Chinese language varieties: pre- and in-service teachers’ voices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the perceptions of international and American Chinese bilingual pre- and in-service graduate students and language teachers regarding Chinese varieties. The 25 participants were currently enrolled college students or recent graduates majoring in language education or other associated programmes at an urban university in the north-eastern United States. Semi-structured interviews probed their views regarding alternative forms of Chinese. Themes identified included: what constitutes a language versus a dialect, a consideration of ethnic and regional identity associated with Chinese varieties (fāngyán), issues of mutual intelligibility, writing systems, sociopolitical and educational policy, language varieties as a resource, and concerns regarding the real and potential loss of language and associated subcultures. Findings show that with exposure to sociolinguists’ views of language, teachers can clarify terminology so that they can potentially present language to students more accurately, design curricula, and consider policy alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-525
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Chinese
  • dialect
  • foreign languages
  • language attitudes
  • language loss
  • language planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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