Schools at Home: Parental Support for Learning Mandarin as a Second or Foreign Language

Chung, Yu-Chiao. 2012. Schools at Home: Parental Support for Learning Mandarin as a Second or Foreign Language. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Doctoral Thesis)
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Abstract or Description

This study examined how parents of various backgrounds supported their children learning Mandarin as a second or foreign language. It addresses two questions which have previously rarely been addressed in the literature. 1. Whether and if so in what ways do parents of different backgrounds support their children in learning Mandarin as a second or a foreign language? 2. How is this affected by social, cultural as well as the parents’ own educational experience?

Here the most relevant socio-cultural theories of learning: prolepsis; guided participation; syncretism; synergy and funds of knowledge have been studied. Ethnographic research was conducted on six families chosen from three categories: families in which both parents had Chinese heritage; one parent had Chinese heritage and those in which neither parent had a Chinese background. Data were collected through participant observation and interviews.

The method of multi-layering was applied to analyze these data: the outer layer- social and cultural background, the middle layer- supporting strategies and the inner layer- the pedagogic methods used by the parents.

The results reveal that these parents were determined to assist their children’s learning and employed different methods: both direct (teaching) and indirect (providing access to resources, cultural activities and events). All parents set aside time for formal, serious, regular (school-like) learning sessions. The support they provided was affected significantly by their social, cultural and educational background. All enhanced their children’s motivation and learning achievement.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


bilingualism, home support, parental support, chinese, mandarin, family support,

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Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2012 17:23

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:16


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