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Social mobility, multilingualism and language education

Yongyan Zheng discussed the challenges and opportunities of multilingualism in Chinese language-in-education planning.

  • 30 Mar 2022, 10.00am to 30 Mar 2022, 11.00am BST (GMT +01:00)
  • This is an online event.
  • This event is free

Along with the process of globalisation and the deepening of exchanges in the international political, economic, and trade, massive migration and the transnational movement of talents have become increasingly common worldwide.

Contrary to the traditional, even somewhat stereotypical impression of China as a monolingual country, linguistic diversity accompanying massive mobility has risen as a prominent issue in Chinese sociolinguistic landscape, and has exerted far-reaching influences on language education.

This talk took the perspective of 'mobility' to delineate the challenges and opportunities of multilingualism in Chinese language-in-education planning. Professor Yongyan Zheng began by giving an overview of multilingual research in the Chinese context, and then focused on two specific studies to address how multilingual language education is intricately connected to mobility and social participation.

One study contrasted and compared how families of different social-economic statuses invest differently in their children’s language learning, and the other explored how middle-class ethnic Korean families in China struggle to maintain their ethnic language after migrating to metropolitan cities.

Yongyan Zheng

Yongyan Zheng is professor of Applied Linguistics in the College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Fudan University, China. She was a visiting scholar at the University of New South Wales, Australia (2018 August), a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Georgia State University (2016/2017) USA, and was a Tin Ka Ping Visiting Scholar at the University of Hong Kong (2013/2014) and Swire Scholar in Hong Kong (2006-2010).

Her research interests include bilingual/multilingual development, academic literacies, and language-in-education planning. Her publications have appeared on Current Issues in Language Planning, International Journal of Multilingualism, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Journal of Scholarly Publishing Language Policy, Language Policy, Modern Language Journal, Multilingua, System, and so on. She is now Editor of the international journal Language, Culture and Curriculum, as well as the Associate Editor of the international journal System.

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