The Importance Of English As A Foreign Language In China

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Statement of the Problem
Many English teachers in China use a traditional language teaching approach and provide few opportunities for students to practice English speaking. Chinese EFL students’ oral speaking tends to be ignored. Thus, many Chinese EFL learners are not able to speak fluent English.
The national education system in China has implemented an official policy, which mandates that English is a required course from Grade three till post-graduate level (He, 2015). This indicates that many students in China receive 12 years of formal English education. Lam (2002) argued that, to some extent, English teaching has been pushed by China’s wish to advance its international status. He further indicated that two major events make Chinese
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There is no doubt that English is a popular foreign language in China. Recent statistics indicate that there are 390.16 million people speaking English as a foreign language in China (Wei & Su, 2012). As Graddol (2006) indicated, the number of English learners in China is increasing and their average age is decreasing. However, in China, the teaching of oral English has been “a weak point” (Guo & Wang, 2013, p. 57). In addition, some students in China do not find it interesting to learn English (Zhang & Yang, 2008). These students may not have the motivation to learn English. They merely treat English as a required subject and are bored in learning grammar and vocabulary (Jiang, …show more content…
They may pause during their speech production. Or they may have a hard time finding a vocabulary to express their ideas. Or they may have difficulties in understanding what the speaker is talking about. As Wei and Su (2008) put it, only 21% of English learners in China have the English communicative competence that helps them sustain conversations with English speakers after the initial greetings. This indicates that many English learners in China can’t sustain conversations in English daily communications. Some of them may have the ability to pass written examinations, but they do not have the communicative abilities to communicate effectively with others. For this particular group of learners, Chinese people call their English “Dumb English” or “Deaf English” (Fan, 2010, p. 111). In fact, many English learners find speaking the most difficult skill to learn (Zhang,

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