The official English Language curriculum for junior secondary schools in China is a product of navigation, mainly by the PEP, through political, socioeconomic and educational currents. Over time, the English Language curriculum has reflected the vagaries of the socio-political climate in China. The curriculum has served as a mechanism for the state to appropriate English to serve its different aspirations, be they revolutionary or economic in orientation. The (often sudden) shifts in state priorities have required curriculum developers to be nimble-footed in ensuring the political correctness of the resources, but within the constraints, they have maintained the principle of selective appropriation of pedagogy and have evolved a system that allows stakeholders a considerable role in helping to make sure that the finished product is teachable at the chalkface in China. Navigation has been particularly hazardous at times because of the controversy surrounding the role and status of English in China: an alien language with negative historical connotations, but viewed by the state as necessary for future prosperity. At times of politicization, the status of English was extremely low, and because of the grave political risks that it involved, English Language teaching was either abandoned or taught with a high degree of circumspection. At other times, the study of English has been enthusiastically embraced by the state and the populace.
At present, the role and status of English in China is higher than ever in history as evidenced by its position as a key subject in the curriculum, with its growing use as a medium of instruction as many schools adopt a bilingual approach to education; and as a crucial determinant for university entrance and procuring well-paid jobs in the commercial sector. CCP leaders value the contribution that English can make to the nation's modernization programme, particularly with China's entry into the World Trade Organization, and, indeed, many politicians at the highest levels are competent in the language. The success of bids for prestigious international sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, has been dependent to some extent upon China's ability to