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Bi-lingual/cultural acquisition, International and cross-cultural experiences, Narrative inquiry, Translanguaging, Young Chinese visiting students







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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Situated within Dr. Shijing Xu and Dr. Michael Connelly’s Project entitled “Reciprocal Learning in Teacher Education and School Education between Canada and China” (Xu, 2019; Xu & Connelly, 2017), this study makes a narrative inquiry into five K-5 young Chinese visiting students’ translanguaging and bi-lingual/cultural acquisition in the international and cross-cultural experiences between Canada and China. Three research questions are addressed in this thesis: 1) What are young Chinese visiting students’ translanguaging practices in their international and cross-cultural experiences? Do they change over time? If so, how? 2) What is young Chinese visiting students’ bi-lingual/cultural acquisition in their international and cross-cultural experiences? and 3) How do the young Chinese visiting students make sense of their international and cross-cultural experiences through language and culture? To understand the lives of five young Chinese visiting students in the Canadian schools, homes, and local communities, the researcher also recruited other three Chinese visiting scholars’ children (Grades JK-5) and three Canadian adults as research informants. Field texts were collected via participant observation, semi-structured interviews, field notes, casual conversations, students’ artifacts of classroom work, drawings, and diaries. Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000a) three-dimensional narrative inquiry space framework was used to analyze the fieldwork within social, cultural, and historical contexts. Research texts show that translanguaging played an important role during and after the young Chinese visiting students’ visit to Canada, including facilitating the understanding of English texts and conversations, expressing themselves in flexible forms, and making sense of their lived experiences. Besides, the Chinese students were not passive recipients of knowledge during the visit but contributed to Canadian classrooms and communities with creative translanguaging that was contrary to monolingual practice. After they visited Canada and returned home to China, they continued to actively explore translanguaging spaces and reflected on the education systems, societies, cultures, and languages of the two countries. Implications for school administrators, parents, teachers, curriculum makers, and policymakers are presented. These include possible ways to effectively support young learners in Canada, young visiting students’ transition to the motherland after a short-term visit and to open more possibilities for language education in China and Canada.

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