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It is here that English language and the knowledge of it becomes an advantage. Many countries include English in their school syllabus and children are starting to learn English at a younger and younger age. Abstract S3_S6: I am in Primary Three, but my English is still at the level of beginner. Cortazzi, Martin, and Lixian Jin. The ‘one child’ policy, introduced in 1978 and officially applied in 1979, has changed the family and social structure in China (Chai 2012). S1_S3: I feel irritated [when I see] many books piled up on the desk. 2012. Kirkpatrick, Andy. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2009.04.007. Manage cookies/Do not sell my data we use in the preference centre. As people in rural areas still largely rely on agriculture, labour is the priority. Many schools in metropolitan areas introduce English earlier, from Primary One, whilst for those in remote and rural areas, the introduction of English may have to be delayed due to inadequate teaching resources. Beijing. All the students interviewed came from rural migrant families, which represented 90 % of students in School Two. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0594.2009.00563.x. Comparative Education Review 47(2):141–159. According to studies in Sweden, learning a language causes areas of the brain associated with memory, namely the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, to increase in size. S2_S9: I think it is fun and interesting. advertisement. Chen, Aihua. However, if it is not tested, the equal status of Chinese, mathematics and English will no longer exist. However, the weekly contact hours for Chinese and mathematics are greater over six years of study. The importance of the English language as a second language means that how the English language is important for those people whose native language is not English. School of Languages and Linguistics, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, 4111, Queensland, Australia, You can also search for this author in Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Littlewood, William. Hu, Guangwei. One approach is private tutoring, which is very popular across the nation. 1999. On the one hand, they understand the usefulness of English and are in favour of English. At the same time, others also ought to understand English. Importance of English as a language 1. The students of School Three did not mention individually how important English was for them. It’s easy to see just how important English is around the world. The English language plays a very important role for the people whose native language is not English. S2_S6: I think that I should say after I grow up, English is useful if travelling overseas. English is a particularly important language online with more than half the content on the internet written in English. It is crucial to understand young learners’ beliefs and real needs in order to benefit the teaching and learning experiences in the current primary school context. Despite this status given to the English language in India, there is disparity in the education system. 2002. I understand that English teachers are trying to push us a bit more to study harder. This paper firstly examines China’s current primary school English language education policy and discusses the implications for the primary school curriculum. For the two students who planned to enter NFLS, their attitudes varied. Examples were provided by two students S3_S6 and S3_S7. I feel I have learnt [English] in vain (if English in the Gaokao reformed). The students considered English as important for examinations, but to a greater extent, for their future development. They commented as follows: S1_S1: My parents like comparing me with other children…however, I sourced this school (NFLS) online when I was in Primary One…as this school requires a high level of English proficiency, it is likely to have more opportunities for overseas study. Li, Minglin. 2001. In The role of the father in child development, ed. 2012. Generally speaking, where English starts from Primary Three, based on the National Curriculum in the version of 2011, the weekly lessons for three core subjects in primary schools are required as shown in Table 1 (table designed according to MOE 2011). On the other hand, this results in great pressure for the students, as English is a core subject and tested in each exam throughout 12 years of schooling. Students (approximately 95% of a total number) match the categorisation of ‘left-behind’ as mentioned earlier. First, the students were afraid of the admission standard required for NFLS (S2_S8 and S2_S9): as well as having a separate test for English, other subjects are also tested in English. However, Hu’s study focuses on the context of post-secondary students from China studying in Singapore. S3_S7: …I like English. However, these updates have challenged all of the key stakeholders in the education process, especially learners in primary schools. 1996. After the national implementation of the ‘one child’ policy, it is not surprising that most of the Chinese residents in rural settings have faced challenges, as a consequence of inadequate labour in rural communities. World Englishes 21(2):231–243. 2005. Therefore, the actual needs of students have to be explored and considered prior to the introduction of new policies. READ Problems Faced by Students in Speaking English Language 2002. Their parents thus expected continued high academic performance from them. Knowledge of the English language is important to learn to be able to communicate with others, in the teaching of immigrant students, and in finding and maintaining a job. English is the language of science, aviation, computers, diplomacy, and tourism. However, if staying in China, English is not supposed to be tested. In comparison with School One and Three, most parents in School Two had been working hard to maintain education investment in their children; however, English may become somehow extras from the main purpose of education. The results demonstrated that an aim of enrolling in private tutoring was to achieve better academic performance in exams. To begin with, ‘the earlier the better’ approach is generally supported by students across the three schools. Good knowledge of English will allow you to access films, music and literature from hundreds of countries around the globe. From Primary Three to Six, students are offered three English lessons per week with 40 min per lesson. The influence of the United States and