Developing students' affective attitude in primary English foreign language classrooms in the People's Republic of China

Ka Wo Benjamin LI, Yuen Mei Ina SIU

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Abstract

This paper argues against the description of the common approach to English language teaching in the People's Republic of China (PRC) as mimetic and epistemic by exploring the pedagogical practices that primary English language teachers in the PRC adopt for implementing the affective dimension advocated in the new (2001) English language curriculum. The paper starts by presenting how affect is construed in the English language curriculum. It then examines how, guided by their beliefs, eight primary English language teachers from the less socioeconomically developed regions of Guangdong - a province in the South-eastern part of the PRC - address the affective dimension promoted in the curriculum through the employment of entertaining tasks and activities as effective learning tools in a context constrained by limited resources, late start of English instruction and little exposure to the target language outside the classroom. Interviews, documentary analysis and lesson observations are used to examine the teachers' pedagogical practices. The paper concludes by challenging the depiction of teachers in English foreign language classrooms in the PRC as taking a textbook-dependent, teacher-centred, and transmission-oriented approach in their classroom instruction. Copyright © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-236
JournalPedagogy, Culture & Society
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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English language
classroom
China
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student
curriculum
instruction
textbook
Teaching
interview
language
resources
learning
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Citation

Li, B., & Siu, I. (2009). Developing students' affective attitude in primary English foreign language classrooms in the People's Republic of China. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 17(2), 221-236.

Keywords

  • Curriculum implementation
  • Affective attitude
  • Primary schools
  • Qualitative case studies