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Professor Gu Yueguo Pro-Vice Chancellor of Beijing Foreign Studies University Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor Gu Yueguo Pro-Vice Chancellor of Beijing Foreign Studies University Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor Gu Yueguo Pro-Vice Chancellor of Beijing Foreign Studies University Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

2 ELL in China: Past, Present and Future
GU Yueguo The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Beijing Foreign Studies University

3 One knows more by reviewing the past !
温故而知新 One knows more by reviewing the past ! ---- Confucius

4 Main Headings ELL in China: the Past (up to 1949)
ELL in China: the Present ( ) ELL in China: the Future ELL: Some logistics

5 ELL in China: From Late Qin Dynasty to 1949

6 Provisions of Education
Three systems were operating in parallel: Traditional schools and colleges ( 书院, shuyuan) New schools (学堂, xuetang), and universities Missionary schools and universities

7 Traditional Schools and Colleges
Classical curriculum; Learning of Confucianism; Civil servant examination; Anti-Western learning; Orthodox and wide popularity until the civil servant exam was abolished in the last few years of Qin Dynasty.

8 New Schools and Universities
New schools, some coming from the reformed old-style traditional schools; New universities (e.g. 京师大学堂, now Peking U,国立北洋大学, i.e. now Tianjing U.) Supported by reform-minded officials; English was the primary FL being taught; In the early years, foreign language schools were set up to train interpreters and translators; In the later schools and universities, FL was the compulsory subject.

9 Missionary Schools and Universities
Missionary schools: up to 1914, reaching about 4000; (charity) Universities: about 13 or more; English was the compulsory subject to be taught and learned;

10 The Republic ( ) New national curriculum: to produce citizens of a republic, not subjects of an emperor; Traditional curriculum abolished; Confucianism no longer taught; Junior, senior middle schools and universities appeared FL (EL the most important) was compulsory; 10

11 Look at with hindsight -- 1
English was taught either from the outside, or from the top, but not from the bottom; English had never been taught for the sake of the language, but remained instrumental to all the parties involved; A fundamental change occurred to the status of English after the national curriculum reform in the late Qin and the early Republic. It became an academic subject to be learned, at least during the school or university years. Individual learners were generally not motivated by themselves to learn English.

12 Look at with hindsight -- 2
Tensions always had existed between: Chinese and foreign; Chinese learning and Western learning; ELL at the primary and ELL at the secondary; ELL at the junior and ELL at the senior; English as both an academic subject and as an instructional medium.

13 ELL in China: From 1949 to the Present
2 ELL in China: From 1949 to the Present

14 An Outline Chronically speaking: 1949 to 1966; 1966-1976; 1978- 2009
ELL in the primary and secondary education ELL in the tertiary education ELL and mass media ELL and globalization

15 Chronically speaking This period (1949-1966) witnessed
Primacy: English to Russian, and back to English; The Great Cultural Revolution ( ): The period 1978 up to the present: English as the primary FL well established; This reflects the impact the political atmosphere has on FL in China.

16 ELL in Primary and Secondary Education

17 FL (Russian or English)
In the early years of New China, national curriculum kept being revised over when FL should be taught: Throughout the secondary education Starting from Grade 3; Only during the senior middle school;

18 English Replacing Russian
NC (1959): Junior English back again English for Primary Education (1962): experimental in good schools; By 1963, English in practice replaced Russian as the most taught FL

19 ELL and Foreign Language Schools
Foreign language schools: starting from 1958; By 1965, there had been 14 foreign language schools.

20 ELL and Teacher Training
NC (1978): from Grade 3 all the way to the Senior Middle School; in practice, only the Senior Middle; Teacher training for JMS and SMS in 1983: the British Council Projects (personally involved)

21 The latest debate (in Chinese way)
The junior vs. senior: more or less settled --- both; Grade 3: depends on local conditions; Pre-school children: should they start learning English? No authority has ever said yes. But the impetus is building up from the bottom, and reinforced by the invisible market force, particularly by the publishers, and profit-driven training programmes. This triggers a question raised by some skeptics of whether it is worthwhile learning English in the first place.

22 ELL in Tertiary Education

23 Two General Divides English as major
English as non-major --- now officially known as College English

24 English as Major: the latest trend
In the past: English as Major == Language and literature; Now English (as language) plus … appears as a general trend. In other words, English is becoming an instructional medium. Qualified staff is in big demand.

25 English as Non-Major Curriculum: debated for a decade:
Literacy vs. oracy; Core English vs. ESP; Two years or four years; Are the time and efforts worthwhile? Oversized classes --- what to do?

26 ELL and Technology English as Non-Major --- the majority of learners;
Shortage of qualified staff; CALL: considered to be a viable supplement; Nearly all colleges and universities are required to have some sort of CALL component in ELT

27 ELL and Globalization Joint ventures; Tourism Overseas investments
International exchange programmes All these create a massive demand for in-service training.

28 Studies overseas From 1982 to the early 1990’s --- selected and sent by the State authorities Since 2000, students privately paid increased drastically; The latest trend: senior middle school graduates choose to have college education abroad.

