English language education in China: A review of selected research

Wenfeng WANG, Xuesong GAO

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This paper reviews the research output on English language education in China published in 24 international journals from 2001 to 2006 and delineates the nature of this corpus of research. The review covers research in the following areas: the linguistic situations and culture of learning in China in relation to English language education, language policy and planning, developments in English curricula and teaching methodologies and the impact of these developments on the learning of English in bilingual and multilingual circumstances, as well as the professional development of English teachers in China. The paper also identifies the gaps that future research needs to address, such as the dynamic nature of the Chinese culture of learning, the recognition of Chinese English as a variety of English, and teaching and learning in settings including non-elite colleges, secondary and primary schools, and schools for ethnic minorities. It is hoped that this stock of research informs the efforts in similar contexts to adjust national policies and curricula to contextual complexity at a macro level and encourage practitioners to have ingenious responses to their given curricula at a local level. Copyright © 2008 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-399
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


Wang, W., & Gao, X. (2008). English language education in China: A review of selected research. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 29(5), 380-399.


  • Cultural identity
  • Education
  • Empowerment
  • EFL
  • Language policy
  • Multilingualism


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