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Professional Development of Secondary EFL Teachers: Lessons From China

by Guangwei Hu - 2005

Since China initiated its modernization program in the late 1970s, professional development of secondary teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) has been given much prominence because of the perceived important role that English can play in the modernization drive. This article provides a critical overview of secondary EFL teacher education in China with the intent of offering useful lessons to foreign language teacher education in other parts of the world. The critique is made within a framework that draws on theoretical and empirical research on teacher education in four areas: (a) the knowledge base for teaching, (b) pedagogical effectiveness in fostering knowledge acquisition and intellectual qualities that support continuing professional development, (c) professional development in the community of practice, and (d) the coherence of professional development work. Through the analytical lenses provided by the framework, the article scrutinizes two curriculums for secondary EFL teacher preparation programs and the instructional practices prevalent in these programs. It also examines secondary EFL teachers' continuing professional development in the workplace and through formally organized in-service programs. Based on the critical examination, suggestions are made for addressing identified problems and improving the effectiveness and relevance of the EFL teacher education system.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 4, 2005, p. 654-705
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11816, Date Accessed: 3/29/2020 11:21:13 PM

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About the Author
  • Guangwei Hu
    Nanyang Technological University
    E-mail Author
    GUANGWEI HU is an assistant professor in the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research interests include second language acquisition, English language education in China, and foreign language teacher education. Among his recent publications are “Psychological Constraints on the Utility of Metalinguistic Knowledge in Second Language Production” (Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 2002) and “English Language Teaching in China: Regional Differences and Contributing Factors” (Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2003).
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