29 Test-driven training Training for TOEFL and IELTS proves to be an inexhaustible market; New Oriental is a well-known case; The latest trend: college entrance exams such as SAT boom, which reflects the trend of SMS graduates going to college overseas.

30 ELL and Mass Media Mass Media has always been considered to be the most cost-effective way to teach FL; Popularization of English owes a great deal to mass media.

31 ELL in China: the Future
3 ELL in China: the Future

32 Reflections There are a wide range of factors, which can be grouped into two general groups: Visible hand: Government policies National curriculum National economy and GDP Invisible hand: Market forces Nationalism in joint ventures International environment Groups of interests (e.g. organizations, stakeholders)

33 Areas of tension EL in Pre-school EL in primary education
The way EL is being taught and learned in secondary and tertiary educations EL and its connection with job promotion and career EL and nationalism in joint ventures (Korean being required in Korean joint ventures)

34 Fundamental changes Individual space and resources privately owned have changed beyond imagination; More and more individuals’ motivation for learning English becomes a matter of personal choice;

35 Intellectually speaking
EL as an academic subject will remain carved in the curriculum; EL as a window to the outside world will remain open to Chinese intellectuals for ever (e.g. access to academic works is wanted by every intellectual)

36 Chinese vs. /& English in the global context
The Chinese language As a medium of social interaction (increasing steadily) As a medium of academic works (very limited outside China) As a medium of instruction (limited outside China) As a medium of history (confined to a very few sinologists)

37 4 ELL: Some Logistics

38 Learners of English According to a survey in , about 370 million learned English in one way another; Junior and senior middle school students: about 80 million.

39 College English Learners
Annual intake: 5 to 6 million, Two years’ turn-over: 10 to 12 million;

40 Foreign languages currently taught in China BFSU: 46

41 The latest survey on FL preference
English 88.98% French 5.99% Japanese 5.81% Korean 3.08% German 2.48% Russian 2.06% Spanish 1.74%


43 ELL and Education National Curriculum for Middle School (1950) (junior) 4 (senior), for 6 years, Russian or English NCMS (1954, 1955), no FL for junior; NCMS (1956), English replacing Russian becoming the first FL NCMS (1957): English for both Junior and Senior NCMS (1958): English for Senior only.

44 ELL and Demography

45 ELL and Career

46 ELL and National GDP

47 ELL and Publishing

48 Any Patterns Emerging? Demand

49 Tensions and Conflicts of Interest


51 English was taught Robert Morrison (1807) arrived in China. According to his memoir, he was allowed to teach math and English. Missionary schools, particularly schools for girls. Two distinctive features: The Biblical subjects No fees paid, but even providing subsidies. (school of charity)

52 English as instructional language
Curriculum: English literacy

53 The Strait of Malacca


55 English was learned 京师同文馆(School of Combined Learning, Beijing 1862, Shanghai 1863, Guangzhou 1864),English was the first subject to be provided; The first intake: 10; they were virtually bought to learn it by the government.

56 Schools for Foreign Affairs (1866-1898)
There were 29 schools founded all over China, the primary objective of which was to teach foreign learning; English was the most important of all foreign languages taught.

57 India and China ELT Today 21 May 2009

58 Grahame Bilbow Director of English British Council China

59 Demand for English Language Services in China
April 2009

60 Methodology Qualitative research:
In-depth interviews, conducted face-to-face Each interview up to 30 minutes long 5 interviews with English language teachers, mix of schools/universities 5 interviews with leading employers, HR Director level or equivalent, mix of national companies serving the domestic market only and those who are ‘going global’, range of sectors Beijing and Shanghai, 13 – 22 April 2009 NOTE: care must be taken in interpretation of these qualitative results due to the small number of interviews

61 Methodology Quantitative research:
Face-to-face interviews Each interview up to 20 minutes long 200 interviews, 50 each with adult learners, potential adult learners, parents of young learners and parents of potential young learners Chengdu and Qingdao, April 2009 Comparisons also made with quantitative research conducted for the BC in 2007 by United Research China (URC) on English Language Teaching Market 1,535 central location test interviews in six cities, 1-16 April 2007, adult learners and parents of young learners with ELT schools 666 telephone interviews in six cities, 1 April – 9 May 2007, adults learners and parents of young learners

62 Desk research sources Report on English Language Teaching Market in China by United Research China, for the British Council, 2007 Social Survey Institute survey 2005 Online-education, September 2008 ( People’s Daily, May 2008 ( China Education Investment Institute, December 2008 (

63 Overview of the market

64 A growing market Experts in 2005 predicted an annual growth rate of around 15% up to 2010 Based on China’s accession to the WTO, the 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai Expo (note: this was before the global economic downturn) Data Source: Survey Results Published by Social Survey Institute of China, 2005

65 ELT dominated by private institutes
Social Survey Institute of China, 2005: Approx 50,000 ELT institutes in China China Education Investment, 2008: Over 90% are private institutes Universities act as an effective supplementary provider Solely foreign invested and joint venture institutes positioned at high end mainly concentrate on economically developed areas and cities open to the outside world, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzen

