Language Education Policy Studies
An International Network


Semiotics and Language Education Policy 

Theme 1

Visual Semiotics and Language Education Policy

4:15pm - Ideological and Implementational Spaces for Multilingualism: Lessons on Policy Making from China

Qi Shen (Tongji University, China)

In this paper, I draw on Ruiz’ s (1984) metaphorical representations of language to outline the ideological and implementational spaces for language policy making in Greater China. In particular, the papers highlights how the ‘resource’ orientation allows different stakeholders to negotiate the development of language policies that may help preserve linguistic diversity within a tradition of seeing linguistic unity as foundational to national unity. To illustrate this, this paper presents an analysis of media texts on a major language policy initiative in mainland China and examine relevant discussions in other Chinese contexts. It contends that this ‘resource’ orientation has a significant role in defining the implementational space for language policy making in Greater China, despite the critique that may be levelled at it. 

4:30pm - Multimodal Metaphors in Public Service Advertisement: A Case Study of CCTV Advertisement of Lantern Festival "Lantern Riddles"

Lina CHEN, Tongji University, Shanghai (

Multimodal metaphor analysis has become one of the hotspots in an enlarged view of linguistics extended to semiotic features. Most analyses focus on commercial advertisements and there exist just a few of studies on public service advertisements. Clarifying the ways in which multimodal metaphors appear and exist in public service advertisements is of certain significance to broaden research horizon and analyze dynamic video. Based on the 2017 CCTV public service advertisement of Lantern Festival "Lantern Riddles", this analysis explores the types of multimodal metaphors in the advertisement, concludes the relationship between modes and metaphors and analyzes the ways this advertisement uses to spread socialist core values, which is hoped to shed lights on analyzing public service advertisements with multimodal metaphors.

4:45pm - Instructor Wardrobe: Messages Sent and Received

Anna Nesterchouk, University of Wisconsin-Madison (

Colors, styles, and dress norms are some of the non-verbal signs used to construct meaning about one’s complex identity. This process of signification is situated within the historical, cultural, and institutional context. I intend to explore the communicative role of professional dress in U.S. education, its evolution, and significance in the perception of ‘a teacher’. I will examine how the visual rhetoric has reflected and supported the power relations as well as the changing role of an educator. The explicit and implicit policies of a normed semiotic language of instructor clothing established by schools and districts will be discussed.

5:00pm - The construction of national images through media translation: agenda-setting in Qiushi JournalEnglish Edition

Bin GAO, Tongji University, Shanghai (

This paper discusses the construction of China’s national images for an international audience, as presented in the English version of Qiushi Journal. It uses the concept of agenda-setting put forward by Maxwell Mccombs in his studies of mass media. Agenda setting “may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about”. The existence of agenda-setting function suggests that national images can be constructed through setting agendas in a country’s international discourse. Qiushi Journal (English Edition) is based on its Chinese version of the same name, which serves as the political organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on China’s governance and perspectives. But it is not a complete translation. Instead, only a small number of articles from the Chinese version are selected and translated into English for an international audience. The selecting process is an agenda-setting process. In this process, China’s national images are constructed. The paper analyzes a corpus of 37 issues of Qiushi Journal (English Edition) from its creation in 2009 to 2018 to precisely consider what has been selected by the political discourse producer to construct what images about China on the basis of the corpus.  

5:15pm - Understanding the Semiotics of Religion to Manufacture a Culturally Inclusive Atmosphere in U.S. Classrooms

Asmahan Sandokji, University of Wisconsin-Madison (

Schools across the U.S, today are witnessing an increasing number of linguistically and culturally diverse children. With the substantially increase of immigration and migration waves, schools need to take a critical stance in welcoming the unique cultures of all their children. The paper argues that enhancing the status of the students’ unique cultures requires an understanding of symbolic elements of each culturally diverse group. It investigates Islamic religion and looks into how educators gather resources that would help them in supporting their Muslim students. The study includes how educators represent the Islamic religion within their classroom through the use of symbols in creating visual signs and artifacts in the classroom. Besides, examining the cultural symbols will allow educators to understand the characteristics of his/her Muslim students’ religious practices and beliefs. Therefore, through understanding the unique features of Islam, the educator will be able to create an inclusive atmosphere for his/her students where they feel understood and supported by their teacher. The significance of the study lays in the fact that Islam is one of the most misunderstood religions in the world. Therefore, creating a platform to help educators understand the Islamic faith through recognizing its symbols will create a stronger compassion for their Muslim students and their families. 

