TIRF - Chinese Perspective on English: Current Status and Future Trends


Published on

TIRF Board member, Jun Liu (Professor and Head of the English Department, University of Arizona), addresses the current status of English and predicts future trends in China. Issues include promoting research and best practices to improve the use of English in the global knowledge economy.

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

TIRF - Chinese Perspective on English: Current Status and Future Trends

  1. 1. The Impact of English in China -- An Insider’s Perspective from Outside<br />A TIRF Presentation<br />Jun Liu<br />Professor and Head<br />English Department<br />University of Arizona, USA<br />
  2. 2. When it comes to China…<br />
  3. 3. Everyone wants to learn English<br />
  4. 4. Iwasone of them.<br />
  5. 5. The Role of English around the Globe<br /> English is critical for countries’ successful participation in the global economy, that it provides individuals with access to crucial knowledge, skills and employment opportunities and enables organizations to create and sustain international skills.<br /> (The British Council 2010)<br />
  6. 6. The Role of English in Asia<br />English, as a multinational tool, is having significant and profound effects on Asia’s language policies, educational systems and patterns of language use.<br /> (Bolton, 2008; Kirkpatrick, 2008; Nunan, 2003)<br />
  7. 7. Current Status of English in China<br />More than 300 million Chinese are studying English, according to a speech delivered in Jan., 2009 by Premier WenJiabao. <br />
  8. 8. Current Status of English in China<br />McKinsey & Co. estimates that China's foreign-language business is worth $2.1 billion annually.<br />
  9. 9. Current Status of English in China<br />Many parents want to send their children to study abroad, which creates a huge market in English-Speaking countries.<br />
  10. 10. Current Status of English in China<br />Many English learners and teachers want to teach Chinese in English-Speaking countries to experience what it is like to be “native speakers”.<br />
  11. 11. The Impact of English in China<br />Formal education<br />Private language sectors<br />Academic research<br />Media<br />Business<br />Tourism<br />
  12. 12. Formal Education<br />English as a mandatory subject in schools and universities<br />National language policy (2001)<br />National English Curriculum Standards<br />National English Examinations (e.g., CET4, CET6)<br />Mathematics and science being taught in English in schools<br />STEPSS<br />
  13. 13. Private Language Sectors<br />
  14. 14. Disney English in China<br />Mickey Mouse has a new job in China!<br />
  15. 15.
  16. 16. English First<br />English First (EF Education), the world's largest private educational company that specializes in English training, educational tours and cultural exchange was designated as the supplier to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.<br />
  17. 17. Wizard School<br />
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Crazy English in China<br />
  20. 20. Crazy English<br />“Crazy English”, an unorthodox methods of teaching English based on shouting words and sentences out aloud, claimed by Li Yang, helps students remember better, and overcome inhibitions.<br />According to Li, about 12 million people in China were using his method, even attaining celerity status (The New Yorker, April 28, 2008).<br />
  21. 21. Academic Research<br />Proficiency in English being a prerequisite in academic discourse<br />English being used in international conferences in China<br />Universities publishing academic journals in English<br />Prestige in publishing in international journals and present at international conferences<br />
  22. 22. Media<br />English gaining an increasing presence in newspapers and periodicals (e.g., China Daily, Beijing Review, Shanghai Daily, Shanghai Star, Beijing Weekend, 21st Century #English, the World of English, and the World of Chinese)<br />English being a strong presence in media (e.g., CCTV9, China Radio International)<br />Internet being a major force in the expansion of English in China (e.g., 2,878,000 websites, 16 billion web pages, with 298 million ‘netizens’<br />
  23. 23. Business<br />About 40,000 foreign companies being set up in China annually with a total of 25 million employees in 2007 (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2009)<br />Many Chinese businesses having English names (e.g., China Telecom, China Mobile, Bank of China, Commercial and Industrial Bank of China)<br />Faxes and email communications being conducted in English, and much Chinese literature and documents being translated into English<br />
  24. 24. Tourism<br />About 18,352,700 foreign tourists having visited China between Jan. and Sept. 2008 (China Hospitality News, 2008)<br />The use of English in hotels, tour groups and travel agencies being a must.<br />Tourist information, signs, airport announcements, and so forth are all bilingual.<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
  32. 32. The emerging issues of English in China<br />“The role and status of English in China have reached unprecedented heights, although fundamental cultural and political tensions remain” Gil & Adamson, 2011)<br />
  33. 33. Sociolinguistic Transition<br />The internet has changed everything, and the rate at which Chinese have taken to this new technology is bound to have significant effect on English language awareness, learning, and use.<br />The increasing presence of competent Chinese English contributions in internet forums is an indication of the speed of progress.<br />
  34. 34. Linguistic Creativity<br />A new variety of English, China English, is emerging in the literature and media. <br />Such localized varieties can be predicted for any country that has adopted English as a medium of communication.<br />
  35. 35. Fuzziness between SL and FL<br />“Although Shanghai is not a society (not yet) where English is frequently used in any formal or informal domain, the societal involvement, the numerous English programs accessible to the public as well as to school children, the ever-increasing number of native English speakers and highly proficient non-native speakers have created a de facto English as a second language environment”. (Zou and Zhang, 2011)<br />
  36. 36. Linguistic imperialism revisited<br />Linguistic imperialism (Phillipson, 1992)<br />More and more people seek and use English for various economic, socio-cultural and political reasons (Morrison and Lui, 2000)<br />In the post-colonial era, the concept of cultural and linguistic capital appears more relevant to the context such as China (Bourdieu, 1977)<br />
  37. 37. Social Divisiveness<br />As linguistic capital, English is fervently pursued by all people in society. Economically and socio-politically privileged groups have an upper hand because they have access to the resources necessary for amassing this capital and the power to make the rules so that they appear to gain it legitimately (AnweiFeng, 2011).<br />
  38. 38. L1 Chinese Maintenance<br />Critical Period Hypothesis<br />Chinese L1 literacy<br />Chinese calligraphy<br />
  39. 39. Home and minority language loss<br />With Mainland Chinese as L1 and English as L2, the two leading subjects in schools starting from very young age, how dialect speakers and minority language users in these societies can maintain their linguistic identities is undoubtedly a huge challenge.<br />
  40. 40. English is very powerful, but…<br />English is not almighty. Special care must be paid when policies regarding the medium of instruction in schools are being determined.<br />English is not the only international language. Other languages such as Chinese are used for international communication.<br />Imagine when 300 million Chinese are well trained in English, what will happen next?<br />
  41. 41. Transform tomorrow today<br />
  42. 42. I want to speak English!<br />
  43. 43. Thank you!<br />