66 Focus on large developed cities
China Education Investment, 2008: Major markets for ELT in East China, North China and South China, particularly in large developed cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou Demand increasing quickly, particularly in more developed coastal areas

67 Market dominated by adult learners
The projection of English learner population between 7-45 years old in six surveyed cities, 2007: total learners aged 7-45 (Unit: 1,000) Beijing 3,814.2, of whom = 7-15 Shanghai 2,047.8, of whom 86.4 = 7-15 Guangzhou 1,502.1, of whom = 7-15 Shenyang 822.3, of whom = 7-15 Chengdu 1,110.3, of whom 93.2 = 7-15 Wuhan 902.7, of whom 59.5 = 7-15 Total 10,199.4, of whom =7-15 Source: China Statistical Yearbooks, 2007

68 But growth among younger and older learners
People’s Daily, 2008: Approx 300 million ELT consumers Mainly aged 20-40 Also growth at both ends of age spectrum – children and older people: ELT for children began early 1990s, but still in its early stage By end of 2007 there were 350 million children of school age – so huge market potential Many pre-school training institutes established – eg EF Small Stars programme Foreign invested institutes expanding in this area Growth in older learners – particularly for some vocational English courses and high-end programmes which appeal to students in their 40s

69 Career advancement key driver of demand
People’s Daily, 2008 – key drivers of demand: Improve English communications skills, particularly in work context, to expand social circle and improve career prospects Focus on practical use of English through listening and speaking practice Will become the main driving force of market demand in the future Prepare for English tests for study abroad or enrolment in schools Focus on test techniques rather than practical use of English (eg TOEFL, GRE, IELTS and CET 4/6 etc) Get professional qualifications, eg oral interpretation certificates Again, focus is on test techniques

70 Three main types programme in terms of cost
High Small % of market Developed cities Mainly foreign invested institutes (eg Wall Street) Entry level = at least 6 programmes, costing around RMB20,000 Learners are high income, mainly white collar, mid/senior management Medium Mainstream market Developed large and medium cities One programme costs RMB 1,000 – 4,000 Each class hour costs RMB 20-50 Low Mainstream market Mainly supplementary to school education Learners are mainly students One programme costs RMB 100 – 500 Data Source: China Education Investment, 2008

71 Mainly traditional methods but online growing
Small Class Mainly foreign teachers/text books Focus on listening and speaking 10-20 students per class Online Still at early stage, but showing fast growth Low cost, cheap, flexible timetable Many online training providers now use Voice Interaction Technology so can provide a ‘face-to-face’ learning environment similar to a real classroom Large Class Using self-compiled or state-recognised text books Local teachers 30-50 students per class Traditional teaching methods Widely used in test preparation training Computer-aided Combines computer-aided programmes with lectures delivered by teachers Data Source: China Education Investment, 2008

72 Some key players New Oriental School: Founded 1993
2006 New Oriental Education and Technology Group listed on NYSE Services include English and other foreign language training, overseas and domestic test preparation courses, primary and secondary school education, educational content and software and online education End of 2008 – 41 schools, 400 learning centres and 6 subsidiaries in 39 cities in China Given 7 million training programmes Test preparation courses are a particular strength – estimated that nearly 50% of Chinese students studying abroad took the NOS course 2008 – opened 8 elite learning centres in Beijing – use multi-media software (DynEd) and aimed at professionals and elite entrepreneurs

73 Some key players Wall Street Institute*: Entered China in 2000
15 training centres in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen Focuses on ELT to adults Mid/high end positioning Programmes include Introduction to English, English Online and Premier English Targets civil servants, managers, and university students Has a Corporate English Training Department and over 300 corporate clients in China * Recently acquired by Pearson

74 Some key players English First (EF) Education: Entered China in 1996
2000 – opened language schools in Guangzhou and Shanghai, now has schools in 54 cities Adopts ‘Communicative’ method of English training – encourages students’ involvement through talking and listening Major programmes include comprehensive English, teens/kids English, business English, practical English for overseas living/studying and IELTS

75 Will more study overseas in economic downturn?
China Education Investment & People’s Daily, 2008: Depreciation of foreign currencies in global economic downturn reduces cost of study abroad Speculation that this will result in more studying overseas Especially as companies slim down work force and it becomes more important to strengthen personal skills

76 The market among learners/potential learners

77 Increased propensity to learn, esp. among young
Do you think you/your child are more likely or less likely to learn English (outside school) than you were 6 months ago? Don’t know 2% Less likely No real difference compared to 6 months ago More likely Much more likely Parent of potential learner 36% Parent of current learner 28% Adult potential learner 22% Adult learner 14% Base: All respondents, China (200), parent of potential learner (50), parent of current learner (50), adult potential learner (50), adult learner (50)

78 ELT schools are preferred method for parents
Is your child currently studying English in any of these ways? Would you like your child to study English in any of these ways? Preferred for child/ren Child/ren currently use At school ELT school Other kind of organisation Personal teacher for one-to-one tuition Online training course None of these Base: All parents, China (113)

