HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 19 no. 3 (2010)

EFL Teachers and English Language Education in the PRC: Are They the Policy Makers?

Minglin Li

Discipline: Education, English



This article explores the relationship between the national English language policy and its implementation at the local level in Chinese schools through the eyes of in-service teachers. Interviews were conducted to examine the policy awareness of EFL teachers in various primary and secondary schools in one province in China. Content analysis was employed to analyze the data to show that EFL teachers were not following the instructions in the national English curriculum to guide their classroom teaching, but were rather critical to the objectives and requirements described in the curriculum. The reason for this was revealed to be the gap between the curriculum policy and practical teaching situations. The results suggested that involving classroom teachers in policy making may help the national language curriculum more applicable and implementable. This may shed light on the question of whether teachers are just implementers or whether they help to shape and develop policy.