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Teaching Accounting in English in Higher Education--Does the Language Matter?

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: Learning business related courses, especially accounting, in English is a challenge for many Chinese students. The purpose of this study is to provide some insights into the role of the language in accounting learning. We investigate this issue in the program of Teaching Business Related Courses in English for undergraduate students at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Accounting courses in English at GDUFS are taught to two different groups: English majors with higher English proficiency who are required to receive 2 years of intensive training in listening, speaking, reading and writing before taking the accounting course in English and non-English majors who do not receive the same level of English training as English majors do. We find that there is no direct significant relationship between accounting learning and students English proficiency but we do find a strong correlation between students analytical ability and their accounting learning instructed in English. We also find that motivation, specifically students clear career path in the accounting field, plays an important role in determining their performance in accounting learning. The findings in this paper have meaningful implications for the feasibility of teaching non-English majors accounting in English and for designing a good learning environment in English educational settings.

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