79 Group tuition preferred, but possible unmet demand for one-to-one tuition
In which of these ways, if any, would you prefer (your child) to learn English / are you/your child currently using to learn English (outside school)? Preferred Used by current learners Top mentions Group or classroom tuition ‘Teach Yourself’ guides – text book Online courses ‘Teach Yourself’ guides – audio/visual One-to-one tuition Base: Preferred - All respondents, China (200), Current – All adult learners/parents of current learner, China (100)

80 UK ELT would be considered, esp. by parents
And, in the next 2-3 years, how likely is it that you/your child will study English at a UK English language learning institute, assuming one was based in your city? Don’t know Certain to Adult learner Potential adult learner 20% 12% Parent of current learner Parent of potential learner 54% 50% Certain to Certain not to Very unlikely Very likely Fairly unlikely 2007 URC survey: Lower figures – 45% said they or their children likely to study in UK ELT institute Fairly likely Base: All likely to study at an ELT Institute in the next 2-3 years, China (182) , adult learner (46), adult potential learner (39), parent of current learner (49), parent of potential learner (48)

81 Price = key obstacle Why do you say you/your child would not study at a UK English language institute? Top mentions Too expensive Learning US English more helpful Learning a more general form of ‘international’ English more helpful UK has an image of being old- fashioned/not innovative enough Learning ‘local’ English more helpful Don’t know Base: All unlikely to study at a UK ELT in the next 2-3 years, China (30)

82 Majority would consider online learning; few certain to
How likely are you to consider learning English online in the next 2-3 years/choosing an online English learning course for your child? Certain to/ Very Likely/Fairly likely Adult learner Adult potential learner Parent of current learner 62% 78% 65% Parent of potential learner Don’t know Certain to Certain not to Very likely Very unlikely Fairly unlikely 2007 URC survey: Also showed majority would consider online Fairly likely Base: All not currently learning English via an online course, China (195), adult learner (47), adult potential learner (50), parent of current learner (48), parent of potential learner (50)

83 Low access to ELT courses at work
Does your company offer English language training courses for employees? Don’t know I am unemployed 1% Yes (8 out of 100) I am a student Courses offered: Business (4 out of 8) Basic (3 out of 8) Vocational (2 out of 8) Professional (1 out of 8) All 8 likely to participate mainly because better geared to their needs No Base: All current/potential adult learners, China (100)

84 Type of English important, especially to parents of potential learners
How important or unimportant to you is the type of English learnt? Don’t know 2% Not important at all 2007 URC survey: 55% thought original country of origin of ELT important Difference in question wording may account for some of the difference between this result and the current results Very important Not very important Fairly important Adult learner Adult potential learner Parent of current learner Parent of potential learner Very important 26% 44% Base: All respondents, China (200), adult learner (50), adult potential learner (50), parent of current learner (50), parent potential learner (50)

85 US English most popular
Which if any of these different types of English would you choose to learn/for your child to learn? 2007 URC survey: Country of origin of ELT – 52% preferred UK, 36% US Suggests preferences changing Base: All respondents, China (200)

86 Overseas materials generally preferred
When it comes to materials for English language learning, do you generally prefer those produced locally or by overseas organisations or do you have no preference? Don’t know No preference Locally Prefer overseas materials Adult learner Potential adult learner 52% 46% Parent of current learner Parent of potential learner 32% 42% Overseas Base: All respondents, China (200), adult learner (50), adult potential learner (50), parent of current learner (50), parent potential learner (50)

87 UK materials the same or better than others
Do you think that materials produced by UK organisations for English language learning are generally better or worse than those from other overseas organisations or are they about the same? Don’t know Better Worse Better Adult learner/Adult potential learner 25% Parent of current learner/ Parent of potential learner 37% About the same Base: All respondents, China (200), adult learner/adult potential learner (100), parent of current learner/parent of potential learner (100)

88 Quality & ease of use are strengths
Why do you say that materials from UK organisations are better? Better quality/more reliable Clearer/easier to use Prefer UK English UK materials have a better reputation Have a generally positive image of the UK Base: All who think materials from UK organisations are better, China (62)

89 The market among English language teachers*
* These findings are based on just 5 qualitative interviews, so are indicative only

90 Public sector tied to approved materials
Public sector schools and universities Obliged to use the textbook compiled by the local Education Commission E-courseware is tied to the text book Eg textbook for West District is ‘New Starting Point’ and the E-courseware is provided by Golden Sun Company Additional training exercises also used Ideas coming from journals, newspaper, the Internet etc Usually identified via word of mouth among teachers circles Usage determined by English department of school “I have no choice in the textbook, which is forced on us by the local Education Commission. Current textbooks are better than before, however, some key points still need to be highlighted and, as a result, I will prepare some additional materials…the E-courseware helps me prepare some games”

91 More choice of material in private sector
Private schools Flexible to choose any material which suits their students’ needs Tend to use textbooks produced overseas: More ‘native’ in terms of thinking and expression of language Better for those preparing to study abroad Sourced from Foreign Language Bookstore, Hong Kong or original country’s publisher “The materials from English speaking countries are more true to life than what we make”

