An Investigation into Bilingual Education in China's Tertiary Institutions
This study attempts to answer the following questions: What is bilingual education? What is the bilingual education as is perceived and practised in China's institutions of higher learning? What is a better model of bilingual education for adoption in China's tertiary institutions? The subjects for this study are 320 students of different academic majors, and some bilingual teachers from Zhejiang University. By using questionnaires, interviews and classroom observations, this study examined bilingual education in Zhejiang University and proposed a model of bilingual education in China's tertiary institutions. The study found that the current bilingual education as practiced in China's tertiary institutions is just at the beginning, and a lack of qualified teachers is the key factor influencing the healthy development of current bilingual education in colleges and universities. Other factors that are important for the development of bilingual courses include teaching approaches, teaching materials, and curriculum design. With a critical review of literature and an empirical study using Zhejiang University as a sample, a model of bilingual education in the Chinese content is proposed. The model required the class interaction applies English as its main teaching language, along with an addition of Chinese explanation for some terms, specialties and difficulties. In light of the significance of bilingual education and people's enthusiasm towards bilingual courses at tertiary levels, the proposed model may indicate a possible direction to improve current the bilingual education in current China's tertiary institutions.