Australian language policy and the learning and teaching of Chinese

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Innovative pedagogy in the teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language
EditorsRobyn Moloney, Hui Ling Xu
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789812877727
ISBN (Print)9789812877710
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMultilingual Education
ISSN (Print)2213-3208
ISSN (Electronic)2213-3216


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