Learning Text by Heart and Language Education: The Chinese Experience

Xia Yu
January 2013
Theory & Practice in Language Studies;Jan2013, Vol. 3 Issue 1, p41
Academic Journal
Learning text by heart is a traditional practice in Chinese literacy education. After tracing its development in ancient Chinese literacy education, the article explores how learning text by heart was transferred to foreign language education against the background of the history of English language teaching (ELT) in China. The use of textual memorisation in learning English in recent decades is then surveyed along with a brief discussion of the legendary popularity of New Concept English, a UK-imported textbook series. It seems that learning text by heart, contrary to the prediction of foreign experts, is still widely practiced in China as a way of learning foreign languages. This calls for teachers' professional commitment to guiding the students in terms of making good use of this traditional learning practice.


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