Translanguaging as a social justice strategy: The case of teaching Chinese to ethnic minority students in Hong Kong
- Translanguaging as a social justice strategy: The case of teaching Chinese to ethnic minority students in Hong Kong
- Asia Pacific Education Review, (0), -, 2022
- Hong Kong
- 1997.7 onwards
- Unknown or Unspecified
- For the past two decades, a significant number of ethnic minority students from diverse racial, cultural, linguistic, and religious backgrounds have entered Chinese language classrooms in Hong Kong for the first time. Simultaneously, Chinese language teachers have come under criticism for their lack of understanding of diversity and their failure to integrate ethnic minority students academically and socially. However, there is little research on how these teachers can transform their educational beliefs, teaching techniques, and attitudes toward diversity and inclusion to respond effectively to the drastic changes taking place in their professional work. This study examines how a group of Chinese language teachers employed translanguaging as a social justice strategy to address the challenges of teaching minority students in a monolingual and assimilative educational setting in Hong Kong. Classroom observations show that teachers enacted a translanguaging stance, using students' familiar semiotic resources to make their teaching more inclusive and equitable for ethnic minority students from low socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. Teachers reported becoming more aware of diversity in the classroom as well as of the social inequalities and racial discrimination outside of school. The study shows that criticism has been unfairly levied on Chinese language teachers in Hong Kong, who should not be held responsible for the social problems hindering ethnic minorities' social mobility. Research should include a decolonial perspective to legitimize translanguaging as a social justice strategy for more transformative praxis in the education sector in postcolonial Hong Kong. Copyright © 2022 Springer.
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