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- 26 Nov 2009
- Multilingual Matters
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It has been said there are more Chinese learning English than there are Americans. We all have a sense that the first decades of the third millennium, including the effects of the global financial recession, signal dramatic changes to the shape of the world to come. China’s emergence as a superpower is one of the few certainties in this rapidly changing world. What is less well realised is the critical role which China’s decisions about English will play in the world’s communication profile. This unique volume explores this question looking at the debates on identity, cultural values and communication practices. Taking a wide-ranging view and uniquely blending both Chinese and Western perspectives the volume explores the critically important cultural consequences of mass English learning in today’s world.
What is remarkable in this volume is not only the ways in which the discourses of this dichotomy resonate in the early twenty-first century, but also the ways in which new discourses, new problems and new opportunities emerge in the present. The editors are to be congratulated on this book, which offers an insightful blend of theory and empirical research. The fascinating and wide-ranging account of the status and functions of English in China today provided by Lo Bianco, Orton and Gao in China and English is essential reading for everyone interested in English in the Chinese context and in the wide range of educational and intercultural issues associated with the continuing story of English in China.
Kingsley Bolton, City University, Hong Kong in English Today
While much attention is paid in certain circles to the rising power of China, little is known about the critical impact on both the Chinese people and the rest of the world of the country’s language policy, in particular China’s domestication of English and its increasing efforts to spread its language and culture worldwide. What dynamics has it brought about? How are identities negotiated with the teaching and learning of
English as a foreign language at the collective/national and individual levels? And how do such identities affect China’s interaction with the rest of the world? This book is therefore a timely contribution to addressing these important questions.
Huhua Ouyang, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China in Lang Policy (2012) 11:209–211
Joseph Lo Bianco is Professor of Language and Literacy Education and Associate Dean (Global Relations) at the Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. He is author of Australia’s first comprehensive language policy, the National Policy on Languages, 1987. In 2007 he produced a Special Issue of the journal Language Policy entitled The Emergence of Chinese.; Jane Orton is an Honorary Senior Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, where she has researched, taught and supervised for many years in the area of international English, language teaching and culture, and nonverbal communication.; Gao Yihong is a professor in the English Department, School of Foreign Languages, Peking University, and Director of The Association of Chinese Sociolinguistics. Her major research interest lies in the social psychology and social context of language learning.
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