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The history of CLT in China

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  • Michael Butler
    Dave wrote: -Around 1980 Professor Li at the Guangzhou University -of Foreign Studies introduced the communicative -approach to China. It caused no small stir
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2003
      Dave wrote:

      -Around 1980 Professor Li at the Guangzhou University
      -of Foreign Studies introduced the communicative
      -approach to China. It caused no small stir
      -and there was much opposition. Please also remember
      --CA caused a stir in the west when it first appeared.
      -But around 1990 the education department
      -decided to adopt it officially as the way to teach.
      -However, there was a lot of resistance to this and
      the -government backed down around 1995 instructing
      -the teachers to take an eclectic approach (take what
      -you like and leave the rest)

      I find this history facinating. Do you know if the
      1990 edict to adopt CLT encompassed the entire system
      or just certain parts (primary, secondary, higher)?

      Do you know if this edict altered in any significant
      way the content of entrance tests and the content of
      the syllabus?

      Michael
    • Sheila Cornelius
      ... Please also remember ... CLT approaches to foreign language teaching were already in place in the seventies in England, when comprehensive secondary
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 1, 2003
        --- Michael Butler <redsable50@...> wrote:
        > Dave wrote:
        >
        Please also remember
        > --CA caused a stir in the west when it first
        > appeared.
        > -But around 1990 the education department
        > -decided to adopt it officially as the way to teach.
        > -However, there was a lot of resistance to this and
        > the -government backed down around 1995 instructing
        > -the teachers to take an eclectic approach (take
        > what
        > -you like and leave the rest)
        >
        > I find this history facinating. Do you know if the
        > 1990 edict to adopt CLT encompassed the entire
        > system
        > or just certain parts (primary, secondary, higher)?
        >

        CLT approaches to foreign language teaching were
        already in place in the seventies in England, when
        comprehensive secondary education was introduced and
        there was a need to teach foreign languages, in
        particular French, to students across the complete
        ability range instead of just the top 15%.

        I remember my friend, who was French and an
        experienced teacher of the grammar-translation school
        complaining bitterly at what she saw as the
        watering-down of the subject. There wasn't at that
        time a centrally-dicatated syllabus, but each school
        adopted the approach it chose and there was a general
        acceptance that CLT was the way forward with
        non-academic students.It went along with a switch to
        Spanish by some schools, as it was seen as an easier
        language. Where students failed in that there was a
        subject called European Studies with a very small
        component of actual language content.

        I think it is interesting that some teachers regard
        CLT in China as appropriate for all students and am
        not surprised there is some resistance.


        Sheila
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