Great Britain on political affairs and international relations for the past 100 years has ensured the proliferation and acceptance of English as the primary spoken language in many countries. Previous studies on English education in Chinese schools have key emphasis on the language education reforms (Hu 2012), language policy and planning (Kaplan et al. Family sources of educational gender inequality in rural China: a critical assessment. Chapter 5, on 'Knowledge about language', explores ways of Chai, May Lee. The majority of students come from relatively high SES status families as their parents are generally well-educated and willing to invest extra time and effort for children in performing arts and academic study. Below are the ways that knowing the language can help you as an English language learner. We are here Monday – Friday 8am-8pm and Weekends 1pm-5pm., DOI: If you speak good academic English, there're lots of opportunities for you to find an appropriate school and course to suit your needs. 2003). S1_S9: I also think English is considerably important. university in an English speaking country. Adopting a qualitative research design, which included six focus group interviews with students, the study investigated the attitudes of students toward the learning of English in the primary schools. In Exclusion, gender and education: case studies from the developing world, 71–98. The English Language play a significant role in education as it is known as the Universal Language. Interestingly, the School Two students whose parents were mainly rural migrant workers in Nanjing, ranked the useful subjects in schooling with the vast majority of them prioritising Chinese. I have to complete all my homework prior to relaxing. S1_S2: My mom asks me to go to [NFLS]…my mom told me that there was less homework in that school but there were more activities. S1_S6: With regard to English, if some foreigners come to China and [I] want to make friends with them, it is important to have ability in speaking English. English is the primary language of business throughout the world. This document supported the early introduction of English language teaching in China (Gao 2009). The students and their parents have, from the very early years of primary school, also started to consider their admission to ‘key’ secondary schools, such as NFLS, in order to enter better universities based on performance in the Gaokao. Shanghai Education and Scientific Research 上海教育研究 9:26-29. S1_S3: I’ve heard about this news. Based on the comments from the students, it was evident that they recognised the importance of examination and of admission to quality secondary schools and universities, and that English was essential for them to achieve these goals and meet their parents’ expectations. This school locates in a new area of the Nanjing West and the majority of students who live nearby and their parents are mostly middle class. Prior to the introduction of the ‘one child’ policy, most rural families believed that boys are the future for family living allowances and development, as boys are necessary for labour in agriculture. Their comments included: S1_S1: learning English is for communication when travelling to other countries after I am grown-up. Brain benefits of learning a language. In today’s global world, the importance of English can not be denied and ignored since English is the most common language spoken everwhere. Parental support for Chinese-English bilingual education: A survey of parents of primary and secondary students in Shanghai. Also, this unit focuses on establishing English as a world, official, link and library language. They ranked English among all the subjects in the school but none of them put English first. This can refer to the SES difference as the students and their parents from School Two have to overcome more difficulties and challenges; as for majority of them, education has been the way to success and examination is the fairest solution to these students from low SES migrant rural families. It was evident that the parents of nine students in School Two had been heavily involved in their English education. Hannum, Emily, Peggy Kong, and Yuping Zhang. Bianco Jane Orton Joseph Lo and Gao Yihong, 56–78. Their voices are important and indicate the different needs due to different family backgrounds, education resources and school environments. Multiling.Ed. The students’ attitudes toward English were various, but were largely positive and possibly influenced by their parents and the Socio-Economic Status (SES) of their families. Some schools use other commercial materials. It is important that the three schools represent three different styles and levels of SESs in Nanjing and China to provide an insightful understanding of students and generate reliable and generalised results for analysis. Out of all the languages, the importance of English is given below 10 Reasons why English is Important language: You can compete in the global job market, increase your career skills and start to meet people around the world. In English Language Education Across Greater China, ed. Beijing: Ministry of Education. These comments highlighted the intensity of parental demand for English education for these primary school children, and also how much pressure these students experienced. Since Taiwan shares similar socio-cultural concerns in English education in schools, Chen’s study provides a good reference and example for further studies. Here are ten good reasons to take an English language course. Their first exposure to English happened in either kindergarten or private classes when they started in Primary One. It implies that the actual needs of students and contextual situations have not been properly assessed by policy makers before introducing the English language policy in primary schools. The English language has official status even in nations where it is not the primary spoken language. Anwei Feng, 166–181. Regardless of the SES of parents, their high expectations and demand for English education for their children were the same. Lv, Shaoqing. Hu, Guangwei. It is certainly important, but, with conditions along with learning the language. S1_S2: I also have to finish all my homework, including those from school and extra classes, prior to relaxing. From school and extra classes, prior to the students in school with the exception of Two students and... 15 ( 2 ):185–204 basic literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning and strategies! 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