Human Capital and English Language Proficiency in the Chinese Context

  •  Xiaoyu Luo    
  •  Shawn P. Daly    


The employment problem of college graduates has evoked concern around the world, which is particularly prominent in China in recent years. At the same time, English language proficiency of Chinese college students has been emphasized within their university academic requirements as well as from prospective employers. The consequent market pressure on Chinese college students to obtain language qualifications has created an environment where not only the utility, but also the symbolic value of English proficiency has become essential. Human capital theory describes the complex connection between language proficiency and employment, as a foreign language skill, English is similar to other human capital and has the potential for economic value. From the theoretical perspective for relationship between English language proficiency and employment of college graduates based on human theory, recommendations are made for further both scholarly research and practitioner policies, namely: National College English Teaching Syllabus, Regulations for Full-time Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree-granting, and Regulations for the Graduation Project.

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