Learning of English in China has met with very limited success, attributable in large part to contextual and linguistic factors. In respect of vocabulary learning, referring to the literature, we look first at the historical, cultural and traditional factors that have influenced students’ learning and made rote memorisation the dominant learning strategy. The use of this inefficient and only partially successful strategy is reinforced by the current examination system, the textbooks in use, as well as the very different grammatical and orthographic systems of the L1 and the L2, reflected in the dominant errors that occur. We report an investigation that we carried out at a university in central China into Chinese English teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding the teaching of vocabulary and conclude that, while some of the factors alluded to are slowly improving and others could be slightly improved, teachers lack much needed knowledge about the learning of lexis. Teacher training is called for. The essential elements of this training are briefly outlined and it is proposed that an experimental teaching programme be organised in the same institution where the investigation was held and the consequences of this training studied over time. Copyright © 2011 Peter Lang GmbH.
|Title of host publication
|Language awareness in teacher education: Cultural-political and social-educational perspectives
|Stephan BREIDBACH, Daniela ELSNER, Andrea YOUNG
|Place of Publication
|Frankfurt am Main
|Published - 2011