WP38 Language socialisation as social practice: Case studies of a Chinese Heritage Language School

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In this paper, I use the language socialization approach to analyze the interplay of language learning and cultural development in a Chinese heritage language school where a group of middle-class Chinese Americans come together for various imaginations from widely dispersed suburban areas in Upstate New York. My focus is on how socialization through language and socialization to use language is embodied in the co-construction of teenagers? language proficiency and cultural competence through learning of Chinese idiomatic expressions. Specifically, I use discourse analysis to discuss adolescent learners? learning and use of these idiomatic expressions in two different settings: a standup comic in the Chinese New Year Party and a Chinese language class. In spite of some differences, these two cases offer some common implications for language education research. Firstly, learning and use of idiomatic expressions are intricately linked with cultural development. Secondly, learning and use of idioms might enhance learners? ethnic identity. I argue that idiomatic expressions, as an important site of language socialization, will provide insights into language education research in general and heritage language learning in particular.