A mirror for reflection vs. a screen for projection——A critical reflection of changing emotions in China's English education for the past three decades
This paper examines intense emotions regarding China's English education in the past 30 years,since the beginning of the economic reforms. These emotions include: 1) euphoria or"craziness"associated with a dream of becoming rich and prosperous,typical of the 1980 s and 1990s; 2) anxiety and frustration due to the disparity between expected and actual achievement,prominent after the mid-1990s; 3) fear and anger,related to perceived threat to the native language and cultural identity,foregrounded in the new millennium,typically in the on-going national reform of entrance exam policies. These conflicting feelings are embedded in discourses of language policy makers,educational institutions,and individual learners.Behind such changing moods is a psychological complex of the Chinese,i. e.,the maintenance and development of Chinese cultural identity,and ambivalent attitudes towards the West. English education is like a screen,onto which are projected contradictory emotions. Such a psychological complex is deeply rooted in the sociohistorical reality of China since the Opium Wars. Yet it is also a result of self-perpetuation through discourse. In the contemporary context of globalization,this screen of projection can be changed to a mirror of reflection,which helps to self-examine our conflicting identity needs. Such selfawareness will free us from fluctuating "craziness"and lead to more dialogical and creative approaches to foreign and native language education.
【CateGory Index】： H319