This paper reports the findings and discussions of the Investigative Program on EFL education in Ethnic Minority Areas of Gansu Province in Northwest China. The sample schools (N=21) are selected from five ethnic minority prefectures or counties. From the investigation, we have come to understand some of the EFL education problems in sample areas from three perspectives: EFL learners (N=1117), EFL teachers (N=67) and administrative staff (N=21). The following findings are reported: 1) due to the inter-transference among mother tongue, second language and foreign language, EFL learning of the ethnic minority learners is characterized by particular complexity; 2) EFL teachers in these areas are small in population, poor in education background, and eager to be further educated. Based upon the analysis and discussions of the findings, we contend that some possible solutions may work to better the situation: 1) trilingual learning and teaching models should be developed based upon the cognate disciplines such as bilingualism, ethnic minority education, TESL and TEFL; 2) the resource of the Long-Distance Education Project in Rural Primary and High Schools should be utilized for long-distance teacher training.
Foreign Language Teaching and Research