The purpose of the study is to illustrate the situation of Chinese language study at upper-secondary schools in Norway in the context of globalization and overseas Chinese language promotion. It explores the underlying principles for teaching Chinese in Norway, the initiatives that government and schools have taken to facilitate the development of Chinese language teaching in upper secondary schools, as well as the educational experience students have in terms of Chinese language learning at schools located in the eastern and western part of Norway. People and nations are becoming increasingly connected in the age of globalization. Few would deny the significance of foreign language in the building of international understanding and cooperation between nations. Linguistic capital theory is applied to explain the motivation of the government and schools offering the Chinese courses, whereas rational choice theory focuses on the choice of students in their future Chinese study. The study uses qualitative methods in the illustration of examples from Norway, including document analysis, semi-structured interviews and observations.
The research findings indicate that in an increasingly globalized world, the Norwegian government and schools have already seen the relevance and advantages of studying Chinese to Norwegian interest given China’s growing importance in the world economy. In order to enhance students’ skills of cross-cultural communication and understanding of China, some schools have been very active to use their resources to promote Chinese language education, which could also make Norway more internationally competitive. Besides, they are also receiving support from the government and their Chinese cooperation partners. Furthermore, from the perspective of the students, the majority of them expressed that learning Chinese could bring more opportunities in the future regarding their motivation to learn Chinese besides the intrinsic value of the language. However, given the practical challenges they face, there are some uncertainties for them to continue studying Chinese in the future.