5:30pm - Exploring Dental Fear and Anxiety among Kids:

Sino-U. S. Comparative Research on Multimodal Interactions in Pediatric Dentistry 

Enhua GUO , Tongji University, Shanghai (

The prevalence of dental fear and anxiety (DFA) among child patients has been well documented (Milgrom et al., 1988; Oosterink, 2009; Shim et al., 2015). Research has shown that DFA can not only augment the bodily sensation of dental pain, but can lead to dental treatment avoidance (Shim et al., 2015). Despite a large body of quantitative studies on DFA, thus far, little research has been conducted on how DFA among young patients is being managed interactionally, moment by moment, to enable the completion of dental treatment. This study applies a multimodal interaction analysis to the naturallyoccurring multi-party communication among pediatric dentists, dental assistants, child patients, and child guardians. Usingvideo-recorded data gathered from dental clinics both in China and the United States, we focus on three interactional moments between the dentist and the patient: (1) orienting the patient to dental tools, (2) persuading and manipulating the patient to open his or her mouth, and (3) injecting anesthesia. Our research questions include: (1) How do young patients express their DFA and how their DFA is taken up by dental practitioners (including their guardians), moment by moment, in and through multimodal practices? (2) What is the role of touch in scaffolding the intercorporeal participation framework(Goffman, 1981; Goodwin & Goodwin, 2004) of the dental treatment? And (3) how is agency distributed among patient, dentist, dental assistant, and guardians via the way in which they control and comfort the patient’s body? 


5:45pm - Construction and Development of Shared Language Community against the Backdrop of “Belt and Road” Initiative

Shuxia ZHOU, Tongji University, Shanghai (

Language is the pivotal link for culture communication. Countries along “belt and road” enjoy different languages and diverse culture. Language communication lays a solid foundation for the “Five Communications” in the “Belt and Road” Initiative and it is a prerequisite for community of shared future for mankind; accordingly, “Belt and Road” Initiative needs language communication. This paper, probing into macroenvironment of countries along “belt and road” from social and cultural perspective with the assistance of PEST framework in economics, attempts to analyze opportunities and challenges for community of shared future for mankind and community of language, with an eye to providing reference for multilingual construction.     

World Language Education Policies

Francois Victor Tochon, PhD

President, INLEPs

Chief Editor, Deep Education Press 
Professor, Curriculum and Instruction & French & Italian

University of Wisconsin Madison

This review essay, written within an interdisciplinary perspective, argues for multilingual proficiency as a goal of and a forthcoming trend in peace education. Multilingual proficiency should be one of the strategic goals of peace education.  This overview of the field explores one possible imaginary for the future. The stakes of peace and globalization are addressed from a school policy perspective, exploring: (a) the role of language diversity in reaching peaceful, world citizenship; (b) bilingualism and how it is linked to the ability to bring peace; (c) the role of English and other lingua francas; (d) the connection between language education and peace. The framework for this study is Critical Systems Theory. It stimulates reflection to enable participation in and contribution to the development of civil society, raises questions related to motivation, power, knowledge and legitimization, and targets the revival of civil society. The literature reviewed points at how the issues discussed can be resolved to increase crosscultural understanding.


Presenter: Dr. François Victor Tochon is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he heads Graduate Studies in World Language Education. He has a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics/Curriculum & Instruction (Université Laval) and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Ottawa University), and received the equivalent of Honorary Doctorates from two universities in Argentina and Peru. Prof. Tochon worked on intercultural issues related to bilingualism in various countries and international language education policies. He received an award from the U.S. Department of Education to create, research and evaluate a “Deep Approach” to foreign language curricula that would respect a pluralistic and federative view of language education policies. It allowed him to format an interface between language policies and classroom curricula and practices. With 25 books and some 150 articles and book chapters to his credit, Prof. Tochon has also been Visiting Professor in several universities. He is currently published in 8 languages. Among his books are: The Foreign Self: Truth Telling as Educational Inquiry; Tropics of Teaching; Educational Semiotics. His article “The Key To Global Understanding” published in the Review of Educational Research (79/2) received the 2010 Award of Best Review of Research from the American Educational Research Association (AERA).  Since 2012, he is a collaborator in the Campus of Excellence of the University of Granada, Spain.                      

The Key to Regional Peace and Prosperity: a Comparative Study of Foreign Language Education Policy in East Asia



China Research Center for Foreign Language Strategies (RCFLS)

Shanghai International Studies University

Foreign Languages Education (FLE) has long been an integral part in the national education system in most countries in the world and plays a key role in the development of a nation and its society. East Asia formerly achieved brilliant glories of Oriental civilization and now is in the pursuit for regional peace and prosperity. FLE in East Asian countries has been playing an even greater part in the context of globalization. This paper, based on a detailed, organic and comparative perspective on the development of FLE policies, tries to reveal the interconnected and historical relationship between FLE policies and the harmonious, economic and educational development in China, Japan and South Korea. First, the paper starts with the analysis of the evolvement and trend of international FLE policies and the development of East Asia in the context of globalization and focuses on the connection among globalization, East Asia development and innovations of FLE policies. Next, a three-fold framework for analysis would be proposed to conduct an organic analysis of FLE policies in case studies of Japan, South Korea and China respectively, by looking at the historical development, current situation and innovations in the context of globalization of FLE policies. The above endeavor tries to explore the whole process and present a tentative links and limitations between FLE and regional peace and prosperity. 


Presenter: Professor SHEN Qi, Ph. D in Comparative Education, Med in TESOL, BA in English language and literature, Deputy Director of China Research Center for Foreign Language Strategies (RCFLS), and research fellow in Institute of Linguistic Studies, Shanghai International Studies University. Dr. Shen’s major research interests include language policy and language planning, Language Education Policy and Educational Linguistics. He has published one monograph in Chinese and more than 40 journal papers at home and abroad. Currently, he is the principal investigator of 5 projects, concerning studies in national language competence, language education policy and linguistic security.    

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