Asian Studies

A Short History of Chinese as a Second Language Education in New Zealand (1966-present)


Danping Wang


Asian Studies

Project code: ART005

Chinese as a Second Language (CSL) teaching and learning has emerged as one of the most fast-developing areas in applied linguistics to attract research students to study and teach in New Zealand in the recent decade. Previous studies on Chinese language education in New Zealand have been focusing on language and cultural maintenance for Chinese migrants and heritage learners. It is found with surprise that there has been little historical record of how Chinese was taught as a second language to local kiwi students in schools and universities. The absence of a thorough analysis of Chinese as a second language teaching in its early days remains a research gap for understanding and interpreting the current policies and practices in CSL. The summer project aims to fill this gap by collecting and collaging the early records of CSL education in New Zealand from 1966 to present. The project has two major objectives: (1) to create an archive or database for researching CSL education in New Zealand; and (2) to offer research-based evidence for a further promotion of Chinese learning in this country.

Scholar’s Work

The scholar will assist the supervisor with identifying, collecting, categorising documents related to CSL education in NZ, and developing a literature review, database construction, data analysis, and writing research reports, depending on the expertise of the summer scholar. The study includes three major parts of work. In the beginning stage, the scholar will conduct a literature review of articles on history of CSL education in other countries. The second stage of the study involves intensive work on collecting documents on CSL in NZ. The final stage is data analysis and report preparation.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The research mainly involves literature review, literature retrieval and synthesis, and data processing, so the applicant should have experience and skills of all or some of these duties. As the study focuses on Chinese language education research, the applicant is expected to be able to read Chinese in addition to being academically literate in English. The project particularly welcomes applicants who are familiar with history studies, or committed to becoming teachers or researchers in language education. Applicants who are familiar with e-database and are able to use Endnote or RefWorks will be prioritised. Other desirable qualities include meticulousness, a willingness to learn, and the ability to work independently.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.