Scottish-Chinese students’ language use in Chinese complementary school classroom: a translanguaging perspective

Yang, Qian (2024) Scottish-Chinese students’ language use in Chinese complementary school classroom: a translanguaging perspective. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis presents a case study on a Chinese complementary school in Scotland. With the aim of exploring the language use in the Chinese class and viewing the language in bilingual class as complex and dynamic, the study adopted two lenses, the perspectives of translanguaging and language ecology, to gain a more holistic understanding of students’ languaging practices in the Chinese classes. The two concepts afford their implications and work together to underpin my research theoretically. To capture bilingual practices in the classes, the one-semester fieldwork for the study was conducted from September 2019 using multiple research methods, which includes: phase one, classroom observations with only field notes applied; phase two, audio-recorded classroom observations, semi-structured individual and group interviews, and the collection of documentation (student works) and photographs. Next, several approaches and perspectives were utilized in the procedure of data analysis, namely: thematic analysis; theoretically informed analysis, and moment analysis (Li, 2011).

The research findings provide rich and detailed insights by firstly unwrapping the overall relations of classroom language use, which refers to the general language use across key students, teachers, peers and language forms in the class. Then, by stepping into multifaceted states of classroom engagement, such as in literacy events, casual conversations, and cultural learning events, the research shows how translanguaging and language ecology facilitate bilingual’s language use in the Chinese classes. The main findings are: (1) translanguaging as ‘the communicative norm of multilingual communities’ is prevalent in the Chinese classes; (2) translanguaging, as moving beyond the linguistic mode, includes all modes of meaning-making and the ways in which students flow/move between them. In particular, the findings offer insights into Chinese literacy learning, Chinese culture learning and classical Chinese learning, including: (1) translanguaging facilitates Chinese literacy learning by allowing students to make use of prior knowledge to support learning new knowledge; (2) translanguaging facilitates students’ culture learning by bringing the outside world of the classroom (e.g., prior knowledge, previous experiences) to engage in the current learning; (3) students critically and creatively draw resources in the Chinese classes in order to make sense of classical Chinese language. Meanwhile, meaning-making is not the end of language learning, and resources or strategies may not always be drawn in the learning process. Therefore, the study discussed this point from the perspective of language ecology and pointed out norms and suggestions for learning with culture and classical Chinese.

This thesis makes valuable theoretical and practical contributions to the field of language learning, bilingual education and translanguaging in particular. Theoretically, a proposed conceptual framework contributes to presenting the relations among language users, languages, language ecology and translanguaging in the Chinese learning context. The constructed relationship between translanguaging and language ecology is regarded as an innovative contribution in my study. On a pragmatic level, the practices, suggestions, reflections from students in terms of enhancing Chinese language and culture learning, and Chinese class experience provide stakeholders with insights into how students can be better supported in Chinese language and culture learning.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: McAdam, Dr. Julie. E. and Hirsu, Dr. Lavinia
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84440
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2024 11:05
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 11:09
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84440

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