image of Chinese Russian language teachers’ agency in response to the New Liberal Arts policy
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released in 2020 put forward curriculum-based ideological and moral education, quality culture, interdisciplinary integration and mode innovation as principles for new liberal arts construction, which are later adopted as language policy support underlying Chinese Russian language teachers’ (RLTs) career development. Against this backdrop, we focused on the issue of Russian language teachers’ agency in response to the call under the guidance of the ecological theory. We applied the ecological lens to researching how RLTs interact with diverse contextual factors at different subsystems to seek their professional development. The current study explored RLTs’ agency exercise experiences through semi-structured interviews with three RLTs working in Chinese universities. The findings showed that Chinese RLTs generally held a positive attitude towards the new education policy, while their potential for mobilizing was directly associated with the contingent policy of their local institutions. What’s more, their career prospects rested upon their career planning and personality. The study provides useful insights into teacher agency for less-commonly-taught languages and the different subsystems constraining their agencies. Given the relatively small sample size involved in the study and the strong dependence on interview-based data, further study based on larger sample size and multidimensional data with adequate cross-validation is expected.


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