Third Space Lab Presents: Multilingual China – Realities, Key Policies, and Multilingual Education Models

Date/Time: May 5, 2022, 8pm China time
Speakers: Prof Anwei Feng and Prof Bob Adamson


RSVP by May 4th:

Abstract:  While the national language is rigorously promoted in China, minority languages and Fangyan (dialects/topolects of Chinese) are still widely used all over the country. Despite apparent tensions, many scholars and policy makers argue that multilingualism benefits both societies as it is crucial for preservation of national language resources, and individuals for their cognitive, affective and economic needs. How multilingual is China? What are the key state policies and practical models found to be adopted to encourage or lessen multilingualism in schools and universities? In this talk, we, the editors of two volumes1&2 that focus on multilingual China, will present an account of the multilingual phenomena in China and address some key challenges facing policy makers and researchers in language education in general.

  1. Adamson B. and Feng, A.W. (eds.) (2022) Multilingual China: National, Minority, and Foreign Languages. London and New York: Routledge.
  2. Feng A.W. and Adamson B. (eds.) (2015) Trilingualism in education in China: Models and challenges. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Speaker Bios:

Anwei Feng is Professor of Language Education at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). He has had teaching and research experience in many countries and regions including China, Qatar, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. His research areas include multilingualism, multilingual education, and intercultural studies in education. He has supervised more than two dozens of doctorate students to completion and published many peer-reviewed journal articles and several books in these research areas including “Trilingualism in education in China: models and challenges” (2015) and “Multilingual China: National, minority, and foreign languages” (2022), both with Bob Adamson.

Bob Adamson is Visiting Professor in Curriculum & Comparative Education in the School of Education and English, University of Nottingham Ningbo China. He formerly held the UNESCO Chair at The Education University of Hong Kong. Bob has published more than 200 books and journal articles in the areas of curriculum studies, language policy and comparative education. His books include “China’s English: a history of English in Chinese education” (2004) “Trilingualism in education in China: models and challenges” (with Anwei Feng, 2015), and “Comparative education research: approaches and methods” (with Mark Bray and Mark Mason, 2007, 2014), which has been translated into ten languages to date.