English in China's language policies for higher education




Xu, Hongmei

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Taking ecological language planning and policy as its conceptual orientation and interpretive policy analysis as its methodological framework, and following an embedded single-case study design, this study explores the role of English, as compared with the role of Chinese, in China's educational language planning and policy for higher education. In doing so, the ecological niches of English and Chinese, their interrelationships, and how these are shaped by sociological and psychological factors in the ecology of language are examined first in China's major national language policies concerning English education and College Chinese in higher education institutions, and then in the implementation of these policies at a higher education institution in China's West. Data drawn upon mainly include policy documents, in-depth interviews, and observational fieldnotes. In addition, questionnaires were administered to document circulating beliefs among teachers and students at this higher education institution about the role of English and the role of Chinese. Based on the analysis, critical reflections on China's educational language planning and policy concerning English and Chinese education in higher education institutions, as well as on the conceptualization of English linguistic imperialism are presented. Also presented is a discussion of the implications of this study. Overall, by investigating its focal issues, this study adds to the current understanding of the educational language planning and policy issues in relation to the global dominance of English.


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College Chinese, Ecology of Language, Educational Language Planning and Policy, English Education, English-Chinese Bilingual Instruction, Higher Education



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies