Language, Culture and Identity in Two Chinese Community Schools More than One Way of Being Chinese? Author: Sara Ganassin

Hardback - 200 pages
Related Formats:
30 Apr 2020
Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This book investigates the social, political and educational role of community language education in migratory contexts. It draws on an ethnographic study that investigates the significance of Mandarin-Chinese community schooling in Britain as an intercultural space for those involved. To understand the interrelation of ‘language’, ‘culture’ and ‘identity’, the book adopts a ‘bricolage’ approach that brings together a range of theoretical perspectives. This book challenges homogenous and stereotypical constructions of Chinese language, culture and identity – such as the image of Chinese pupils as conformist and deferent learners – that are often repeated both in the media and in academic discussion.


An insightful study showing the complex role of Mandarin Chinese as a factor of unity and of tension for diverse British residents of Chinese heritage. It illuminates the power of regional Chinese languages and cultures that demand ongoing negotiation of an intercultural identity within the frame of being Chinese. This is a valuable resource for researchers, course planners and teachers in Chinese and other world languages.

- Jane Orton, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Author Biography:

Sara Ganassin is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Communication at Newcastle University in the UK. She holds a PhD in Education from Durham University. Her research interests include heritage language learning and teaching, migrant and refugee communities, and internationalisation and mobility. Sara has also worked for seven years in the voluntary sector as project coordinator and researcher with migrant and refugee women and young people.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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