This paper “Foreign-Languages Instruction in Chinese and British Higher Education” will conduct a comparative analysis in higher education. The analysis will be carried out in light of the issue of culture and language with regard to the restored concern for citizenship and national identity…
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In the 1980s, Bob Adamson and Heidi Ross had experienced teaching English in China. The latter viewed foreign languages instruction in China as modernisation’s indicator, a phenomenon that was complicated and demanding (Potts 2003). As stated by Ross (1992), “Foreign language teaching in China has both reflected and complicated the competing political, economic and cultural imperatives secondary schools have been expected to mediate” (p. 240). The conflict between an ‘international interdependence’ and a ‘highly-cultured, public-spirited and well-disciplined socialist civilisation’ (Ross 1992, 243) that was invoked by modernisation was shown in the opposition between natural and teacher-directed use of foreign languages. As expressively articulated by Ross (1992), educators opposed and attempted to deal with these demands:Like Beijing opera stars who spend three years in the wings to perform three minutes on stage, the foreign language teacher’s fulfilment as a professional comes from moments when carefully constructed lessons are masterfully delivered. Relinquishing the metaphor of teaching and learning as perfect performance requires that secondary school teachers accept the learning process as an unpredictable, socially-constructed activity. That they are grappling with this challenge is clearly reflected in the growing trend to ‘psychologise’ secondary school foreign language teaching policy and practice (Ross 1992, 244-245). Higher education instructors in China revealed....
years in the wings to perform three minutes on stage, the foreign language teacher’s fulfilment as a professional comes from moments when carefully constructed lessons are masterfully delivered. Relinquishing the metaphor of teaching and learning as perfect performance requires that secondary school teachers accept the learning process as an unpredictable, socially-constructed activity. That they are grappling with this challenge is clearly reflected in the growing trend to ‘psychologise’ secondary school foreign language teaching policy and practice (Ross 1992, 244-245). Higher education instructors in China revealed that one of the problems they face was the absence of opportunity to instigate a reformed educational practice. Their students as well as their selves encountered the same pressures (Hall 2000). It was difficult to deviate from entrenched cultural beliefs and traditional methods. In the 1980s, talking about the prevalent use of the ‘New Concept English’ (Ross 1992, 248), Ross stated that educators are resolute that this rooting in ‘fundamentals’ through representation and reiteration results in ingenious performance later on. There were several educators who were able to provide an ideal performance and cultivate natural language by their pupils yet this was seldom (McLaren & Torres 1999). Higher education teachers would be anxious that, due to the inadequacy of their own language skills and time, they would fail to correct mistakes if pupils continued on a spontaneous task. Instead of feeling limited by pressures for compliance in teaching, educators in higher education reveal that an expanded syllabus from which there is slight departure recognises all the strong points of educators and balances the learning context of every student
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