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Frontiers of Education in China

ISSN 1673-341X (Print)
ISSN 1673-3533 (Online)
CN 11-5741/G4
Postal Subscription Code 80-979

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, Volume 9 Issue 3

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research-article
Being Chinese or Being Different: Chinese Undergraduates’ Use of Discourses of Chineseness
Gillian SKYRME
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (3): 303-326.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s110-003-014-0028-x
Abstract   PDF (355KB)

Myths about “the Chinese learner” developed from an outsider perspective abound in the Western world. The focus of this article, however, is how discourses of Chineseness were used by the Chinese international students themselves who, as undergraduate students in a New Zealand university, were the subjects of my doctoral research. It examines the students’ notions of Chineseness and how these served in explaining their own narratives, either through identifying with, or distancing themselves from, “Chinese” traits, indicating alternatively a shared experience of the challenges of the new academic culture, or marking themselves out as having a special ability to thrive within it. Whichever way they used them, the discourses seemed to serve a purpose of fortifying their sense of identity and membership. By the end of their study, they were able to reflect carefully on their experiences and discuss new third space identities in which both Chinese and New Zealand values were forging new realities for them.

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Taiwanese Students in Malaysia and Interculturality: When National Identities Take Primacy over Individualities
Regis MACHART,E-Lynn YEOW,Sin Zi CHIN,Sep Neo LIM
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (3): 327-349.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s110-003-014-0029-x
Abstract   PDF (258KB)

Using a liquid approach, the authors analyze the intercultural discourse of Taiwanese students who had taken part in a short term exchange program with a Malaysian university. The four participants were graduating in Mandarin Chinese in their home institution and were following a Chinese program in multilingual Malaysia. Data were collected through focus groups held in Mandarin Chinese and focused on their experience in the host country. The authors analyze how participants talk about themselves, Malaysians, and their adaptation to the host country. The processes of essentialization and othering that occur and put in contrast the host and the home contexts are similar to those held in Asia-to-Europe mobility and very far from an “interculturality without culture” (Dervin, 2010). If we focus on the construction of discourses, this Asia-to-Asia mobility forces us to relativize the opposition of cultures as an explanation for difficulties encountered by mobile students.

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Privilege, Prejudice, Predicament: “PRC Scholars” in Singapore—An Overview
Peidong YANG
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (3): 350-376.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s110-003-014-0030-x
Abstract   PDF (541KB)

With the rise of educational mobilities worldwide, students’ experiences of educational sojourn, especially that of the Chinese Mainland students, have come under greater research attention in recent years. Amongst diverse kinds of Chinese students/scholars abroad, this paper focuses on a type that finds themselves in a unique country under equally unique circumstances: Chinese students studying at pre- and undergraduate levels in Singapore under Singapore’s government-sponsored “foreign talent” scholarship schemes. Based on an ethnographic study conducted over a 16-month period in China and Singapore, this paper presents an overview account of these Chinese student-scholars’ sociocultural experiences in Singapore under three headings: (1) privilege—how Singapore’s “foreign talent” policy endows considerable privileges, opportunities, but also responsibilities on these Chinese students; (2) prejudice—how and why these PRC “foreign talents” encounter certain local discourses of discrimination and exclusion; and (3) predicament—how they sometimes experience complex and conflicted feelings about being made Singapore’s “foreign talent.”

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Enhancing Overseas Chinese Graduate Employability: The Case of Chinese Graduates with Finnish Academic Qualifications
Yuzhuo CAI
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (3): 377-402.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s110-003-014-0031-x
Abstract   PDF (284KB)

This paper explores ways to enhance overseas Chinese graduate employability by taking Finnish-educated Chinese students/graduates as an example. In so doing, it understands that graduate employability development is a joint effort of multiple stakeholders including students, graduates, academics, program coordinators, employers, and policymakers. Accordingly, it provides arguments and suggestions for how to enhance the employability of these graduates in terms of the labor market context, employers’ beliefs and actions, the responsibilities of higher education institutions, and student/graduate commitment. It also points out two major challenges faced by overseas Chinese graduates as well as their educational providers, which are linked respectively to gaps between what graduates acquire in higher education and what is required in the labor market, as well as gaps from the employers’ perspective: areas where employers need to understand more about universities and catch up with new ideas generated by them.

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Educating Teachers of “Chinese as a Local/Global Language”: Teaching “Chinese with Australian Characteristics”
Michael SINGH,Jinghe HAN
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (3): 403-428.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s110-003-014-0032-x
Abstract   PDF (285KB)

How can the education of teacher-researchers from China be framed in ways so that they might make Chinese learnable for primary and secondary school learners for whom English is their everyday language of instruction and communication. The concept “making Chinese learnable” and the characters of the language learners are explained in the introduction to the paper. The review of an extensive range of literature focuses on the challenges facing Chinese language education. This review of literature from China, the UK, the USA, and Australia leads to a focus on the need for improved teacher education in this field. We explain the theoretic-pedagogical framework for the education of Chinese language teacher-researchers from China. The “case” employed to develop this account an Australia-China partnership called the Research Oriented, School/Industry Engaged Teacher-Researcher Education (ROSETE) Program. Key aspects relating to the educational research process employed in this study are explained. The description of the ROSETE Program introduces the key ideas of “cross-sociolinguistic similarities” and “recurring everyday sociolinguistic activities.” The Ningbo Volunteers, as teacher-researcher candidates use these ideas to investigate efficient ways of making Chinese learnable for learners in Australian schools for whom English is their everyday language of instruction and communication. Through exploring these issues this paper addresses an important and under researched area. It provides inspiration for further teaching and research.

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Chinese Teachers’ Professional Identity and Beliefs about the Teacher-Student Relationships in an Intercultural Context
Li WANG,Xiangyun DU
Front. Educ. China. 2014, 9 (3): 429-455.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s110-003-014-0033-x
Abstract   PDF (264KB)

This paper presents a qualitative study of immigrant Chinese teachers’ professional identity and beliefs about the teacher-student relationship in an intercultural context. Theoretically, this study takes its departure from a sociocultural perspective on understanding professional identity. The empirical analysis in the study drew mainly upon ethnographic interviews with a group of Chinese language teachers in Denmark concerning their life experiences, perceptions, and beliefs. The results of this study suggest that teachers’ beliefs about their roles as teachers and about student-teacher relationships are shaped by both their prior experiences and backgrounds and the current social and cultural contexts in which they are situated. Changes of context (e.g., from China to Denmark) often lead to a transformation of their professional identity and beliefs. Being a teacher in an intercultural context often exposes them to the confrontation of diverse challenges and dilemmas. On one hand, teachers in this study generally experienced a transformation from being a moral role model, subject expert, authority and parental role to being a learning facilitator and culture worker. On the other hand, they developed diverse individualized coping strategies to handle student-teacher interactions and other aspects of teachers’ professional identity.

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