Parents’ perceptions and management of children’s learning of chinese as a heritage language: A case study of cross-cultural families in australia

Wanyu Liao, Hui Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Parents play an important role in children’s learning of their heritage language (HL) in immigrant countries. Fostering HL learning is a hard task for parents, particularly in immigrant families, and this difficulty is exacerbated in cross-cultural families. The existing studies have not fully addressed the importance of consistent parental perceptions and language management in children’s HL learning. This gap is particularly clear in the research concerning learning Chinese as an HL among cross-cultural families’ children living in English-speaking immigrant countries such as Australia. The present qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to fill this gap by examining the perceptions and language management strategies of three cross-cultural families in Australia whose children are learning Chinese as one parent’s HL. The results suggest that, in English countries, Chinese-background and non-Chinese-background parents in cross-cultural families have quite different opinions about their children learning Chinese, which are reflected in their dissimilar language management strategies. The results highlight the importance and challenges of developing a stable family language policy in cross-cultural families in order to maintain their children’s HL learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1218-1226
Number of pages9
JournalTheory and Practice in Language Studies
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Children’s Chinese learning
  • Cross-cultural family
  • Family language policy
  • Heritage language
  • Parents’ perceptions and language management

Cite this