Principled Eclecticism in College English Teaching in China

| January 5, 2007
Title
Principled Eclecticism in College English Teaching in China

Keywords: eclecticism, principled eclecticism, College English teaching

Authors
Yan Xiao-yun
Lida Polytechnic Institute, Shanghai, China

Zhou Zhi-yang
Donghua University, Shanghai

Dai Peixing
Donghua University, Shanghai, China

Bio Data
YAN Xiao-Yun obtained her M.A. in English as a Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics from Donghua University, Shanghai, China before she started to teach in Lida Polytechnic Institute, Shanghai, China. She has taught reading, listening and speaking, and writing. She is especially interested in Foreign Language Teaching Methodology and Computer-Assisted Language Learning.

ZHOU Zhi-Yang received his MBA in Marketing from Donghua University, Shanghai, China in 2005 and his BBA in Marketing from Jiangsu University, Jiangsu, China in 2000. He has worked for BP, Sinopec and ZTE. His research interests concentrate on quantitative analysis of various subjects, such as marketing, psychology and sociology.

DAI Peixing is currently an associate professor in applied linguistics at Donghua University, Shanghai China. He has taught in various positions for thirty years and has served as a supervisor of the MA program, the director of CALL Project since 2001. He was once a deputy chairman of the Foreign Languages School of the University and a visiting scholar of Aston University, UK, sponsored by the Chinese Government. Dai’s research interests are in methodology, constructivist learning and Computer Assisted Language Learning

Abstract
In general, eclecticism in language teaching holds that although no single language teaching method manages to meet all the teaching and learning needs, many methods have valuable insights that should be drawn on. But it has been criticized for its lack of principles. Thus principled eclecticism and teaching by principles have been pursued. This study investigated the attitudes and perceptions of the College English teachers in China towards eclecticism and principled eclecticism in their teaching in the intensive English language program, and the methods or approaches and teaching techniques they employ; and, through a case study, it probed whether the real teaching practice of principled eclecticism was as eclectic and principled as the proponents described at the theoretical level. After analyzing the questionnaire from 155 teachers and 51 students, a 12-week classroom observation, and person-to-person interviews, the authors find that eclecticism does exist and is widely practiced by College English teachers and is warmly welcomed by the students.

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 17