The English immersion program in China is a case of educational mode transfer from foreign language immersion in North America. This article analyzes the process of the transfer from the perspective of comparative education, using the model of “four stages of educational borrowing.” First, it revisits the recent research on educational transfer and briefly introduces the model. Then, it highlights the stages of English immersion program transfer in China. Finally, it concludes that the transfer initiated actively by innovative Chinese scholars, occurs at local and micro levels, with structural context factors and supra-national and sub-national actors playing significant roles in the process. It argues that the model may be applicable in analyzing other educational modes with some adaptations when necessary.
This article reports a study on the China-Canada-United States English Immersion (CCUEI) Moral Education and Social Studies (MESS) curriculum materials for elementary classes (Grades 3–6) with the aim of learning how the curriculum addressed the dual goals of MESS content and English language learning. An analysis comparing the CCUEI third grade MESS textbook with an equivalent level Chinese textbook demonstrates how China’s national standards in MESS and English education can be met, and drawbacks encountered in the process. The CCUEI textbook was found to embrace grade level MESS content standards, but showed a varied degree of depth of content across standards. The textbook addressed all of the general goals of Level One English language learning (Grades 3–4) and most of the language skills indicators (16 out of 20). An additional in-depth teacher survey provided a user’s perspective on MESS materials. The teachers rated the textbook highly for its activity-centered format and knowledge-rich content. They emphasized the importance of teaching English language as preparation for the MESS content teaching, and asked for more systematic support in language teaching from curriculum materials.
This paper investigates the views of immersion teachers in Hong Kong and Xi’an towards the immersion curriculum they are teaching. Teachers are important stakeholders in any curriculum implementation and their views are significant in both evaluating progress and determining future directions. The teachers’ views were gathered from questionnaires and interviews. Topics include their understanding of the objectives of immersion education, their preparedness for their roles as immersion teachers, the main challenges in immersion teaching they identify and the support they receive from their schools. The responses are discussed to identify areas of concern which may be future priorities for professional development.
This paper looks into the case of a school in Macao nominated as the first (and so far the only) China-Canada-United States English Immersion (CCUEI) centre in the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) China for the experimentation and application of English immersion instruction (EI) in the K1–3 and Primary 1–2 classes. Drawing on Krashen’s Input Hypothesis (1982) and Cummins’ (2000) framework of instruction for language learning and academic achievement in the formal school context, the authors report their observations by analyzing the data collected from school teachers and participation in classes and by reflecting on their experiences, and suggest improvement that can be made to teachers’ linguistic and communicative competence, in terms of quantity and quality of comprehensible input and expected output, and thus the sustainability of English immersion classrooms in a Chinese context.
This is a documentary study of education abroad policy in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) between 1978 and 2009. By examining the dynamics underpinning the PRC state’s efforts to shape the flow of Chinese students and scholars from and into China, this article reveals the major strategies that have enabled education abroad to become a source of brain gain. It argues that China’s brain gain strategies feature three characteristics: a proactive diplomatic approach to international educational relations; strategic dependence on foreign higher education resources and a decentralized economic mechanism to raise foreign-trained human capital. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of Chinese experience for our understanding of the complex and dynamic relations between the state, the market, universities and international relations as relating to cross-border academic mobility, international educational relations, and national development in a globalizing world.
China is undergoing an education reform that calls for a change from a rigid, fixed curriculum and didactic pedagogy to a more flexible, school-based curriculum and more inquiry-based pedagogy. This study investigated the extent to which Chinese middle and high school teachers (a) endorse an inquiry-based approach and underlying learning principles, (b) practice this mode of teaching, and (c) believe that the approach is practically viable in the current educational contexts in China. A structured survey was developed to solicit Chinese teachers’ responses to the above three issues. A total of 582 valid responses were collected, representing middle and high schools in different geographic locations. The results show that Chinese teachers are receptive to inquiry-based pedagogy but find practical constraints in fully implementing it. Several cultural and pragmatic reasons are explored. Policy implications are discussed with respect to teacher education/development, capacity building for the new pedagogy, and teaching/evaluation alignment. Finally cultural issues are discussed regarding using inquiry-based learning to enhance critical thinking and nurture independent thinkers.