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Negotiating Participation in the Local English-speaking Community: A Case Study of Chinese Learners in Britain



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GAO, Feng 


This article reports on a qualitative multiple case study that explored six Chinese learners’ experiences of negotiating participation in the local English-speaking community in Britain. Drawing on a variety of sources (ethnographic observations, informal conversations and narrative interviews), the analysis focuses on the opportunities that this group of Chinese learners have gained to interact with local British outside the language classroom, the obstacles that constrain their interaction, and the language teachers’ roles in assisting their participation in the local English-speaking community. The findings suggest that restricted by access barrier, linguistic barrier, culture barrier and psychological barrier, the chances the participants have gained to associate with local British are uneven and limited than they have expected. Meanwhile, language teachers have the potential to play a more supportive role in enhancing the Chinese students’ engagement in the local English-speaking community.


ESL, COP, Chinese learners, study abroad, Britain

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Cambridge Journal of China Studies

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