A Corpus-based Study: A Comparison between China and Abroad in Current Hot Topics of English Language Teaching within Abstracts of TESOL Conventions

  •  Xin Hu    
  •  Haiying Du    


The purpose of this study was to explore the current hot topics of English language teaching (ELT) between China and abroad using a corpus-based approach, with the research data taken from key words of 2775 abstracts within the 2021-2022 program books of International TESOL conferences and TESOL China assembly as four corpora, two of China and abroad in 2021 as well as two in 2022. It attempted to give significant proposals for future ELT research in China. A mixed methodology of (Quantitative +qualitative) was employed, one of which was AntConc software, for quantitative analysis on the data of high-frequency key words coded from each corpus. A qualitative analysis was subsequently conducted to analyze the potential reasons of major differences lie in Chinese and foreign hot topics of ELT. The study found major differences in terms of four aspects of hot topics of ELT between China and abroad: 1). Chinese academics mostly employed presentation as the primary teaching method, whereas foreign countries used a different variety of teaching methods, including online teaching tools, amount of teaching activities; 2). China stressed students’ summary writing and public speaking skills when it came to the aspect of student cultivation. On the other hand, foreign nations helped students improve their academic and reflective writing skills; 3). In China, test and peer assessment were the crucial methods of teaching evaluation, while formative assessment was used as the pivotal role in foreign countries; 4). China focused on the construction of teachers' professional identities and strategy training in teacher development. Yet, foreign countries concentrated on teachers' professional development. Pedagogical implications are that future ELT research in China needs to draw on overseas experience for drilling in four aspects: teaching methods, student cultivation, teaching evaluation and teacher development.

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