COVID pandemic coverage — Before celebrating China’s Spring Festival, my husband and I were talking about new sources of local economic growth thanks to President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tengchong right after his first overseas trip to Myanmar in 2020. Tengchong, where I conducted fieldwork for my PhD about the language learning experiences of Burmese students in Chinese high schools, is a border town, located in the most peripheral southwest of China. It has recently acquired much strategic attention from China’s national government and numerous business opportunities are available to explore. However, our expectations and imaginations were stopped in their tracks by the official confirmation of the coronavirus epidemic on January 20. Since then, our family conversations have shifted from economic growth and individual development to the epidemic-related events. The epidemic not only changes family discourses but also provides a space for a new perspective on linguistic diversity. Over the past five weeks, I have observed the increasing visibility and audibility of linguistic diversity in China, both online and offline.

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