Census figures from 2011 show that 4 % of the Australian population are of Chinese background and that the Chinese language (Mandarin) has the widest distribution as home language after English, with nearly 320,000 speakers, or 1.7 % of the population. This chapter examines the learning and teaching of Chinese against the background of Australia's language ecology. It provides an overview of the development of Australian language policies pertaining to the learning and teaching of Chinese - including initiatives resulting from the recent Australian Government White Paper Australia in the Asian Century (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012) - and, in this context, discusses the teaching of Chinese in regards to the newly developed National Curriculum Languages. The chapter addresses the distinction between second language learners, background language learners and first language learners, providing discussion of how those groupings are being addressed through government language policies. In its final section, this contribution discusses the relationship between macro-level language policies and their implementation at the local level of Chinese language teaching.
|Title of host publication||Exploring Innovative pedagogy in the teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language|
|Editors||Robyn Moloney, Hui Ling Xu|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Publisher||Springer, Springer Nature|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|