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International Knowledge Network and Global English Language in China’s Higher Education By: Roy Chan Date: September 20, 2010

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Presentation on theme: "International Knowledge Network and Global English Language in China’s Higher Education By: Roy Chan Date: September 20, 2010"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Knowledge Network and Global English Language in China’s Higher Education By: Roy Chan Date: September 20,

2 Overview Agenda Why Study English? English Language in China’s HE Globalization and English English as a Global Language China’s Response to English Language as Global Language English, Identity, and Culture English Majors in China

3 Readings Chang, Junyue (2006). Globalization and English in Chinese Higher Education. World Englishes, Vol. 25, No. 3-4, p Yang, Rui (2001). An Obstacle or a Useful Tool? The Role of the English Language in Internationalizing Chinese Universities. Journal of Studies in International Education, Vol. 5 No. 4, p

4 Introduction

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9 Why Study English?

10 FACTS: The number of speakers of English as a first or second language has reached 2,213,507,500, making up over a third of the world’s population (Crystal, 2003).

11 David Crystal Founding Fellow of the Learning Society of Wales Patron of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL)

12 FACTS: 75 territories have officially recognizes English as a primary or secondary language (Crystal, 2003) 80% of all information stored in electronic retrieval systems is in English (Crystal, 2003).

13 Why Study English? English is either the single or an official language of every major international organization, and 80% of all information stored in the world’s electronic retrieval systems is English (Altbach, 1998).

14 Philip G. Altbach Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Center for International Higher Education at the Boston College, Lynch School of Education.

15 Why Study English? English is the language that people from different language groups and cultures use to communicate with each other (Yang, 2001). It is the world’s lingua franca, or in Fishman’s (1977) terms, the world’s principal language of wider communication.

16 Joshau Fisherman Visiting Professor and Visiting Scholar in Applied Linguistics at Stanford University School of Education Fishman, J. A.

17 Why Study English? The English language learner has nowadays indisputably become the language of international communication (Crystal, 1997).

18 English Language in China’s Higher Education

19 English Language in HE Learning foreign languages has been one of the basic means for China’s survivor (Yang, 2001, p. 341).

20 English Language in HE A range of international studies has shown that great importance has been given to teaching foreign languages and that this is only likely to increase (Yang, 2001, p. 342). “The global market for English language teaching and learning will increase over the next 25 years”; more than 93% agreed or strongly agreed (Crystal, 1997).

21 English language in HE Foreign language learning in China reflects China’s history, perceptions of international scholarly relations, and assessment of the world situation (Yang, 2001, p. 342). The proliferation of English learning materials has been overwhelming and English teaching has become a thriving business (Yang, 2001, p. 345).

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23 Globalization and English

24 Growing English competence has speeded up globalization by facilitating political understanding, economic activities, and cultural exchange; meanwhile globalization has been functioning as a driving force to strengthen the position of English as a global language (Chang, 2006).

25 Junyue Chang Professor of English Language at Dalian University of Foreign Languages in the School of English Studies

26 The development of “globalization” has been associated with the dominance of the English language (Bottery, 2000). Globalization was connected with the development of English as a global language (Short, 2001).

27 John Rennie Short Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland

28 English as a Global Language

29 So why is English seen as a Global Language?

30 Two Factors Why English is a Global Language: –1) The dominance of England at the end of the 19 th century –2) The rise of America in the 20 th century

31 The reason for a language’s becoming a global language has little to do with the number of people who speak it. It has much more to do with who these speakers are. When they succeed on the international stage, their language succeeds with them (Yang, 2001, p. 345).

32 The present day world status of English, therefore, is primarily the result of two factors: the expansion of British colonial power, which peaked toward the end of the 19 th century, and the emergence of the United States as the world’s leading economic power throughout most of the 20 th century (Yang, 2001, p. 345).

33 Huntington (1996) acknowledged that English has now become the world’s global way of communicating interculturally. “The world’s language is English.” English is the language that people from different language groups and cultures use to communicate with each other (Huntington 1996).

