A Tale of Two Mainland Chinese English Learners

| June 29, 2005
A Tale of Two Mainland Chinese English Learners

Keywords: Language learning approaches, The Chinese learner, Research protocols

Xuesong Gao
Ningbo Polytechnic, Zhejiang, China

Bio Data
Xuesong Gao is a lecturer from Ningbo Polytechnic, Zhejiang, China and is also a doctoral student at The English Center, the University of Hong Kong. He holds MA degrees from The University of Warwick (UK) and Catholic University Leuven (Belgium). He is currently undertaking a longitudinal enquiry into changes in strategy use among mainland Chinese students in the process of transferring from one learning context (mainland China) to the other (abroad).

This paper reports a biographic enquiry of two tertiary English learners from mainland China and attempts to capture the developmental processes of their language learning approaches. Through sharing their past language learning experiences, two Chinese learners verbalized their struggles in language learning and revealed the deep impact that their learning settings had on their perceptions of self and language learning. Their adopted learning approaches, as revealed in their biographical accounts, seem to be extremely exam-oriented and are dependent on the learners’ self-will and effort as well as teachers’ support and attention. Both learners’ accounts suggest that their language learning approaches are influenced by the contextual discourses about learning English, stressful social processes and a sense of threatened self-identity as English major graduates in a highly competitive educational context.

Category: Main Editions, Volume 7 Issue 2