92 Public sector textbooks of variable quality
Key challenge = quality of textbooks: Accuracy - compiled and edited by local Chinese, resulting in ‘Chinglish’ Not geared towards practical application of English – not relevant to students or arouse their interests, cannot be applied in everyday life “Fundamentally, the textbook we use is produced by Chinese…there are always cultural differences and we don’t have an English environment in which students can learn like native speakers” “One frequent problem is that students understand the meaning of some words but find it hard to use in their life or other contexts besides in the textbook”

93 Need for interesting, practical, up-to-date material
Interesting to students – relevant, able to stimulate interest Practically-oriented – can easily be applied in students’ real life More video/audio materials Particularly if can be downloaded from Internet – more up-to-date and flexible in terms of choice of topics “How to stimulate students’ interest is a big issue. If the resources can resonate with students, they will be compelled to learn it on their own”

94 Need to constantly improve their own skills
Teachers need to constantly improve their own skills: Maintain their own skills with daily practice Keep up-to-date with changes in current English usage Keep ahead of their own students, particularly in higher level classes “Nowadays, students get knowledge from many different channels and they can compare with the school curriculum, so teachers feel easily challenged if we are not familiar with the latest language trends and update ourselves”

95 Development opportunities felt to be limited
Current opportunities felt to be very limited, though an number of examples mentioned: Internal seminars – for teachers to share experiences Discussion Forum organised by local Education Commissions – to go through text book and hot topics likely to be covered in exams Subscriptions to English journals – eg English newspapers, China Daily Exchange programmes with overseas universities Some schools encourage teachers to study abroad – schools typically pay 50% of costs Some private schools use external organisations to train teachers

96 Limited awareness of UK-based organisations
“I never heard of any UK-based organisation providing teaching resources, maybe there are many, but I am not aware of them” British Council – high awareness of organisation, but no awareness of what it can offer teachers BBC – high awareness; some university teachers use audio clips from its web site for class materials Publishers – only aware of Longman. Dictionary well known IELTS – high awareness. Seen as passport to study abroad UK universities – Aware of Cambridge, Oxford, LSE, Warwick. Would search Times ranking of UK universities for others Examining and assessment bodies, UK language schools, websites – no awareness

97 The market among leading employers*
* These findings are based on just 5 qualitative interviews, so are indicative only

98 English is a ‘must-have’ for new recruits
English seen as a ‘must-have’ qualification, regardless of sector CET 4 and 6 are basic requirements. For some CET 6 is the minimum requirement for a new employee IELTS, GRE, GMAT and other English certificates not required, but a high score will help potential employees stand out from the crowd Potential employees also need to pass English written and oral tests, designed and administered internally For jobs which require more regular contact with foreigners, only graduates with an English major will be considered “My company attaches a high importance to English. We use a very strict process to screen their English ability. It is an important criterion which will show their ability”

99 But on-going ELT often not offered to staff
Many do not provide on-going English training or assessment for their staff* Because recruitment process screens for suitable skill level Working language internally is Chinese Training can conflict with workload commitments Overall performance seen as more important “English is not the only way to demonstrate one’s ability; if it was, we would recruit all employees with an English major…they all pass examinations so we believe that they do not have any problem to use English in their job. We review their performance, but not their English” “In general, a day release course will last for 1-3 months, and it means the staff cannot work during that period.” * Confirmed by quantitative research, just one in ten learners/potential learners in employment said their company offered such training

100 Limited awareness of UK-based organisations
Only two mentioned as possible UK providers: EF: Felt to be well known in the English training market for general public British Council: Seen as providing opportunities for company employees to study for an MBA in the UK Such MBAs felt to be useful way of improving English performance “I know very little about the UK-based English training organisations…was it EF that is from the UK? I guess so; it is a large enterprise providing training services. Also, one of my colleagues attended a programme held by the British Council. It seems that the British Council cooperates with UK universities to offer opportunities to leading national organisations only”

101 Future demand for more business English training
Economic crisis means training budgets dramatically cut in 2009 ELT not a priority Longer term, companies want ELT to be combined with business or management-related skills Work-related English training is more practical English learnt at school/university is not geared to business English English training combined with management or other business-related topics is deemed more efficient Employees can improve professional skills and English skills at the same time “TIP is not simply English training; it covers a lot of information besides spoken English, like management and EQ topics. With the training, our employees also develop their minds”

102 Summary & Implications

103 Summary & Implications
Strong and growing market, particularly in main cities and more developed coastal areas, so good potential for UK providers Especially as English increasingly seen as a ‘must have’ in the larger, outwardly facing companies Currently, market dominated by adult learners, but strong growth in the young learners market, which offers huge market potential Especially since teaching in the public sector still lags behind that available in private sector (in terms of practical application of skills and quality of learning materials) Market seemingly unaffected by economic downturn; indeed some speculation that it may increase the importance of learning English as competition for jobs becomes more intense

