Developing a policy for teaching Chinese language and culture in Victoria
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AbstractThesis (M.Ed.)--University of Melbourne, 1989
A rational policy for the teaching of foreign languages is based on a thorough understanding and analysis of the position and the importance of target languages in national political, economic, and social development. This paper discusses the importance to the development of Sino-Australian relations of the teaching of the Chinese language and of the making and implementation of policies for the teaching of the Chinese language in Victoria. Since 1972 it has been in the Australian and Chinese national interests that tight links between these two countries should grow rapidly and steadily. Consequently, there has been an increasing demand for learning the Chinese language. In order to meet this demand the Australian government, in recent years, has paid great attention to teaching the Chinese language in schools. However, there remain questions as to the general usefulness of learning the Chinese language and culture. Some believe that the present scale of teaching the Chinese language is meeting the general requirements of community language needs and is also providing adequate numbers of skilled Chinese language personnel for the work force. Therefore, they consider there is no need to expand the teaching of the Chinese language. On the other hand, those in favour of an expansion of Chinese language teaching foresee a continuing development of Sino-Australian links and an increasing demand for Chinese language skills from both government and people. In regard to policy-making and implementation in teaching second languages, the Chinese practice in this area is relevant. Their experience shows that a successful implementation of government language policy requires active response from local educational authorities subject to a centralised education system. These government-backed and funded educational authorities are the guarantee of policy implementation. The Australian federal government and the Victorian government have so far formulated comprehensive language policies for schools. Both national policy and state policy clearly stress the importance of developing the teaching of Asian languages, particularly Japanese and Chinese. These policies have promoted the teaching of Chinese language in Victorian schools to some extent. But school commitments to teaching Chinese, especially in state schools, are still on a very small scale. In most state schools, traditional views on second language teaching still give priority to European languages, or are only concerned with community languages. In the Australian education system it is the individual schools that determine what second languages they prefer to teach. Therefore, the gulf still exists between policy and policy-implementation . In community-run language schools there has been a rapid development in the teaching of Chinese language in the last five years. This reflects a strong desire by Australian citizens to learn the Chinese language and to learn about Chinese culture from people both of Chinese and non-Chinese backgrounds. The Chinese ethnic school and culture in Victoria. They are a potential student resource for formal schools, tertiary colleges, and universities. In Victoria, the teaching of Chinese language and culture at tertiary level started twenty five years ago. There has been a remarkable development in the last three years. This is reflected in a constant increase in student enrolment, the establishment of new subjects, and the development. of teaching materials. There is no doubt that the development of Sino-Australian relations will demand a great expansion in the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture. Reinforced by the Australian government's national strategy for Asian studies, the teaching of Chinese language and culture will enter a new stage in the late twentieth century and early twenty first century.
TypeMasters Coursework thesis