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ERIC Number: EJ1129019
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Responding to the Diversity of Chinese Language Learners in Australian Schools
Scrimgeour, Andrew
Babel, v49 n3 p26-36 2014
Until recently Chinese language learning in Australian primary and junior secondary schools has been characterised by programs primarily designed for second language learners who have had no prior knowledge of or exposure to Chinese language. Participation in such programs by Australian-born children who speak Putonghua (Mandarin) or another Chinese language (or dialect) at home has increased significantly in recent years. At present considerable diversity in learner background and learning experience exists within individual classrooms, within school programs, and across school Chinese language programs in general. Research has identified ways in which language background impacts on achievements in Chinese classrooms, and suggests that background language learners' needs and interests are so distinctive that they should be addressed separately in both curriculum and classroom practice. Diversity in Chinese language learner background has been recognised to some extent at the senior secondary level (Years 11-12) through the provision of differentiated syllabuses or curricula. The recent development of Australian Curriculum: Languages has also recognised learner diversity in Chinese language learning through the provision of three separate pathways: for Second Language, Background Language and First Language learners. This initiative has provided some further impetus toward improving the overall provision of appropriate courses for learners of diverse backgrounds in school-based Chinese language programs. There are however still significant challenges to improving learning experiences and outcomes for all learners in the Chinese language classroom.
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A