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Planning school retention strategies

This study of 'school retention strategies' indicates possibilities for formulating, implementing, monitoring and reviewing ways in which continuity and cumulativeness might be achieved in Chinese language education across the grade levels and over time. This entails increasing the number of learners who have an interest in and a sense of success about learning Chinese through the uses to which they can put it.

Barrier-minimisation planning

There are increasing critiques of monolingual literacy theory, programs and pedagogies for their attempts to hermetically seal learners' first language, and the knowledge they have in and of it, from the language they are learning (Pavlenko, 2003; Cummins, 2008). Monolingual literacy theory makes language learning more difficult than is necessary by keeping 'languages' pure and separate (Creese & Blackledge, 2010). Beginning learners of Chinese and their teachers are constrained, from doing so by monolingual literacy theory.

Chinese is being taught in some Sydney schools where its status as a local/global language is debatable. The teaching of Chinese can receive as much support as resistance from school administration, teachers, parents and learners themselves. Barriers, such as limited technology and financial support, large class sizes, and the limitations of time allocated to Chinese, can be addressed through local school decisionmaking. There are some barriers which cannot be addressed through decisions by local schools. For instance, in teacher education, language education has been marginalised for over 30 years, despite government policies calling for creative initiatives in this field. Over the course of these decades, there has been no significant change in the profile of teacher education faculties and correspondingly little advance in postmonolingual learning. However, schools might contribute through much-needed changes through corpus, acquisition and status planning strategies.

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