College English teaching : how useful is this course for Chinese students accessing tertiary education in Central Queensland
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Teresa MooreTeresa Moore, L Yujie
In this paper we report on findings from our small qualitative study that explored the usefulness of College English Teaching for Chinese postgraduate students coming to study at CQU. College English Teaching is a compulsory two-year English language course taught at universities in China. After completion of this course all Chinese tertiary students then sit an exam - CET Band IV. Graduation from a university is dependant on successful passing of this exam. Obtaining the CET Band IV is highly valued by Chinese employers however recently there has been growing criticism concerning the level of English language understanding of students who were successful in passing the exam. Anecdotal evidence suggests that students simply learn for the test and that overall the CET course does not enable students to develop listening, speaking or comprehension skills desired by Chinese employers. Eight Chinese postgraduate students who were enrolled at CQU were interviewed about their experiences of arriving and settling in Central Queensland and their perceptions on how useful the CET course had been in enabling these students to understand English as communicated in Australia. Our study found that these students used a variety of local activities that assisted them to develop a deeper understanding of English language use. These results are discussed in relation to the potential for newly arrived Chinese students to remain dependant on Chinese speakers and isolated from native English speakers.