104 Summary & Implications
ELT institutions remain main way of learning English outside school Huge number of such institutions of varying size, cost and quality UK providers of ELT and learning materials have a good reputation Associated with quality and high levels of credibility with potential employers But, UK ELT also associated with high price (the flip side of quality?) – look for lower cost options to offer in addition higher cost/quality options? Also interviews with teachers suggest UK organisations have a low profile in China, meaning there is a need to build this profile Furthermore, US English preferred to UK English, which represents a potential obstacle

105 Summary & Implications
Online learning still at an early stage, but growing force in the market, and therefore could represent an important opportunity for UK organisations Particularly if Voice Interaction Technology can overcome some of downsides related to practising oral skills and interacting with others In-company training still quite low, except in larger companies In the short-term, limited opportunities for external organisations to help with in-company training, due to budget cuts But in the medium/longer term, opportunities lie in a focus on: Business English, combined English & business training, exchange/visit study programmes to organisations in the UK

106 Summary & Implications
Key opportunities for UK organisations in terms of: Materials design – more accurate English, with better feel for UK/US culture Expanded online offer, with downloadable exercises from the internet geared to different language skills and different age groups/abilities Teacher development activities Provision of more opportunities for teachers to practise their English skills with native speakers and learn more about the culture

107 Summary & Implications
But: Other than in private schools, Education Commissions are often the dominant decision maker on what is used (text books and E-courseware) Teachers have limited information on external providers and do not have time to proactively search for this information Therefore UK providers need to: Build closer relationships with local Education Commissions – eg in terms of help with compiling textbooks, E-courseware, Provide downloadable resources for teachers Raise the profile of UK providers and what they can do – regular E-newsletter to schools?

108 Joanna Burke Regional Director British Council China

109 The British Council in China: context and overview

110 The British Council in China
First office in China opened in Re-opened in Beijing in 1979. Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Beijing Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulates-General in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing British Council in Hong Kong (since 1948) 450 full-time staff across China The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural and educational relations founded in Over the past 75 years, we have been engaged in building relationships between individuals and organisations in the UK and those in the 110 countries and territories where we are based. Our first office in China opened in Chongqing in 1943, and we worked in China for nine years. We have now been operating in mainland China continuously since In mainland China we operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Beijing, and the Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulates-General in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing.

111 The external environment in China
One Country, two Systems Growing international profile and national pride Rapid urbanisation Economic growth (still!) Internet access and usage Need for skills development Crowded marketplace of international products and services (including education and culture) Increased buying power of government at all levels Hong Kong and mainland China. United by increasing economic convergence, development of their knowledge economies, a focus on education and a growing concern for environmental issues. Separated by diverging legal and regulatory frameworks (to 2047), business culture and history Inward mainland migration to Hong Kong is changing the demographic International profile and national pride Growing interest in China and learning of Chinese in UK Growing awareness that a rich China (like the West) will not necessarily behave like the West Increasing engagement with China from the overseas diaspora Rapid urbanisation Mass rural/urban Mainland/Hong Kong migration, set back in south by economic crisis so not at same rate but still growing Greatly increased mobility (demise of Hukou system) Large numbers of new cities with population of over 1m New middle classes with an increased demand for comfort and for cultural and educational opportunities Economic growth slower but continuing Improved living standards at a cost- environmental degradation East/west, urban/rural, extreme wealth/extreme poverty gaps Financial crisis/unemployment (inc. for the first time, graduates) Rising costs for businesses and individuals Social stability AND economic growth? Social stability without economic growth On January 14, 2009 as confirmed by the World Bank[54] the NBS published the revised figures for 2007 financial year in which growth happened at 13 percent instead of 11.9 percent (provisional figures). China's gross domestic product stood at US$3.4 trillion while Germany's GDP was USD $3.3 trillion for This made China the world's third largest economy by gross domestic product.[55] Based on these figures, in 2007 China recorded its fastest growth since 1994 when the GDP grew by 13.1 percent.[56] China may have already overtaken Germany even earlier as China's informal economy (including the Grey market and underground economy) is larger than Germany's. [4] Louis Kuijs, a senior economist at World Bank China Office in Beijing, said that China's economy may even be (as of January 2009) as much as 15 percent larger than Germany's.[57] According to Merrill Lynch China economist Ting Lu, China is projected to overtake Japan in "three to four years".[58] Social and economic indicators have improved since various recent reforms were launched, but rising inequality is evident between the more highly developed coastal provinces and the less developed, poorer inland regions. According to UN estimates in 2007, around 130 million people in China—mostly in rural areas of the lagging inland provinces—still lived in poverty, on consumption of less than $1 a day.[59] About 35% of the Chinese population lives under $2 a day.[60] In the medium-term, economists state that there is ample amount of potential for China to maintain relatively high economic growth rates and is forecasted to be the world's largest exporter by 2010.[5] Urbanization in China and technological progress and catch-up with developed countries have decades left to run. But future growth is complicated by a rapidly ageing population and costs of damage to the environment.[61] China launched its Economic Stimulus Plan. It has primarily focused on increasing affordable housing, easing credit restrictions for mortgage and SMEs, lower taxes such as those on real estate sales and commodities, pumping more public investment into infrastructure development, such as the rail network, roads and ports. Major natural disasters of 2008, such as the 2008 Chinese winter storms, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and the 2008 South China floods mildly affected national economic growth but did do major damage to local and regional economies and infrastructure. Internet access and use 220m in Feb 2008 and growing But only 17% of total population and used primarily by urban under 30s Increasingly a Chinese language web Restrictive environment China leads in mobile phone use, 3G arrived in 2009 Skill English is now a basic skill at all levels Teaching quality/communicative skills poor outside major cities Qualifications at all levels key to career development UK A prosperous future for the UK is increasingly dependent on a stable and internationally committed China and a prosperous future for China. China at the top of international priorities for many UK organisations Increased learning of Chinese. Internationalisation of young people agenda

