P5. Navigating Bilingual and International Education: Perspectives from China and Vietnam

Session: Sessioin1, 12:00 – 1:30 pm, Friday 9/29

Category: Organized Panel

Location: Humanities

Chair: Suliya Nijiati (Indiana University Bloomington)

Paper Presenters: Suliya Nijiati (Indiana University Bloomington), Quynh Dang (Indiana University Bloomington), Zhaoyi Zhang (Indiana University Bloomington)

Abstract: This panel consists of three papers that discuss the foreign language and international education policies in China and Vietnam, focusing on the academic preparation of younger generations in the face of today’s globalization. It offers in-depth analyses of China’s foreign language policies and curriculum at the elementary level, the implementation of Chinese-English bilingual education at the tertiary level, and the rapid expansion of international schools in Vietnam. This session also fosters dialogue on comparative and global education studies worldwide, taking into account the unique approaches and experiences in China and Vietnam. China’s English education has become increasingly important as the country integrates more with the world, leading to the promotion of Chinese-English bilingual education in higher education by the Ministry of Education. However, bilingual teaching in universities remains immature, with issues such as blind trend-following and a lack of in-depth localized research. Zhaoyi Zhang’s research mainly aims at exploring the perceptions of teachers and students as implementers to examine the effectiveness of this bilingual education in one university in a second-tier city in China. Suliya Nijiati’s case study focuses on the implementation of the 2022 English Curriculum and Programs in an elementary school located in Western China and the effect of banning English language after-school programs on teaching and learning. Her research discusses how the 2022 curriculum supports schools, teachers, students, and parents to accommodate the new national ban on after-school tutoring. Quynh Dang’s paper examines the connections between international schools in Vietnam and international corporations and how these schools play the role of a “node” in the complex network of the global education industry. The analysis also points out how international schools have mastered the “what works” idea by presenting superior international curricula and promoting the development of global citizens. This study raises questions about potential implications on people’s perception of public education, educational equity, and national identity.

Foreign Language Education Policy in Western China: Teacher’s Role in the Implementation of National English Language Curriculum

Speaker: Suliya Nijiati
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Indiana University Bloomington
Abstract: Foreign language skills have gained recognition in global education given the social, economic, and cultural advantages it will offer to next generation students. China has a national mandate that requires English language education for grade 3 to grade 12 students, preparing the next generation for the globalized world and benefiting its participation in international affairs. However, China’s latest education reform “Double Reduction” that aims to reduce the school burden of students and parents and change the test-oriented system, has changed the landscape of public and private collaboration in English education by banning all forms of subject-related after-school tutoring. A new national curriculum is published and enacted in 2020 to support schools, teachers, students, and parents to accommodate to the era of no after-school classes. Guiding by the idea of “Policy as Practice” by Sutton and Levinson (2001), this research explores the implementation of the 2020 education policy and national curriculum at school level with a focus on teacher’s role. This research interviewed elementary school English teachers in Western China and explored how China’s foreign language education policy has changed and reformed at the compulsory education level under recent education reform and how teachers played a role in the implementation process. This research will examine the latest issue in global education development and will provide insights of the policy implementation process in China’s education system. The research result will also create space for comparison and dialogue among foreign language education research around the world.

The growth of international schools in Vietnam under the (new) market-oriented approach

Speaker: Quynh Dang
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Indiana University Bloomington
Abstract: This paper examines how renovation policy for education is described on paper and how its implementation may likely play out in K-12 contexts through two non-public school case studies. I analyze Vietnamese government’s documents and policy papers as well as reviewed literature to identify the underlying discourses used to justify and propel the “mobilizing societal resources in education” movement. In the original plan, the expansion of educational options was intended to alleviate the state’s budget deficit, allow some degree of democratic participation in the education sector, and provide equal access for all students. This paper hopes to shed light on how the policy is prescribed, thus, better understanding how the ostensible goal for improving education equity in Vietnam is being achieved or resisted in practice. In a broader sense, it will contribute to the scholarship on education policy formulation and implementation.

The “Abandoned” Bilingual Education

Speaker: Zhaoyi Zhang
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Indiana University Bloomington
Abstract: English education has always been an important issue in China. And since China is more integrated into the world, developing high-quality talents in both English and other expertise is in urgent need. Hence, the Ministry of Education in China has issued guidelines to promote the quality of Chinese higher education and Chinese-English bilingual education. Since then, Chinese-English bilingual education has become a trend in Chinese educational system, particularly in higher education. However, both in theory and in practice, bilingual teaching in Chinese universities has not yet entered a mature stage. Its theoretical research mainly focuses on introducing foreign achievements and lacks in-depth localized research; the teaching practice generally has the herd behavior of blindly following the trend which has lost the direction, wasted the resources, and affected the effectiveness. Given that Chinese-English bilingual education has always been a controversial topic, studying the background contexts and reasons for the introduction of this policy and what challenges were faced during its implementation process are the main questions to be studied in this article. Thus, this paper will explore the following questions under the main question of “Why
the Chinese-English bilingual education hasn’t been flourished and implemented well in Chinese