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Polite Chinese children revisited: creativity and the use of codeswitching in the Chinese complementary school classroom

Li, Wei and Wu, Chao-Jung (2009) Polite Chinese children revisited: creativity and the use of codeswitching in the Chinese complementary school classroom. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 12 (2), pp. 193-211. ISSN 1367-0050.

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The ideology of monolingualism prevails throughout society, including within minority ethnic communities who are bilingual and multilingual. Some minority ethnic communities in Britain believe that the response to the dominance of English language is to replace it with other languages. Complementary schools - language and culture calsses organised by minority ethnic communities - often impose a One Language Only (OLON) or One Language at a Time (OLAT) policy. There is still widespread fear of bilingual and multilingual practices such as codeswitching. Drawing on data from a large research project on multilingual practices in complementary schools, this paper examines the use of codeswitching by Chinese-English bilingual children as a symbolic and creative resource. A particular focus is on the tensions between the school ideologies and policies and the actual practices by the teachers and pupils, as well as the differences between the teachers and pupils' language proficiencies and preferences. Examples of codeswitching will be used to show how the pupils resist the OLON and OLAT policies; how they manipulate their language proficiency to undermine the teachers' authority and gain control of classroom interaction; and how they use codeswitching creatively and strategically to push and break the boundaries between the old and the new, the conventional and the original, and the acceptable and the challenging.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): codeswitching, creativity, Chinese, complementary school
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2011 14:37
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20

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