MLA Directory of Periodicals
REAO: East Asian Studies Journals
Improving the Representation of Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness in Chinese Textbooks through Critical Discourse Analysis—Experience, Reflection and Prospect in Teaching with Integrated Chinese
Northern Virginia Community College, USA
Florida International University, USA
Stanford University, USA
Employing the Critical Discourse Analysis theory, this paper analyzes the cultural content in the fourth edition of “Integrated Chinese” (Volumes I and II). Although much improved from the previous editions, the textbook still has some shortcomings such as lack of representation of cultural diversity in China and the world, one-sided highlighting of a certain culture, neglect of gender equality and identity, reinforcement of some stereotypes and so on. Based on their analysis of the content of “Integrated Chinese” and their over decade of usage experience, the authors have made some concrete and feasible suggestions for textbook writers, instructional materials developers, and teachers. These suggestions include: increase the representation of diversity both in China and the world, enhance content relevance to the learners, strengthen the connection between language and culture learning, empower teachers’ agency and capacity to develop their own Open Educational Resources to supplement their instructional materials so their students from diverse background can truly see themselves in the content of the course and as legitimate users of Chinese in their life and careers, and design graded reading in conjunction with social and culturally current topics that are of great interest to learners, etc. This paper also hopes to help Chinese teachers take full advantage of the multicultural assets our learners bring into our classrooms so they can all have a deeper understanding and appreciation of their own cultural identities and Chinese and other cultures. This will help learners become better thinkers, more effective cross-culture communicators, and educated citizens of the world.
Integrated Chinese, CFL instruction, teaching of Chinese cultures, critical discourse analysis