Tom FayFollow

Publication Date

Winter 12-12-2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Master of Arts in TESOL)

First Advisor

Leslie Turpin


This paper aims to provide support for EFL teachers in China.


Throughout China, in both private and public schools, from kindergarten to university, there is a ‘class’ called ‘English Corner.’ In some places, ‘English Corner’ is supposed to be an informal, loose environment for people to communicate in English. In other places, ‘English Corner’ is a monthly event with a stage show, singing, dancing, and even a speech competition. ‘English Corner’ can be held in parks, libraries, university campuses, bars, cafes, or even in private homes. For many teachers in China, this ill-defined class can be their most dreaded lesson of the day, a class where at the worst of times, it can be a teacher surrounded by a mob of people yelling out questions; at the best of times a discussion where 2 or 3 out of a dozen students have a conversation with the teacher about mundane topics like if the teacher can use chopsticks or if they have a Chinese spouse. In this paper, I will look into the history and rationale of ‘English Corner’ to understand this phenomena. I will describe some of my past experiences facilitating English Corners. I will also describe the English Corner classes that are offered in my context and the strategies I’ve used to optimize and overcome this often frustrating class format.


Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching | Language and Literacy Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development