The current nation-wide reform of Chinese primary and secondary education prompted an empirical research project, "An empirical investigation of in-service English teachers1 in primary and secondary schools and a study of a pre-service language teacher education program", conducted at Baoding, China. This project is considered as potentially relevant to other Chinese and Asian nations that are engaged in the transformation of their provision of English language instruction. This project was developed in two stages: first, it sought data from in-service English teachers, using questionnaires and interviews with English teachers from schools differentiated by geographical context and system; and second, these data were used to inform the design of a new pre-service English teacher education program. In this paper, the consultative processes of Stage 1 are discussed and the teachers' proficiencies in the new direction of teaching English are critically examined. On the basis of these data, reflections and implications of the strengths and weaknesses of the present pre-service language teacher training program are made.