The Use of Text Recitation as a Teaching Tool in EFL: A Cross-educational Level Investigation in China

Xia Yu


The purpose of this investigation is to address the situation that although general ELT (English Language Teaching) literature does not endorse the practice of text recitation (TR), recent literature cautiously recommends it as a teaching tool with clear learning objectives, especially in countries with Confucian heritage. This paper therefore investigates why TR is commonly practiced in Chinese schools at all educational levels up to tertiary education. In particular, this inquiry considers teachers’ view of why TR is practiced and what its effects are. Furthermore, these views across groups at three educational levels are compared and their perceptions are checked against findings of analogous previous research. Analysis of data reveals that the usefulness of the practice of TR to foreign language teaching is generally acknowledged, though, to varying degrees. The study suggests that the contemporary pedagogic practice of TR in China is starting to bear some basic positive features such as differentiating tasks to suit students’ ability and choosing texts to cater for students’ interest.


Text recitation, ELT, Chinese learner, cross-educational level, perceptions

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