Introduction of Playful Readying: Investigation of the Current ESL Teaching Context in Rural China

Dr. Leigh Disney, Lecturer in Early Childhood, Monash University, Email:
Dr. Gretchen Geng, Senior Lecturer in Education, Australian Catholic University, Email:
Dr. Yoshi Budd, Lecturer in Literacy Education, RMIT University, Email:

Required by local communities, schools in rural China need to look after the “left behind” children, while their parents are working in urban cities. However, owing to the limited teaching and learning resources and teachers’ lack of education and training, ESL teachers in rural China face challenges to help their students in satisfying their academic needs by using appropriate ESL teaching scaffolding strategies. In this study, we have developed a Playful Reading approach to help ESL teachers with their teaching and learning to align with the educational reform for rural education in China. Through reading with purpose, the teacher facilitates students to use play-based learning to comprehend what they have read actively to reproduce meaningful learning. Moreover, this study collected data about ESL teachers’ perception on the effect of the program as helpful and students obtaining significantly better scores in ESL learning for rural China.

Rural Education, ESL teaching and learning, Playful Reading, educational reform, teacher quality

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