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China's teachers urged to offer advice

By Zou Shuo in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-23 07:49

Chinese teachers and researchers of English should share their experience of teaching the language with the world by publishing more papers in international journals, according to teachers and experts attending the 2018 TESOL China Assembly.

The three-day conference, which attracted more than 1,800 English teachers and experts from home and abroad, concluded on Sunday. Attendees gained insights into modern trends in English, and called for more international exchanges in English-language learning and teaching.

Han Baocheng, English professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said that in recent years English-language scholars in China have made great achievements in research into the acquisition of second languages and teaching methods, and have published many papers in renowned journals.

Their research has provided firsthand material to help foreign scholars understand the unique characteristics of the vast number of students learning English in China, and, as a result, have promoted more international academic exchanges and led to the healthy development of English education as a whole, he added.

Joy Egbert, editor of TESOL Journal, said, "I invite submissions of well-conducted research from teachers and professors to our journal right away, and we will apply to print a special issue for the TESOL China Assembly.

"We all benefit by having more conversations about what works in our classroom teaching. With so many people in China speaking English so well, something really good is going on in the country, which can inform people around the world."

The journal has always accepted submissions from Chinese researchers and has published a number of insightful papers from Chinese teachers, she said.

"They have been innovative, well-expressed and really made a difference," she said.

Many countries are moving from teacher-centered tuition to learner-centered tuition, and advice from Chinese teachers in the field would be particularly valuable to teachers around the world, she added.

Liu Jianda, vice-president of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, said China has made great achievements in research into innovative teaching methods and language assessment.

The country's first English proficiency evaluation standard, "China's Standards for English Language Ability", was published in April.

It stipulates detailed requirements for listening, speaking, reading and writing, he said, adding that the measure also includes assessment of practical skills, such as translation, where standards are rare worldwide.

Katherine Lobo, professor at Brandeis University and Lesley University in Massachusetts, said the context of teaching English in China is quite different from other countries because of the large population.

Sharing best practices globally, learning from what others have done and being inspired are very important, she said. "We are a family of educators and a family of speakers of English."

Lynn Mallory, professional development manager at Oxford University Press (China), said: "I have seen a huge jump in the development of research from China and I am really impressed with the depth of research that comes out of China nowadays. The government's policy of building world-class universities has really made a difference and prompted the academic community in China to undertake research, which will benefit the world."


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