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EIL, ELF, Global English: Teaching and Learning Issues

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Cesare Gagliardi and Alan Maley

How can you teach the English language to global English speakers? Can English be taught as an international language? Is it worth teaching? Isn’t it more proper and profitable to learn a standard variety of English? How realistic and useful is the identification of an EIL/ELF variety? Can an EIL/ELF standard be identified? These are some of the questions the present volume has addressed with the contribution of some of the most qualified scholars in the field of English linguistics. The book is divided into four sections. The first part deals with the definition of English as an international language and English as a lingua franca. Section two takes six different teaching issues into consideration. The third section examines some learning issues and the last part of the volume debates the relationship between teacher and student in an English as a lingua franca environment.

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RONGCAI YANG Transformation of Thinking in Chinese Students’ Learning of English Vocabulary 265

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265 RONGCAI YANG Transformation of Thinking in Chinese Students’ Learning of English Vocabulary 1. Introduction The number of undergraduates in Chinese universities and colleges amounts to more than 114 millions. In order to keep space with the world and to learn western culture and science, the Chinese government has been stressing on English teaching in all levels of schools. Therefore, English is compulsory in universities and col- leges. The national examinations of Band 4 and Band 6 are applied to judge the teaching and to encourage the learning of English. Both the government and learners have benefited a lot from the English language. Despite the great achievements of English teaching in China, there has been a large gap between the investment and the output. A report in a class of non-English majors showed that 40% of the stu- dents spent more than six hours in English vocabulary study (Wang Jiaqun, 2006). Another survey showed that 78% of university stu- dents consider English words as the most troublesome item, and all of them regard English words as a decisive element in English learn- ing (Deng Zhaochun & Zeng Zhongping, 1998). Gui Shichun & Yang Huizhong compiled CLEC (Chinese Learner English Corpus), which includes more than 2 million items. According to the analysis of CLEC, 51% of mistakes and errors are due to incorrect spelling and improper use of English words. 266 Figure 1. The proportion of mistakes. According to the investigation, there have been 5,806 spelling mis- takes for the most 3,...

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