Transitioning beliefs in teachers of Chinese as a foreign language: an Australian case study

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With the economic rise of China, there is global demand for effective teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL). There has been limited sustained success in Chinese language learning in Australian schools, however, and this has been attributed, amongst other factors, to pedagogy employed by teachers. Today, it is commonplace to understand that educational background influences teacher beliefs which in turn impact pedagogical transition in overseas teaching environments. This exploratory case study reports qualitative analysis of interviews with nine school teachers of CFL in New South Wales, Australia. The study mapped three groups of beliefs within the Chinese teacher group, namely, beliefs which align with principles of traditional Chinese education, beliefs which align with constructivist learning principles and beliefs in transition between. All teachers in the CFL teacher community of practice could be said to be in a fluid process of transition, to find new pedagogical identities and best practice. This study’s findings as to transitioning beliefs, and the study’s recommendations, are of significance in the design of more effective teacher training suitable to achieve successful learning outcomes in Chinese foreign language classrooms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1024960
Pages (from-to)1024960-1-1024960-15
Number of pages15
JournalCogent education
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Chinese as a foreign language
  • teacher beliefs
  • language pedagogy
  • language teacher development


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