Joel Heng Hartse’s article English in China: A Miraculous and Conflicted Encounter reviews three books and includes reflections on his own experiences of teaching English. His review suggests that the three books “offer a picture of different yet overlapping areas of English in China: a) the English language itself and the way it is changing as 300 million Chinese learn it; b) the pivotal role of English in the country’s education system and c) conflicts involving culture and identity arising from China’s sometimes ambivalent embrace of English.”
The article points to a number of aspects of interest to peace educators, such as the role of learning language in shaping social and individual identity, dynamics of power within and around languages, and political and economic factors shaping language education.
Joel Heng Hartse is a University of British Columbia PhD candidate who has taught academic writing in China and Canada and used to write music reviews for Christianity Today.
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