Towards more effective approaches in teaching oral English to Chinese students in EFL teaching

  • Ning Wang

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This study examines the problems involved in oral English teaching in the Chinese tertiary institution Erwai (the Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute). In the study the author analyses oral English teaching in China based on his experience as a teacher of English in China, his two-year study experience as a student in Australia, interviews with colleagues, and class observation of oral English teaching by Australian teachers in the C.C.A.E. Special English Programme. Some materials from Erwai are also drawn on in the study, such as Erwai-compiled textbooks and the Erwai teaching curriculum. During the study the author has referred to many books and journals on TESOL in various libraries in Canberra. The theoretical knowledge and teaching techniques learned in the TESOL Programme at the Canberra College of Advanced Education have also helped the author carry out this study. Chapter One introduces the background to the problems which exist in oral English teaching in China. It emphasises the importance of Chinese teachers' having a clear understanding and a good command of a wide range of techniques in teaching oral English. Chapter Two examines some approaches now used in oral English classes at Erwai. This chapter also analyses students' motivation to learn oral English, the teachers' performance in oral English classes as well as when and how to correct students' mistakes in their oral English. Some practical oral activities which Erwai has arranged for present students and is thinking of arranging for future students are also discussed in this chapter. Chapter Three identifies and analyses in more detail theories of teaching oral English such as the audiolingual method, counselling learning, the direct method and the eclectic approach. In Chapter Four some activities are suggested to make oral classes more enjoyable. In second year oral English classes, repetition and situational dialogue are far from enough for teaching oral English. Short plays and skits can be used to enrich the oral English classes. This chapter also discusses the observation of oral English classes by Australian teachers in the C.C.A.E. Special English Programme. Chapter Five considers the choice of materials and the application of materials in class. Oral English materials used at Erwai at the moment mainly come from two sources: home-produced materials compiled by Erwai or other foreign language institutes in China, and some commercially published materials imported from foreign countries. There is another source which can be used in teaching oral English - materials compiled on the basis of authentic materials such as excerpts from magazines and newspapers. In the conclusion it is pointed out that many suggestions have been made in the study about oral English teaching technique s and materials. It is hoped that such suggestions have practical value in improving the level of oral English in China in line with the country's present needs. At the same time new techniques require ample opportunity for trying out in practice before their full effectiveness will become apparent.
    Date of Award1984
    Original languageEnglish

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