In Asia, English is no longer a foreign language but a key resource for education, government, business and the general public. Whereas thirty years ago, British and American experts believed that the best way to improve the quality of English teaching was to cancel any programs below the secondary level, Asian nations as well as European are now introducing English in primary school. But there are major obstacles to overcome: the training of enough local teachers or the hiring of English speakers, the preparation of suitable teaching materials, the development of useful tests, and the design of workable curriculums. The chapters in this book, written by leading English-teaching professionals in seven Asian countries and originally delivered at the 2010 annual conference of Asia TEFL which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, describe and analyze national policies and how they are implemented. The coverage is wide: China with its huge number of students learning English, Japan working to make the transition from elementary to secondary school seamless, Singapore continuing to use English as medium of instruction for its multilingual population, Korea developing English education policies to recognize the increased role of English alongside the national language, India building on its colonial past to make English an economic resource, Vietnam fitting English into a program of national rebuilding, and Taiwan spreading its English teaching outside the national capital. This is not a report of the views of outside experts, but of local experiences understood by local scholars of international standing. Policy makers, educators, researchers and scholars will be able to gain valuable insights from Asian experts.
1. Primary English Education in China: Review and Reflection Xin Wu 2. Issues in the Transition of English Education from Elementary Schools to Secondary Schools Kensaku Yoshida 3. Language Teaching Methods in Singapore Primary Schools: An Historical Overview Phyllis Chew 4. Primary School English Education in Korea: From Policy to Practice Hoo Dong Kang 5. Young Learner English Language Policy and Implementation: A View from India Rama Mathew 6. Teacher Preparation for Primary School English Education: A Case of Vietnam Le Van Canh and Do Thi Mai Chi 7. Planning and Implementation of Elementary School English Education in Taiwan Chinfen Chen
In Asia, schooling, teaching and learning are undergoing major changes as a consequence of wider economic, social, cultural and political movements. The success of some Asian countries in international education benchmarks has redirected attention to the region. This is counterbalanced by other countries that are struggling to educate their citizens in the midst of political instability, ideological and religious tensions, poverty and natural disasters. In spite of such broad differences across countries in Asia, pioneering and innovative research is being conducted that is of increasing interest to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and governments worldwide.
The Routledge Critical Studies in Asian Education book series will examine key theoretical and empirical research on the changing institutional and cultural contexts of Asian education. The series aims to establish a strong platform for the critical discussion of educational practices and pedagogies in Asia, and is open to Asian and international researchers with a focus on the region. Interdisciplinary research is welcomed, including education, social sciences, psychology, organisational studies, economics, history, political science, cultural studies, and language and literacy.