Glocalizing ELT Reform in China: A Perspective from the Use of English in the Workplace

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3 Citations (Scopus)


With the largest number of English learners in the world, the influence of the English language teaching (ELT) reform in China cannot be underestimated. This article explores the implications of the actual use of English in China’s workplace for ELT reform in the context of English as a lingua franca (ELF). On the basis of cross-validated data (questionnaire survey and focused interview) collected from 2,495 participants, we argue that ELT reform in China should be geared towards using English communicatively in ELF settings. That is, firstly, ELT curriculum and pedagogies should focus more broadly on improving students’ communication skills instead of narrowly measuring whether they have successfully adhered to lexico-grammatical accuracy pertaining to Standard English norms. Secondly, the native-speaker-based pedagogical model of ELT in China should be enriched with judiciously selected indigenized variants as long as meaning is not adversely affected. Last but not least, for ELT reforms to bear fruit, it is absolutely crucial to ensure a steady supply of properly trained and resourceful ELT teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-165
Number of pages17
JournalRELC Journal
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • ELT reform in China
  • English communication
  • English teacher education
  • pedagogical model
  • professional English use in China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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