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Factors Influencing Chinese Consumer Choice of English Training Schools
Greenwalt, Erin M.

2012, Master of Arts, Ohio State University, East Asian Languages and Literatures.

Since China began her policies on economic reform and opening up entering into and interacting with a global economy, a growing need within China to learn foreign languages, especially English, is increasingly vital. Consequently, in the 1990’s China’s foreign language training sector emerged, and is now fiercely competitive. The desire to succeed in the international economy, to go abroad, and pass national and international foreign language exams has fed the demand for the services of proprietary language schools. In 2010, the foreign language market’s total value was estimated to be approximately 30 billion RMB, with over 50,000 language schools within China. However, as there is currently no centrally governing agency to enforce standards upon these schools, foreign language schools have no real accountability for quality control and thus the effectiveness of each school varies. As of the end of 2011, there are two publically listed foreign language schools based in China, New Oriental Education & Technology Group and Global Education & Technology Group Limited. Within the foreign language school sector, brand names and what they are advertised to deliver to the students seems to carry more value than official results or guarantees. Many of the top brands within this field gather clients by having the entrepreneur or high level managers giving inspirational speeches at local schools.

As the trend of opening up proprietary language schools could also be seen as the businessification of education, teachers and school leaders seem to treat teaching English as a money making venture rather than to increase knowledge and learning. Thus top brands strive to give the consumer what they want, which in the Chinese market tends to be increased test scores, without an increase in the actual use of English outside of the test taking environment. After these students raise their test scores and study abroad, many struggle due to inadequate preparation of how to use the language. Little research has been done on how or of this phenomenon is influencing the proprietary language schools and consumer behavior. Most of the current research for this field has been solely on teaching methods, there is still little research combining the analysis of business strategies, school performance and customer satisfaction for proprietary foreign language schools in China. This study aims to further understand consumer behavior and response to the current Chinese foreign language training market.

Galal Walker (Advisor)
Jianqi Wang (Committee Member)
82 p.

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Greenwalt, E. (2012). Factors Influencing Chinese Consumer Choice of English Training Schools. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from

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Greenwalt, Erin. "Factors Influencing Chinese Consumer Choice of English Training Schools." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2012. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 22 Jan 2018.

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Greenwalt, Erin "Factors Influencing Chinese Consumer Choice of English Training Schools." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2012.


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