Introduction: Why Study Globalization and Culture through English-Language Learning and Teaching in China?

Part of the Language and Globalization book series (LAGL)


China Southern University (CSU) Vice-Chancellor Tsing, who had previously worked as an administrator in the USA and had come to CSU in 2002 to oversee teaching reforms and the implementation of the English Language Center (ELC), often recounted a story about her first weeks on campus and her amazement at seeing all of the desks in the classrooms bolted to the floor and lined up in rows facing the teaching lectern. In her desire to institute student-centered teaching reforms and her belief that Chinese education was becoming more Western through the influence of the many foreign teachers on university campuses across China, Vice-Chancellor Tsing felt that the rows of desks had to be unbolted in order to allow students to work in groups with desks facing each other instead of the teacher. After much debate with administrators and staff, she threatened to go through each room with a wrench and unbolt each desk herself. She eventually convinced the university to buy new desks without bolts for most classrooms, and she often remarked that the unbolting of the desks illustrated the perseverance needed to reform Chinese education and change traditional ways of teaching and learning in China. In this way Vice-Chancellor Tsing argued that China and the global West were moving towards a shared educational culture.


Language Teaching Chinese Communist Party Cultural Revolution English Teacher English Learning 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hunter CollegeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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