Code choice in the Chinese as a foreign language classroom

Danping WANG, Thomas Andrew KIRKPATRICK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


The large influx of Chinese language learners into the People’s Republic of China from different countries shapes the Chinese as a foreign language classroom as a multilingual and multinational domain. However, how Chinese language teachers perceive their choice of codes for teaching and communicating with international Chinese language learners remains an under-researched area. To investigate Chinese language teachers’ language beliefs toward code choice in teaching Chinese as a foreign language, 24 Chinese language teachers from four universities in Beijing were invited to participate in this study. Findings indicated that although Chinese language teachers endeavored to abide by a Chinese-only principle, English was regularly and strategically employed as an international lingua franca (English as a lingua franca, ELF) for explanatory, managerial and interactive functions. The study concluded by proposing an “ELF pedagogy” for Chinese language teachers to consider in increasingly multilingual classrooms. Copyright © 2012 Wang and Kirkpatrick ; licensee Springer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalMultilingual Education
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


Wang, D., & Kirkpatrick, A. (2012). Code choice in the Chinese as a foreign language classroom. Multilingual Education, 2. Retrieved from


  • Chinese as a foreign language
  • English as a lingua franca
  • Sinophone identity
  • Code choice
  • Multilingual classroom


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