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Title: Teaching and Learning Linguistic Politeness in Australian Higher Education: Chinese as an Additional Language
Contributor(s): Sung, Leei  (author)orcid ; Ndhlovu, Finex  (supervisor)orcid ; Chan, Eveline  (supervisor)orcid ; Esler, Joshua (supervisor); Li, Huifang  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2022-10-05
Copyright Date: 2022
Open Access: Yes
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Related DOI: 10.25952/yac5-np85

As China emerges as an economic power, an increasing segment of the global population is taking up Mandarin as an additional language, potentially facilitating greater communication between Chinese and non-Chinese speakers. With the growing importance of global relations, linguistic politeness is increasingly crucial for sustaining positive social and interpersonal ties.

This study bridges the praxis gap between Chinese linguistic politeness research and the context of teaching Chinese as an additional language in Australian higher education. It contributes to the present body of knowledge by (a) investigating politeness strategies embedded in current textbooks and analysing these findings; and (b) capturing, through semistructured interviews, the perceptions and pedagogical practices of instructors/lecturers in teaching Chinese linguistic politeness.

Employing Brown and Levinson's (1987) politeness theory as the theoretical foundation for investigation, this study uses qualitative and quantitative data-collection methods: textbook content analysis and semi-structured interviews.

First, the textbook analysis presents the characteristics of Chinese linguistic politeness from a purposive sampling of five textbooks. The politeness strategies investigated show the highest frequency in negative politeness strategies, followed by bald on-record and positive politeness strategies. The findings show that many politeness strategies are evident at the beginner level, even though the CEFR recommends that these be taught at the intermediate level.

Second, whereas the mode of presentation differs in grammar explanation and examples in functional usages of politeness, all textbooks adhere to the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi Chinese language proficiency test in China. However, only one textbook incorporates the skills for the 21st-century world readiness standards for languages proposed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, which is more in line with current research regarding second language acquisition. The outcome of the investigation presents to policy makers and educators the analysis and recommendations of curricula adopted in the current Australian higher education Chinese as an additional language scene.

Second, the outcome of the interviews shows the challenges (that is, limitations of resources and policies) instructors/lecturers face in teaching linguistic politeness.

The two modes of investigation (textbook analysis and interviews) provide important focal points and directions for further research and data collection. This study concludes with implications for the ongoing development of teaching linguistic politeness in the Australian tertiary education sector, particularly Chinese as an additional language.

Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 470303 Chinese languages
470401 Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
470405 Discourse and pragmatics
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 130201 Communication across languages and culture
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Education
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Thesis Doctoral

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