Learning or becoming: ideology and national identity in textbooks for international learners of Chinese
Ideology, National identity, Culture, Textbooks, Chinese
Textbooks in foreign-language education are by their nature ideological, representing the dominant culture and values. This study attempts to critically examine the discourse in language textbooks, specifically those used for Chinese as a foreign-language education in Mainland China, in order to reveal the national identity embedded in them. Drawing on a corpus-based analysis, this study found the frequency of referring to “nation” in relation to China far exceeded that of other countries, indicating that aspects of Chinese national identity may be emphasized and foregrounded. Furthermore, content analysis revealed five major aspects of national identity in the textbook, forming part of the social and cultural knowledge that only native speakers could be expected to have. The study finds that current Chinese as a foreign language textbooks contain a large part of the learning content involves topics pertaining to Chinese moral and civic education, which may not be of the interests for international language learners. The study ends by suggesting offering open discourse to enable a higher level of classroom participation of international learners, and to develop an intercultural understanding of cultural content in the curriculum.
Wang, D.,& Gritter, K. (2016). Learning or becoming: ideology and national identity in textbooks for international learners of Chinese. Cogent Education, 3 (1), 1-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2016.1140361