An evaluative analysis of the opinions of policy-makers, employers, teachers & students on college English education in improving the regional economic development of Guangxi, China

Huang, Binlan

June 2006

Thesis or dissertation

© 2006 Binlan Huang. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

With China's increasingly active involvement in the process of economic globalisation and international cooperation, college English education has played a more and more important role in developing high-quality talents for China's fast integration into the global economy. China's firm belief in its "open-door" policy, its fast economic development, its successful bidding for the 2008 Olympics Games and its access to the WTO further strengthen its requirement of large numbers of high-quality talents or Guojixing Rencai who possess not only rich specialised knowledge but also strong competence in English. Guangxi, one of the less developed minority regions in China, is in great shortage of such talents. However, little is known about how people, particularly policy-makers, employers, teachers and students perceive college English education in improving the region's economic development.

This research provides an exploratory investigation into the perceptions of policy-makers, employers, teachers and students of Guangxi on college English education in improving the region's economic development. Data were collected during the two-year study among policy-makers, employers, teachers and students. They consisted of 20 semi-structured interviews with four different groups of respondents, together with evidence from other scholastic work and official documents. Data were subsequently analysed within the theoretical framework of economic globalisation, the economic value of English as a global language, and the role of college English education in promoting regional economic development.

The data suggested that the respondents were positive towards the economic value of English, which is in conformity with the theoretical and conceptual discussions. It was clear from the data that English as a global language has had great impact upon regional economic development, language planning and policy-making, and college English education had played a key role in developing Guojixing Rencai for the region's economic development. Their perceptions had clear impact on their own practical work, which offered insights into the development of the current college English education of Guangxi. It was found, however, that the standards of the current college English education were still too low to meet the needs of the region's economic development and quite a number of problems still existed.

The thesis concludes by recommending a series of solutions to the existing problems of the region's college English education and offers some suggestions for future research.

Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
Bottery, Mike; Wright, Nigel
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