© 2017

Internationalizing Teaching, Localizing Learning

An Examination of English Language Teaching Reforms and English Use in China

  • Introduces grounded and longitudinal perspectives of practicing teachers, students, and administrators grappling with new classroom roles, teaching practices, and desires for English use and identities

  • Examines the enactment of top-down English language policies of internationalization with renewed emphasis on learning and using English in China

  • Offers local and global perspectives on ELT in China through two main organizing themes: teacher interpretations and appropriations of west-based teaching roles and methods, and English language learner responses to internationalization reforms


Part of the Language and Globalization book series (LAGL)

About this book


Based on ethnographic and policy data collected over a ten-year span at a university in the People’s Republic of China, this book analyses the history of English Language Teaching (ELT) polices in Chinese higher education. The book uses the university as a lens in which to investigate the creative imaginations and divergent (re)appropriations of teaching methods, learning materials, and language use in the Chinese ELT context. Book chapters move beyond mere descriptions of tensions and point to the local understandings and practices of English teachers (both local and foreign) and students. Working together, these teachers and students are constantly articulating new social and political conditions and meanings outside and inside given discourses and traditions of ELT. The book’s main argument is that these multiple stakeholders must be given a more prominent role in shaping policy and curriculum at universities and other English language contexts around the world.


language teaching reforms teacher identity student identity language ideology English as an International Language English-medium universities,

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Hunter CollegeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

About the authors

Paul McPherron is Associate Professor of English at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), USA where he also coordinates the ESL program. He is a socio/applied linguist whose research interests involve questions about English language learning and teaching in relation to identity, globalization, and teaching policies, particularly in China and the United States.

Bibliographic information


“I have been longing to see a book like this in print. It neatly captures and complicates troubling yet intersecting dichotomies prevalent in English, ELT, internationalization, globalization, and the idea of China as a rising power. McPherron’s autoethnography sophisticatedly shapes and is shaped by the many tensions and fascinating self-challenging moments that are both revealing and revealed throughout his journey as a researcher and a teacher. A very fine accomplishment!” (Phan Le Ha, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA)

“This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the complex intersection of globalizing surges, fluid language policies and dynamic policy enactments around ELT in contemporary China. Extremely grounded in its orientation and most lucidly written, McPherron pays close attention to the kinds of details that make up our heterogeneous world, not to offer a coherent narrative as much as alert us to the ever-splintering and evolving processes we term 'globalization'.” (Vai Ramanathan, Professor, University of California, Davis, USA)

“This is a book containing the author's journey of Cultures of Learning and Teaching, using ten years' case study research and experience in English language teaching in China. For anyone considering a globalised educational context and tensions with local perspectives, this is insightful reading with Chinese participants' perspectives and first-hand stories to ponder and reflect upon.” (Martin Cortazzi, Visiting Professor, University of Warwick, UK and Lixian Jin, Professor, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China)