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    Geopolitics and the changing hierarchies of the Chinese language: implications for policy and practice of Chinese language teaching in schools in Britain

    Zhu, Hua and Li, Wei (2014) Geopolitics and the changing hierarchies of the Chinese language: implications for policy and practice of Chinese language teaching in schools in Britain. The Modern Language Journal 98 (1), pp. 326-339. ISSN 0026-7902.

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    Abstract

    Chinese has been the fastest growing modern foreign language in British schools and universities in the last decade, due largely to the perceived growing importance of mainland China as a global economic and political power and the substantial investment in Confucius Institutes and Classrooms by the Chinese government. This article focuses on how China’s geopolitical strategy of promoting Chinese as a global language has been received and implemented in the UK and how different groups of learners of Chinese have been differentially affected by the implementation of Hanban’s policies. Based on conversations with key stake holders of the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms including managers, teachers and students, as well as observations, we investigate the different motivations and ideologies of the different interest groups. We also examine the cultural elements that are taught in the CIs and CCs. A particular focus is on how ethnic Chinese learners in the CIs and CCs react to the teaching of Chinese culture. The effect of promoting Putonghua on ethnic Chinese students who speak other varieties of Chinese, and how “foreignness” is constructed in the CIs and CCs, are specific concerns of the present study. The study contributes to the wider discussions of language ideology, language attitudes, motivations for language learning and learner identity vis-à-vis modern foreign language education.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Chinese, Confucius Institutes and Classrooms, geopolitics, British Chinese children
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
    Depositing User: Zhu Hua
    Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2015 16:07
    Last Modified: 02 Nov 2015 09:25
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/11356

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