34 Samuel P. Huntington Professor at Harvard University, Department of Government Director of Harvard University, Center for International Affairs Member of the National Academy of Sciences

35 China’s Response to English as Global Language

36 There is a widespread of acknowledgement among the Chinese academics that English is becoming a global language of international communication in politics, economy, culture, and science and technology (Yang, 2001, p. 350).

37 The Chinese have started of learning or improving their English more than ever because the expansion of the Internet has further strengthened the leading status of English (Yang, 2001, P. 351).

38 Goal To train more English teachers and to build up more quality language instructors to teach English in mainland higher education institutions

39 English, Identity, and Culture

40 FACT: It is no longer true that to learn English one must learn the culture (Hamp-Lyons’s, 1983). The language (English) belongs increasingly to anyone who can use it (Smith, 1985).

41 To learn English in China does not necessarily lead to total acceptance of the culture of English-speaking countries (Yang, 2001, p. 349). Languages have inherent qualities and values and if you acquire one, you necessarily adopt to other (Fanon).

42 Frantz Fanon A French philosopher, revolutionary and a Marxist

43 English is a tool for communication, not a source of identity and community (Yang, 2001). Singapore believe “yes” to English and “no” to Western cultural values (Johnson, 1997)

44 The use of English for intercultural communication helps to maintain, and indeed reinforces, peoples’ separate cultural identities, precisely because people want to preserve their own culture and use English to communicate with peoples of other cultures (Yang, 2001, p. 348).

45 English Majors in China

46 Purpose of English majors in China To help China maintain its contact with the outside world To help China prepare for the challenges of globalization To help China participate actively in the process of globalization

47 The education of English majors was promoted by increasing exchanges with the outside world, and by increasing demand for English teachers with the official incorporation of English into national curriculum for middle schools in 1902 (Hu, 1999: 55)

48 Timeline of English majors in China Prior to 1949: 7,000 students were English majors 1952: English was replaced by Russian as the preferred foreign language –Only 8 institutions taught English 1956: MOE seek to revive the education of English majors. Only 545 teachers of English 1964: MOE made English as the first foreign language in school 2002: 150,000 majored in English –About 420 institutions taught English

49 Challenges and Problems English major graduates cannot meet the changing demands and tasks demanding other knowledge English major students have poorer academic background as a result of lack of quality teachers caused by demands English major graduates are losing their previous advantages in seeking deployment English major are seen as less competitive in the job market today because of inadequate language teaching

50 WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

51 Six New Training Models 1) English major plus courses in other specialisms 2) English major plus an orientation towards other disciplines 3) English major plus a minor 4) A major plus English language 5) English language plus another foreign language 6) Dual degree: BA degree of English language and literature plus another BA degree

52 What should be done? Also, there needs to be a: Curriculum Revision Textbook Updates and Diversification Intensify Research

53 Overview and Summary

54 The Benefits of Learning and Teaching English 1) The English language is widely spoken across the world 2) The ability to communicate and study other people’s culture 3) The advantage to read most information on The Internet 4) Allow Asian societies to research and publish articles and journals from Western societies 5) Encourage scholars to interact with Western scholars, and vice- versa

55 The Benefits of Learning and Teaching English 6) To maintain its contact with the outside world 7) To help China prepare for the challenges of globalization 8) To help China participate actively in the process of globalization 9) Better job prospects 10) To travel around the world

56 The Disadvantages of Learning and Teaching English 1) English reduce the amount of foreign language teachers teaching other than English (e.g., French, Italian, Spanish, etc.) 2) The possible extinction of countries cultural language 3) Creates competition in work place between native English speakers and non-native English speakers 4) Less jobs available for English language majors

57 The Disadvantages of Learning and Teaching English 5) Does not guarantee ethnic harmony 6) English may make all other languages look unnecessary. 7) May make more people lazy about learning other languages 8) May make the elite class to think that English is the only language to learn 9) Possibility of undergoing Westernization 10) Creates winners and losers

58 Questions? (s): / Powerpoint Presentation can be downloaded via online at:


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