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Volume 7 Number 4, Winter 2010, Pages 1-137   

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An Explorative Study of Chinese College English Teachers' Professional Development

    Li Jing

This paper attempts to examine the current situation of college English teachers' professional development in China and to offer some tentative suggestions for college English teachers to be better prepared for the changes and the challenges they encounter in their career. To these ends, a survey was carried out based on a professional development model by means of questionnaire, providing detailed information of college English teachers including their pre-service learning and preparation, working environment, professional development and perceptions of professional development. The results show that a large number of participants hadn't had any practice teaching before they were employed as college English teachers and that more than half of them have never participated in any formal in-service professional programs related to English teaching. However, most teachers indicated that they had involved themselves in different types of informal professional development activities. On the whole their ways of professional learning are rather limited and not very effective. Besides, there is a lack of institutional support for college English teachers in their ongoing professional development. In view of these problems and obstacles, this paper reinforces the significance of teacher's awareness of their own professional growth and suggests a variety of job-embedded collaborative learning activities for teachers. It also appeals for tangible support from university administrators.

Keywords: professional development, college English teachers, college English teaching reform, institutional support