Commodifying Non-English Foreign Language via Chinese University Websites

Zhiying WANG, Zhijuan NI, Haiyan GUO, Bin HE, Jia LI


This paper examines the commodification of non-English foreign languages through the official websites of 42 China’s double first-class universities. Informed by the concepts of language as commodity (Heller 2010), this study examines how non-English foreign languages are ideologically constructed as valued resources exchange for decent job, advanced education and China’s regional integration. However, the study also finds that even these websites try their best to portray non-English foreign languages as valuable commodity, the concept of English as the default language still permeates in the whole promoting process. Therefore, there is still some tensions between ideal promoting vision and actual practices. This study can shed lights on the valorization of multilingual education in China and the promotion of non-English foreign languages to the world.


Non-English foreign languages; Language as commodity; Double first-class universities; Multilingual valorization

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