Isaac Scientific Publishing

Journal of Advances in Education Research

Critical English Foreign Language Teacher Education in China

Download PDF (412 KB) PP. 92 - 104 Pub. Date: May 2, 2020

DOI: 10.22606/jaer.2020.52008


  • Ru Shang*
    Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, EX1 2LU, Exeter, England
  • Salah Troudi
    Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, EX1 2LU, Exeter, England


This paper is an attempt to address two distinct approaches to English language teacher education in China. The first represents an established mainstream approach to teacher development which reflects the central role of linguistic and communicative elements within teacher knowledge. This approach is often characterised by a focus on communicative pedagogy, social interaction, language proficiency, standardisation, and language curricula that aspire to strike a balance between language and communication. The second approach, still in its infancy, espouses principles of critical language education and critical pedagogy in developing teacher education programmes. This approach stresses the centrality of the humanistic element of education. It aims to raise teachers’ awareness about the importance of relating content and classroom pedagogy to macro social issues beyond the boundary of the classroom. The paper will also consider the feasibility and challenges of adopting such a critical approach to English language teacher education in China.


English language teaching, teacher education, critical approach, critical pedagogy


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