The Impact of Australian Language Policies on Chinese Language Teaching

Authored by: Shen Chen , Helena Hing Wa Sit

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Language Teaching

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138097940
eBook ISBN: 9781315104652
Adobe ISBN:


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Australia and New Zealand are the two largest English-speaking countries that are located in the Asian-Pacific region. The close links with Asian countries in the region result in the fact that Australia has become the earliest English-speaking country in the world putting forward consistent and continuing language policies in order to promote the teaching of Asian languages, including Chinese, for its national interests and economic benefits. The government policies have a strong impact on the development of Chinese language teaching and learning in mainstream schools and higher educational institutions. This chapter reports on and analyzes the importance of the language policies in supporting Chinese language teaching and learning across Australian educational contexts and how these policies have had an impact on the Chinese language education within community language schools, local mainstream schools, and higher education sector. It is found out that although Chinese language teaching has enjoyed great progress in community schools from early stages of settlement and later in mainstream schools and universities, pedagogical problems have been identified in the social and cultural context of Australia. The teaching of Chinese at all levels in Australia is facing new challenges as the political and cultural situation in the Asian-Pacific Region and the world continues to change. More recommendations and practical innovative approaches on the current use of teaching methodologies and curriculum design should be re-examined to better fit the Australian education system.

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