Article published in:Learning Chinese in Diasporic Communities: Many pathways to being Chinese
Edited by Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen and Andy Hancock
[AILA Applied Linguistics Series 12] 2014
► pp. 159–180
Chapter 8. Conflicting goals of language-in-education planning in Singapore
Chinese character (汉字 hanzi) education as a case
This study examines the conflicting nature of official language-in-education planning goals in Singapore through analysing, firstly, the inconsistencies in curriculum reform documents at different levels of the goals and pedagogies of Chinese character (æ±‰å— hanzi) teaching; and secondly, the inconsistencies between what is stated in these documents about hanzi and students’ and teachers’ perceptions as well as teaching practices related to hanzi. Based on student and teacher surveys, supplemented by teachers’ focus group discussions and classroom observations, this chapter provides a critical evaluation of multiple dimensions of the official policies and instructional guides on hanzi teaching and learning in Singapore’s primary schools. The study endeavors to draw attention to the humanistic dimensions of hanzi education such as its values in cultural heritage, artistic/aesthetic appreciation and character cultivation. It calls for a holistic evaluation of hanzi’s role from a broader perspective and aims to place a more proper status of hanzi in the next round of reform of Chinese-as-a-mother-tongue education in Singapore.
Published online: 10 July 2014
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