Transcending Gender Taboos: Talk in the Dorm Among Female Study Abroad Students in China

DIAO, Wenhao

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Jun 2021; Issue No. 9; p.93 - 126

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

This study discusses gender inclusivity in Chinese language teaching by examining female students’ discourse while they study abroad in China. Data came from a constructed corpus of spontaneous conversations between language learners and their native-speaking Chinese roommates. The content of the talk was thematically grouped into 17 categories. Descriptive statistics show some but limited thematic differences in the talk between the female learners and their male counterparts. Drawing from sociocultural linguistics work on gender and discourse (e.g., Bucholtz & Hall, 2004), the following qualitative analysis focuses on how the women exchanged stories related to their gendered bodies with their female Chinese roommates and utilized discourse strategies to overcome linguistic barriers and engage in the construction of gender. As these results illuminate gender in language learning, we conclude with the pedagogical recommendation to incorporate a critical feminist perspective to better facilitate women learners’ perspectives and make Chinese language teaching more gender inclusive.

Chinese as a second language study abroad gender corpus discourse analysis


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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