Learning Chinese as a heritage language in Australia and beyond : the role of capital

Mu, Guanglun Michael (2014) Learning Chinese as a heritage language in Australia and beyond : the role of capital. Language and Education, 28(5), pp. 477-492.

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The benefits of learning and retaining heritage languages are well documented in the literature. Chinese heritage language learners’ commitment to their heritage language learning has gained significant research ground in social psychological and post-structural schools, with empirical evidence predominantly emerging from the North American contexts. There is scant sociological examination of similar problems conducted outside North America. The current study aims to make a contribution in this regard. The use of Bourdieu's sociological notion of capital in the Australian context complements the social psychological and post-structural work predominantly produced in the North American contexts. The initial quantitative sub-study analyses the impacts of various resources on the Chinese heritage language proficiency of 230 snowball-sampled Chinese Australian respondents to an online survey. The subsequent qualitative sub-study explores the profits of learning Chinese heritage language through interviews with a subset of the survey sample. Findings indicate that cultural, social, and symbolic capital significantly positively contributes to Chinese Australians’ Chinese heritage language proficiency, which, in return, produces profits in different forms of capital. The study suggests a reciprocal relationship between ‘capital’ and Chinese heritage language proficiency.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 80159
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/09500782.2014.908905
ISSN: 1747-7581
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis Group
Deposited On: 15 Jan 2015 22:54
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 03:44

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