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Learning cultures and learning styles: myth-understandings about adult (Hong Kong) Chinese learners

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The picture that often emerges from the research literature on 'Chinese learners' is a caricature of rote-learning, memorization and passivity. This article takes issue with the stereotype. The paper is in three parts. The first part considers the extent to which Chinese culture may influence Chinese learning styles. Some received opinions are counterpoised with more recent reinterpretations. The paper later examines some of the findings from the literature on effective adult learning. The third part explores the extent to which Hong Kong adult learners adopt learning styles consonant with those outlined in the second section. The results of the survey research, action learning projects and case studies considered suggest that Hong Kong adult learners are receptive to new modes of learning and go on to adopt learning styles quite different from those they deployed in school. The arguments are situated within the literature on adult Chinese second language (L2) learning but have wider resonance and application to Hong Kong adult learners in general.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2002

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