March 2007
Volume 10, Number 4

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Tensions in the Language Learning Experiences and Beliefs of Chinese Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

Zhen Zeng
New York University
New York, USA

Elizabeth Murphy
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada


This study explores the Language Learning Experiences (LLEs) and beliefs of six non-native speaking (NNS), English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in China. Data collection involved an online questionnaire, an asynchronous focus group, as well as individual online interviews. Findings were presented as profiles of the six cases. Cross-case analysis using open and axial coding resulted in the identification of three categories of concepts as follows: positive versus negative affect in language learning; authority versus autonomy; authentic versus didactic language learning. The tensions within and between the categories and concepts point to the complexity of EFL teaching and learning in China.

Keywords: ESL, EFL, Chinese, non-native-speaking, in-service teachers, language-learning experiences, beliefs

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