The Impact of China's entry into the WTO on foreign language education in China

Year: 2004

Author: Wang, Yan Jun, Robertson, Margaret

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

More than two years have gone by since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since then many changes have taken place in all aspects of everyday life across the country. It is argued that China’s entry into the WTO has brought with it challenges as well as opportunities, in many fields including education. Educators should adopt the concept of lifelong education and view education in global terms. In particular, English language teaching in China should consider the changing demands of society under WTO, such as: applying a variety of teaching methods and strengthening the training of foreign language teachers. Cultural change is an inherently complex process, in many ways unprecedented for both China and the WTO. Since the impact is unavoidable, we should get to know, master and use the WTO rules and regulations, so as to grasp the advantages while avoiding the disadvantages and trying our utmost to turn the challenges into opportunities.

This paper reports on the social and economic changes in post-WTO China and the general impact of entry into the WTO on Chinese education, particularly focusing on its impact on foreign language education in China. This paper also considers how much progress has been made in improving the teaching of English as a foreign language in China and what challenges will need to be met in the future.

Key words: WTO, foreign language education