What is it about?

Describes the experience of studying Chinese at the end of high school, for students who have no Chinese-language background. Includes how non-background learners view the 'home speaker advantage'.

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Why is it important?

There are very few non-Chinese language background students of Chinese at VCE level (in Victoria) and we do not understand their experiences. The student perspective is important if we are to encourage more students to pursue VCE Chinese.


A major cause of non-background students withdrawing from Chinese studies at the end of high school seems to be the perception that home speakers of Chinese have an advantage over them. The respondents showed a remarkable awareness and empathy in relation to this issue, demonstrating some of the significant benefits of language learning: the ability to understand others' points of view, empathise and think flexibly.

Janice Keynton
Monash University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Classroom learners of Chinese in senior secondary school, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, December 2018, John Benjamins,
DOI: 10.1075/aral.17087.key.
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