Chinese Education Policy for Primary English Language Learning in 2001

A foreign language policy was instituted by the Ministry of Education in 2001. Ministry of Education Guidelines for Vigorously Promoting English Teaching in Primary Schools is the policy’s official title.

China’s society has benefited and been harmed by this strategy in so many ways. Please see below for an in-depth review of policy.

The regulation mandates that third-graders begin learning English in elementary school. This marked the beginning of a new era for the country’s foreign language programme. Implementation timeline, curriculum design criteria, textbook selections, training for instructors and governing structures were all included in the policy’s guidelines. Concerns over the policy’s implementation arose, and given that China has the world’s highest primary school enrollment, this raised some eyebrows. There were questions over whether or not the programme was just for the sake of securing Olympic approval, or if it actually fostered educational equality in the country. Internal and external school assessments have placed a high value on students’ ability to speak and write in English.
The National University Entrance Qualifying Exam is a test that students in China must take before they may apply to college. Students must take three exams: one each in Chinese, English, and mathematics. Some Chinese parents believe that their children’s ability to communicate in English is so critical that they engage tutors to begin teaching them the language before they even attend school.

All around the world, the English language has clearly had a linguistic impact. A substantial role has already been played in both the political and social development of societies by the effects of the micro socio-political lens. As a result of these developments, policy efforts and conversations about language planning as a pedagogical component of national educational systems have been involved and transpired. The People’s Republic of China’s English Language Teaching (ELT) policy provides an interesting example.

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China’s educational system was harmed by a series of inconsistent foreign language education policies from the 1950s to the 1990s. Diverse periods of Chinese history necessitated different approaches to teaching English as a foreign language.