Chapter 5. Learning and teaching Chinese in the Netherlands

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This paper is concerned with the metapragmatics of Chinese as a polycentric language. Based on ethnographic observations and interviews in and around a Chinese complementary school in the Netherlands, this paper describes an ongoing shift along with demographic, economic and political changes, in what counts as Chinese: a shift from Hong Kong and Taipei to Beijing as the most powerful centre of Chinese in the world. Migration makes communicative resources like language varieties globally mobile and this affects the normativity in the diaspora classroom. A clearer understanding of the metapragmatics of Chinese is useful because it provides a key to understanding social identities in contemporary Chinese migration contexts and to understanding language within contexts of current globalisation.


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