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By Anwei Feng

This paintings compares and contrasts strands of bilingualism in China, one for minority nationality teams, the opposite for majority. It examines the background, coverage, philosophy, politics, provision and perform in bilingual, trilingual or multilingual schooling regarding Mandarin chinese language, English, and minority languages. This quantity brings a combined crew of researchers jointly to debate concerns in bilingual or trilingual schooling for almost all and minority nationality teams in China and to discover the connection among the 2. Articles diversity from experiences of bilingual or trilingual schooling tasks in distant minority areas to discussions approximately Chinese-English bilingual schooling in significant fiscal centres.

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Additional resources for Bilingual Education in China: Practices, Policies and Concepts (Bilingual Education and Bilingualism)

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I speak Minnanhua [a southern dialect] and Putonghua equally well. I learnt Minnanhua from my grandmother. . Putonghua was not used at home. When I was four, I went to kindergarten and was taught in Putonghua. Outside the classroom, my classmates and I still conversed in Minnanhua but we spoke Putonghua with the teachers. In [the same southern coastal city], we have a lot of visitors from other provinces. In a group of three or four people, if one does not speak Minnanhua, we immediately switch to Putonghua.

The implicit trilingual and biliterate/triliterate model in China is only partially supported by explicit legislation. The Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Guojia Tongyong Yuyan Wenzi Fa (The Law on Language Use of the People’s Republic of China), announced on October 31, 2000, and effective from January 1, 2001, reaffirms the official position since the mid-1950s—that Putonghua and standardized characters are the speech and the script to be used throughout the nation (Article 2), though minority groups still have the freedom to use and develop their own languages and scripts (Article 8) (Editorial Committee, China Education Yearbook, 2001: 813).

These minority learners should be provided with the opportunity for oral instruction in their own language as a subject in the Heritage Language mode, wherever possible, to assure their cultural integrity. One important aspect to be addressed before this principle can be implemented is the issue of examinations. It is not possible to implement this recommendation if there are no corollary changes in the examination system. P1: OTE/SPH MMBK003-Feng P2: OTE April 7, 2007 8:12 Policy and Learner Experience 29 The official language If we bear in mind that linguistic human rights include not only the right to identify positively with one’s mother tongue and to receive basic education in it but also the right to learn “at least one of the official languages in one’s country or residence’’ (Skutnabb-Kangas, 1995a: 7), then the learning of Putonghua cannot be compromised for any of the groups in China, regardless of their first language or dialect, not just because all of them will need Putonghua to participate in the national life but because it is their right to be provided with the opportunity to achieve high competence in such a language.

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