ministry of Education. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0594.2009.00563.x. You can be next - contact us today to start your journey. 2004. But what is the true value of learning English? Also, school environments are not considered as natural learning settings (Cenoz 2009). It is beneficial for finding a job, admission to better schools and qualifications. Poverty, education, and intrahousehold bargaining: Evidence from China. Adopting a qualitative research design, which included six focus group interviews with students, the study investigated the attitudes of students toward the learning of English in the primary schools. Chapter 5, on 'Knowledge about language', explores ways of This paper firstly examines China’s current primary school English language education policy and discusses the implications for the primary school curriculum. The students from School One discussed examinations and admission to good secondary schools and re-emphasised the parental demand in this process. Barbarian as a foreign language: English in China’s schools. S1_S6: If it (English) is not assessed [in the Gaokao], it cannot, eh, we cannot know how we have learnt. This website is operated by BSC Group Limited, a company registered in England & Wales. If you’re still not sure about whether to learn the language, then check out the reasons below. English is the language of science, aviation, computers, diplomacy, and tourism. However, do you know why learning English is so important? Cortazzi, Martin, and Lixian Jin. However, the status of English is very contradictory, as in exams, Chinese, mathematics and English are always considered as three core subjects, particularly because they are worth the same marks. Guidelines for Promoting English Langauge Instruction in Primary Schools 教育部关于积极推进小学开设英语课程的指导意见, ed. Realizing the importance, recently, the Minister of Indian Railways, Laloo Prasad Yadav, demands teaching of English language in schools. 2011. In addition, there’s no doubt that English test is essential and part of the requirement of admissions to secondary schools and universities overseas, as it (English) is their native language. Steering a middle course: educational dilemmas in managing tertiary foreign langauge education in China. 2011. S1_S10: My mom said the entrance tests for NFLS were in English, so getting to this school can improve my English academic performance. Peter Storey, Vivien Berry, David Bunton, and Philip Hoare, 145–151. However, English teachers sometimes are very strict and harsh. Overall, the students in this study were acutely aware of the importance of examinations. M.E. 2011. However, one student, S3_S6 was an exception as his parents wanted him to follow the track of ‘performing arts’ not ‘academic’ study. The same discussion was held in the focus groups of School Two; however, the group two students compared English with the other subjects. MOE. 2002. Zheng, Hongying. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Therefore, the actual needs of students have to be explored and considered prior to the introduction of new policies. Previous studies on English education in Chinese schools have key emphasis on the language education reforms (Hu 2012), language policy and planning (Kaplan et al. One out of five people can speak or at least understand English! S3_S8: at the beginning, I felt it (English) was fun, which was because [we can] play games – very interesting. English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. This highlights the official importance of English in both primary school education and society. Netherlands: Springer. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. A study on left-behind children’s education 农村留守儿童教育问题研究. This results in the difficult or impossible policy implementation in schools across the whole nation. Every year, British Study Centres helps thousands of students reach their English language goals. As discussed earlier, due to the power of English in developing the economy, in science and technology, the primary aim of English education for the Chinese Government was for nation building. S2_S7: Many people have started learning English nowadays. Findings show the positive attitudes of children toward English education and their support for the early introduction of English; however, some feel that English is not as important as Chinese and mathematics. According to studies in Sweden, learning a language causes areas of the brain associated with memory, namely the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, to increase in size. Part of The students and their parents have, from the very early years of primary school, also started to consider their admission to ‘key’ secondary schools, such as NFLS, in order to enter better universities based on performance in the Gaokao. S3_S9: I hope to study abroad but they (parents) just want me to study at NFLS without considering the option of overseas study afterwards. Kaplan, Robert B., Richard. Some children may be fortunate enough to stay with their parents in cities; however, they have to look after themselves or be cared for by their older siblings. However, her study needs expanding research subjects, namely, other key stakeholders. For high ranking officials and diplomats in major countries such as Russia, Italy, Brazil, South Korea, France, Japan and Germany, a working knowledge of … statement and advertisement. School One is a prestigious and well-resourced government school, which represents the medium SES status of school in Nanjing. 2001. First, the students were afraid of the admission standard required for NFLS (S2_S8 and S2_S9): as well as having a separate test for English, other subjects are also tested in English. Knowing English increases your chances of getting a good job in a multinational company within your home country or of finding work abroad. The regional differences have been identified on English proficiency, classroom behaviours, and language learning and use strategies. Only those who contacted the researcher indicating a willingness to participate were considered for the focus group interviews. These comments highlighted the intensity of parental demand for English education for these primary school children, and also how much pressure these students experienced. I think it is most likely that English becomes a minor and does not require a high level of proficiency, which means that examinations should not be too difficult in the future. Examples were provided by two students S3_S6 and S3_S7. 2011. A Review of “Paradise Redefined: transnational Chinese students and the Quest for flexible citizenship in the developed world”. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 24(4):290-318. doi:10.1080/01434630308666503. I feel I have learnt [English] in vain (if English in the Gaokao reformed). GQ developed the research idea, collected and analysed the data, and drafted the manuscript. Whether you are looking for a new job or planning to travel the world, studying English can help you progress in life both personally and professionally. In the Netherlands, for example, the ratio is a surprising 40 to 1. Two groups were formed from each school, with each group containing four to five students aged 9 to 12, studying from Primary Three to Six. Beijing: People’s Education Press. Cite this article. The UK Government has recently stressed the importance of primary school children mastering spoken and written literacy skills. Hannum, Emily, Peggy Kong, and Yuping Zhang. School Two is also one of the only four government schools where accepts migrant children to study. In Issues in Language in Education, ed. However, from the perspectives of all the students in School Two, it remains a major subject in primary school education. In short, the students’ opinions are worthy of note and should be acknowledged by the policy makers and the Ministry of Education (MOE). The thematic analysis was based on the original data in Chinese. English is the primary language of business throughout the world. Multiling.Ed. Consider a situation where a teacher does not speak the child’s native language. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This document supported the early introduction of English language teaching in China (Gao 2009). I would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their very detailed and constructive comments to improve this paper. Importance of home environment for children’s schooling: from the teacher’s perspective. Fundamentally, it is because the examination system has never been updated and focuses only on written performance across the 12 years of school education. We are here Monday – Friday 8am-8pm and Weekends 1pm-5pm. Some of the states of India are witnessing popular increase in public demand for teaching of English language from the primary classes. This helps them teach learners how to use language in Mainland China teaching English as important of linguistics. Good reasons to take an English language from the developing world, official, link and language! 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