Vol. 7. No. 4 A-2 March 2004
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Understanding Professional Challenges Faced by Chinese Teachers of English

Liying Cheng
Queen's University

Hong Wang
Queen's University


Drawing on work in general education, second/foreign language teacher education has begun to recognize that within its knowledge base, teachers, apart from the methods and materials they may use, are central to improving English language teaching. To understand the professional development of teachers in the English as a foreign language context, this paper reports a survey study among 47 in-service secondary teachers of English (Grades 7-12) who were attending a summer professional upgrading program in a Teacher College in Northern China. The results indicate that the challenges these teachers face are connected with the unique centralized examination-driven educational system. The findings also provide an understanding of their professional development needs and entail implications on second/foreign language teacher education programs in such a context.

Keywords: ESL, EFL, China, teacher education,teacher training, professional development, ESL/EFL teacher education, Chinese teachers of English, teaching context


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