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Volume 2 Number 3, Autumn 2005, Pages 1-149   

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Do We Reliably Know What EFL Students Like in English Classrooms at University Level?

    Lixin Xiao

This paper reports on a comparative study what English language learning classroom activities Chinese EFL learners liked, and then compares these preferences with the activity preferences that their teachers thought the learners held. The study makes use of questionnaires to survey 210 university-level English majors and 50 Chinese English-language teachers of English majors from two universities in China. They enquire about 39 classroom activities (including communicative and non-communicative), language learning strategies and attitudes towards learning culture in the EFL programme. The results show that teachers were able to gauge their learners' preferences with accuracy for 41%. The study has implications for English classroom instruction, syllabus and material design. The finding is also helpful for English native-speaker teachers who are engaged in teaching Chinese students in their home countries.