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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Transdisciplinary Approach to Examining and Confidence-Boosting the Experiences of Chinese Teachers of Chinese in Finland

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With the current rise of China as a political, cultural, and economic superpower, Chinese as a foreign and second language has gained popularity worldwide. Finland is also responding to this global wave, as is reflected by the increasing number of Chinese courses in formal and informal settings in the Nordic country. Yet not all actors involved in the promotion of Chinese seem to experience instruction in the language in the same way. This study investigates how Chinese teachers of the Chinese language, who represent the majority of the ‘workforce’ for instruction in this language in Finland, perceive Chinese language education and their role in it.

We argue that there is a need for a paradigm shift in evaluating the teachers’ experiences. Specifically, we support a move away from perspectives that see culture as static and identity as singular. Using the “analysis of multivoicedness,” which was developed from dialogism (Aveling, Gillespie, & Cornish, 2014), the authors of this article identify a number of positions assumed/taken up by the teachers and others in their discourses. Finally, we propose a critical intercultural approach to Chinese teacher education or professional development based on transdisciplinarity, which relies on problem-solving that recognizes an important triad: educational contexts—teachers’ experiences—society (McGregor & Volckmann, 2011).


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