112 Creative and Knowledge Economy Intercultural Dialogue Climate Change
A diverse range of work Creative and Knowledge Economy Intercultural Dialogue Climate Change We run a wide range of programmes in the arts, education, science, sport, society & development, and English language including examinations, principally through large scale projects which are delivered across the region.) Our work aims to build dialogue and respect, stimulate the creative and knowledge economy in the UK ’ and helping China’s population address the impact of globalisation at the personal and organisational levels, we aim to address pressing global issues, including climate change. There is increasing coherence across sectors – an example of which is Premier Skills (Sport and English

113 Market Penetration The first slide shows you where we have offices – this one shows some of the cities where we are working in China. Still predominantly Eastern seaboard as this is where markets for overseas education, populations with more international outlook etc. But the picture is changing with increasing number of cities with significant audiences looking for skills, materials and education opportunities from overseas.

114 Our China Strategy Making the most of new technologies
Working in more effective partnerships In order to: Reach new urban audiences across China in new locations Double the number of people in leadership positions and influencers we work with Triple the number of young internationally minded people we reach

115 Our goals for English Ensure that every teacher and learner of English in China has access to quality language services from the UK Increase the value to the UK of its share of the market for international education Enhance the UK’s reputation as a source of expertise and a partner for skills development Increase the UK’s contribution to international co-operation in research and innovation .There are an estimated 299 million learners of English and 1 million teachers of English in China

116 English projects in China in 2009 (policy-makers)
Engaging with a growing number of policy-makers in China in order to support and strengthen English language learning and teaching policy and practice in China. In our English work, in order to have meaningful impact, we engage with three groups simultaneously. These are decision-makers, teachers of English and learners of English. These three groups are clearly interrelated, and our engagement with them similarly interrelated. Decision-makers are responsible for making decisions that affect deeply the professional activities of teachers; and, for their part, teachers are responsible for affecting the learning experiences of learners in their classes. With policy -makers, this year we plan to engage with a growing number of influencers in order to support and strengthen English language learning and teaching policy and practice in China. We shall achieve this through policy dialogue, joint symposia and other forms of collaboration. Earlier this year we year we ran a joint symposium on English and technology and plan a series of such symposia in partnership with the Ministry of Education.

117 English projects in China in 2009 (teachers)
Engaging with approximately 100,000 teachers of English throughout China through our Teaching English website ( teacher workshops, conferences and training courses in a range of cities. Teachers of English are central to our work in English in China. This year, we plan to engage with approximately 100,000 teachers of English, by providing practical support and professional guidance through our exciting new Teaching English website, regular teacher workshops, high-impact conferences and a range of training courses in a number of Chinese cities.

118 English projects in China in 2009 (learners)
Engaging with up to 20 million learners of English through our English learning website ( mobile technology (eg Nokia) and newspapers (eg China Daily). Last but not least, Learners of English are also at the heart of our work in English in China. We have a large teaching centre in Hong Kong, but in the mainland we do not directly teach English. Instead, we engage with learners through our English learning website, through mobile technology and through newspapers. This year, we plan to engage with up to 20 million learners of English in these various ways. For the past three months we have piloted a new facility using VOIP (voice over internet protocol) to provide over 3,000 young Chinese professionals from international joint venture companies in banking, finance (e.g. HSBC, JP Morgan, Citi bank, KPMG etc. ) with one-to-one tuition from teachers in British Council across the world, and from other qualified teachers in China. We are now evaluating this exciting pilot.

