Planning for Development or Decline? Education Policy for Chinese Language in Singapore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines how political discourse, language ideologies, recent Chinese curriculum reforms, and their representations in the media are inextricably related. Using the Speak Mandarin Campaign as background for the inquiry, I focus on textual features of the various media sources, TV advertisements, campaign slogans, official speeches, and newspaper excerpts to illuminate the status and changing role of the Chinese language in Singapore's sociocultural, economic, and political development. Using critical discourse analysis as an analytical framework, I examine the contradictory ideologies that underpin the government's language policies and planning activities. On the one hand, the government emphasizes the cultural and economic values of the Chinese language; on the other hand, government schools teach Chinese as a subject. In particular, the recent reforms in Chinese language curriculum have arguably further diluted the content of teaching. In addition I point out how conflicting ideologies behind language policies can lead to cultural confusion and educational uncertainty. These mixed messages make it difficult for schools to offer a consistent language education curriculum that will help students appreciate the value, be it economic, cultural or educational, of the Chinese language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalCritical Inquiry in Language Studies
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Fingerprint

Singapore
planning
language
Ideologies
education
language policy
campaign
curriculum
reform
language education
education curriculum
economic value
political development
discourse analysis
school
economics
Chinese Language
Education Policy
Planning
newspaper

Cite this

@article{3b9e94bf42584349a78fbc82da2be61b,
title = "Planning for Development or Decline? Education Policy for Chinese Language in Singapore",
abstract = "This article examines how political discourse, language ideologies, recent Chinese curriculum reforms, and their representations in the media are inextricably related. Using the Speak Mandarin Campaign as background for the inquiry, I focus on textual features of the various media sources, TV advertisements, campaign slogans, official speeches, and newspaper excerpts to illuminate the status and changing role of the Chinese language in Singapore's sociocultural, economic, and political development. Using critical discourse analysis as an analytical framework, I examine the contradictory ideologies that underpin the government's language policies and planning activities. On the one hand, the government emphasizes the cultural and economic values of the Chinese language; on the other hand, government schools teach Chinese as a subject. In particular, the recent reforms in Chinese language curriculum have arguably further diluted the content of teaching. In addition I point out how conflicting ideologies behind language policies can lead to cultural confusion and educational uncertainty. These mixed messages make it difficult for schools to offer a consistent language education curriculum that will help students appreciate the value, be it economic, cultural or educational, of the Chinese language.",
author = "Curdt-christiansen, {Xiao Lan}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/15427587.2014.871621",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "1--26",
journal = "Critical Inquiry in Language Studies",
issn = "1542-7587",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Planning for Development or Decline? Education Policy for Chinese Language in Singapore

AU - Curdt-christiansen, Xiao Lan

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - This article examines how political discourse, language ideologies, recent Chinese curriculum reforms, and their representations in the media are inextricably related. Using the Speak Mandarin Campaign as background for the inquiry, I focus on textual features of the various media sources, TV advertisements, campaign slogans, official speeches, and newspaper excerpts to illuminate the status and changing role of the Chinese language in Singapore's sociocultural, economic, and political development. Using critical discourse analysis as an analytical framework, I examine the contradictory ideologies that underpin the government's language policies and planning activities. On the one hand, the government emphasizes the cultural and economic values of the Chinese language; on the other hand, government schools teach Chinese as a subject. In particular, the recent reforms in Chinese language curriculum have arguably further diluted the content of teaching. In addition I point out how conflicting ideologies behind language policies can lead to cultural confusion and educational uncertainty. These mixed messages make it difficult for schools to offer a consistent language education curriculum that will help students appreciate the value, be it economic, cultural or educational, of the Chinese language.

AB - This article examines how political discourse, language ideologies, recent Chinese curriculum reforms, and their representations in the media are inextricably related. Using the Speak Mandarin Campaign as background for the inquiry, I focus on textual features of the various media sources, TV advertisements, campaign slogans, official speeches, and newspaper excerpts to illuminate the status and changing role of the Chinese language in Singapore's sociocultural, economic, and political development. Using critical discourse analysis as an analytical framework, I examine the contradictory ideologies that underpin the government's language policies and planning activities. On the one hand, the government emphasizes the cultural and economic values of the Chinese language; on the other hand, government schools teach Chinese as a subject. In particular, the recent reforms in Chinese language curriculum have arguably further diluted the content of teaching. In addition I point out how conflicting ideologies behind language policies can lead to cultural confusion and educational uncertainty. These mixed messages make it difficult for schools to offer a consistent language education curriculum that will help students appreciate the value, be it economic, cultural or educational, of the Chinese language.

U2 - 10.1080/15427587.2014.871621

DO - 10.1080/15427587.2014.871621

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 1

EP - 26

JO - Critical Inquiry in Language Studies

JF - Critical Inquiry in Language Studies

SN - 1542-7587

IS - 1

ER -