Bei YeFollow

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2018

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Luz Navarrette Garcia



English shadow education, whose curriculum in the shadow mimics the curriculum inside the school (Zhang, 2014) has become increasingly prevalent in China. The fact that English shadow education simply serves for dealing with examinations without developing learner autonomy and communicative competence is a problem that needs to be solved. However, the huge demand for shadow education is derived from deep-rooted traditional values and the current education system. Also, many contextual realities such as high student-teacher ratio, overloaded curriculum, and teachers’ limited English language proficiency (Nunan, 2003; Yu, 2001; Zhang & Watkins, 2007) stop teachers applying the Communicative Approach and should be acknowledged.

Therefore, two problems that are addressed in the project are the contextual realities in China that confine the application of the Communicative Approach, and how TESOL practitioners can adapt the Communicative Approach with the consideration of China’s local needs. The purpose of the project is to create a handbook to help TESOL practitioners better understand English shadow education in China and remind them to be mindful of conducting any teaching approach before understanding local sociocultural context.

Keywords: English shadow education, the Communicative Approach, the Grammar Translation Method, China education system