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Negotiating and creating intercultural relations: Chinese immigrant children in New Zealand early childhood education centres

journal contribution
posted on 2012-09-01, 00:00 authored by Karen GuoKaren Guo, C Dalli
A multiple-case study investigation of the experiences of eight Chinese immigrant children in New Zealand early childhood centres suggested that the immigrant children’s learning experiences in their first centre can be understood as a process of negotiating and creating intercultural relations. The children’s use of family cultural tools, such as the Chinese language, was a distinctive feature of their learning experiences, simultaneously revealing and extending their exploration of the intercultural practices and their establishment of a sense of belonging. In the presence of Chinese-speaking peers who acted as ‘bridges’ and ‘boundary objects’, the Chinese language was actively used by the immigrant children in English-speaking early childhood centres and, as a result, they created intercultural relations which: (i) bridged the two cultures; (ii) brought the cultures into convergence; (iii) enabled the children to claim group identity; and (iv) battled intercultural constraints. The absence of Chinese speakers, on the other hand, constrained possibilities for intercultural relations. The focus on intercultural relations in this study is expected to lead to educational initiatives to support the incorporation of diverse cultures in early childhood services.

History

Journal

Australasian journal of early childhood

Volume

37

Issue

3

Pagination

129 - 136

Publisher

Early Childhood Australia

Location

Watson, A.C.T.

ISSN

0312-5033

eISSN

1836-9391

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Early Childhood Australia