119 English: Assessment IELTS
- Recognised by more than 6000 organisations; - 265,130 candidates (32% increases compared to 2007) - 31 centres across the country Professional exams and other exams - 70,000 candidates (22% increase ) - BULATS recognised by over 100 companies and organisations For many young people in China, their first experience of the British Council is at our test centres, where they take UK academic and specialist examinations. The best known exam we manage is IELTS. Over 6000 organisations (including 2000 in the USA) recognize IELTS as a reliable indicator of a candidate’s ability to communicate in English. In ,130 candidates took IELTS tests in China and increased by 32% comparing to We also open a new test centre in Suzhou, making a total of 31 centres across and making IELTS exam more accessible. Apart from IELTS, we also organise other English language and professional exams. The exams in include Test of Legal English Skills, Cambridge ESOL exams, Business English certificates, various professional and vocational examinations as well as school and university exams. In ,000 took these exams. The BULATS is recognised by more than 100 companies in China, which include fortune 500 and governmental organizations such as EU WTO. 2008 UK Professional Qualifications Campus Tour was successfully held in East China. The theme of the event is “Career Success through UK Qualifications”, aiming to help university understand how international professional qualifications can help with their career development and improve their employability in the job market. The eight international professional institutions participating in this big event covering fields of, finance, accounting, securities, corporate secretaries, logistics etc. This is the first time for such a leading group to gather together and introduce an almost new concept to college students: professional qualifications play an important role in your career development Explosive growth in IELTS over last three years, but also strong growth in demand for UK professional and educational exams. Our interpretation = growth in personal disposable income, increasing value of the RMB and growing aspirations of the millions of Chinese parents for the children to participate in the global economy has created a massive explosion in demand for overseas education. Australia the single largest destination but IELTS has an genuine international appeal. The USA is the fastest growing destination and in the space of three years has become the fourth largest single country destination IELTS recognised by Chinese government as having had a strong positive effect on standards of English learning and teaching in China

120 Examinations: IELTS 19-22 remains the largest age group – 57% of total; followed by (17%) and under 18 (15%). This reflects the primary demand for IELTS in China - as a means to access educational opportunities overseas. Only around 10% of our candidates use IELTS for immigration or work purposes. Note also the strong under 18 group which suggest a growing interest in accessing overseas secondary school education among the aspiring Chinese middles class.

121 Summer School Programme Campus presentations Agent Conference
Education Marketing Summer School Programme Campus presentations Agent Conference Agent Workshop Media Tour to the UK Mini Career Fair Alumni Career Development Workshop The above highlights some of the the various activities that we run . In 2008, we reached over 167,000 audiences through all our direct f-2-f events. Aside from promotional activities to the public, we run various activities to support our front line soldiers and influencers. Our Summer School programme in 2008 attracted over 2000 students across mainland China and we worked with 42 BC Accredited English schools in partnership with local agents. Most of these events are done in partnership with local business partners, agents, media or local institutions. For our recent agent conference ENGLISH UK as well as Accreditation UK came and represented the sector. Agents are definitely our key partners. According to Ministry of Education in China, over 60% of students going overseas apply through agents. They are therefore crucial in our recruitment and marketing strategy. We run agent conference annually in partnership with the MoE and a minimum of 4 workshops across different cities in China to engage and keep the agents informed on updates in UK education Aside from that, agent as well as media tours are conducted to familiarise the groups with the UK. We have just recently completed an agent tour and over 45 agents joined this tour of Scotland, Wales as well as England. Finally, our most important advocates are the returned alumni. We have an alumni UK network with over 15,000 members. Aside from running social activities such as alumni annual ball to keep in touch with these graduates, the Alumni UK network is a professional platform that links employers and career opportunities for our members. We run a mini career fair and professional workshop annually in partnership with the China HR association. We are also in partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce to run the annual British Business Awards to reward the achievements of our alumni via the Alumna of the Year award. Of the 25K to 27K new visas issued to students annually, over 45% will require pre-sessional English of between 4 to 20 weeks. In addition, visa section issue between 7K to 8K short term visas for summer school programmes annually. Numbers have remained steady for the past few years. BC summer school programmes increased around 15% to 18% in the past three years annually, but we might see dip this year due to swine flu. There is demand for summer school but we will not see high growth rate in individuals going to study language, the cost is too high and there are too many local opportuntiesi. BC’s promotional aims for this sector are its annual summer school programme the aim is to link new agents in new provinces to elt schools NOT to foucs on pure numbers. We want more agents to know about uk elt sector and to devlope professionalism in the agents to work with the UK.

122 Other English projects in the region in 2009
Continuing to manage the Peacekeeping English Project in China, a project designed to enhance the English language skills of Chinese peacekeeping staff around the world. Slightly outside our mainstream work, but just as important, the British Council are also responsible for managing the Peacekeeping English Project in China, part of the global network of PEP projects. This project has involved working closely with our Chinese partners at the China Peacekeeping Police Training Centre at Langfang and in the Ministry of Public Security, and our partners at the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development in the UK. Since 2007, we have established a self-access learning centre and provided related staff and learner training, developed a group of well-trained and well-resourced local teachers at the Centre, and developed a bank of materials and resources for teaching English language relevant to peace support operations contexts.

123 Other English projects in the region in 2009
Continuing to run our DPRK teacher education project, which involves collaboration with the North Korean Ministry of Education, and three of the country’s most prestigious universities. Again, in addition to our mainstream work in China, the British Council is working closely with the North Korean Ministry of Education on the DPRK teacher education project, a project which involves close collaboration with three of North Korea’s most prestigious universities, Kim Il Sung University, Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies, and Kim Hyong Jik Teachers’ University. Our work in North Korea focuses primarily on English teacher development, and curriculum and materials design in English. Our aim is to help raise the standards of North Korean language education, not only in higher education, but also in secondary and primary education.

124 Thank You

125 India and China ELT Today 21 May 2009

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