Learning “Chinese” as a heritage language

Challenges, issues and ways forward

Authored by: Patricia Duff , Liam Doherty

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Applied Linguistics

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138650732
eBook ISBN: 9781315625157
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will argue that Chinese as a heritage language (CHL) is a fluid, socioculturally constructed and historically situated concept that has become useful for practitioners and researchers in a specific place and moment in history. However, the classification of a heritage language learner (HLL) of Chinese is neither static nor immutable. This chapter will provide an overview of some of the issues, complexities and contradictions that have arisen from this unique convergence of sociopolitical and linguistic factors and will conclude with implications for education and suggestions for further studies on CHL across a range of diaspora communities.

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