China's Assimilationist Language Policy
The Impact on Indigenous/Minority Literacy and Social Harmony
Edited by Gulbahar H. Beckett, Gerard A. Postiglione
Routledge – 2012 – 242 pages
China has huge ethnic minorities – over 40 different groups with a total population of over 100 million. Over time China’s policies towards minority languages have varied, changing from policies which have accommodated minority languages to policies which have encouraged integration. At present integrationist policies predominate, notably in the education system, where instruction in minority languages is being edged out in favour of instruction in Mandarin Chinese. This book assesses the current state of indigenous and minority language policy in China. It considers especially language policy in the education system, including in higher education, and provides detailed case studies of how particular ethnic minorities are being affected by the integrationist, or assimilationist, approach.
"Beckett and Postiglione’s book is a solid introduction to the changing language policy
landscape in China and how these changes affect stability, especially in regard to education and social harmony among the minority population. The book leaves the reader with a clear conclusion that the Chinese government’s language policies work out differently in practice for different minorities and that education for minorities is a major key to achieving and maintaining social harmony… It is highly recommended to everyone interested in language and language education policies in China and to those interested in minority issues in China." - Heidi Cobbey, SIL International, East Asia Group; China Information 2012 26: 383
List of contributors List of tables and figures Part I: Background and Historical Review 1. China’s Language Policy for Indigenous and Minority Education - Gulbahar H. Beckett and Gerard A. Postiglione 2. Historical Review of the PRC’s Minority/Indigenous Language Policy and Practice: Nation-State Building and Identity Construction - Minglang Zhou Part II: Empirical Research Studies 3. The Development of Minority Education and the Practice of Bilingual Education in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region - Rong Ma 4. Bilingual Education among the Dongxiangs: Experiment, Practices, and Implications - Yisu Zhou 5. China’s Minorities without Written Scripts: The Case of Education Access among the Dongxiang - Jiayi Wang and Gerard A. Postiglione 6. Bilingual Education in China: The Case of Yunnan - Linda Tsung, Ge Wang, and Qunying Zhang 7. Language Hegemony in its Relation to Chinese Marriage Migrants Mothers’ Adaptations to and Educational Involvements in Taiwan - Yi-Hsuan Chelsea Kuo 8. The Influence of Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds on the Social and Academic Adjustment of Students at an Ethnic Minority University in China - Mei Wu, Jerry Tuchscherer, and Forrest W. Parkay 9. Language Issues in Chinese Higher Education: The Case of Korean and Mongol Minority Groups - W. James Jacob and Heejin Park Part III. Theoretical, Ideological, and Legal Issues 10. Chinese-English Bilingual Education in PRC: Implications for Language Education for Autochthonous Ethnic Minorities - Guangwei Hu 11. From Neo-Liberal Ideology to Critical Sustainability Theory for Language Policy Studies in the P.R.C. - Seoanaigh MacPherson 12. Minority Language Rights and Education in China: The Relevance of Human Rights Law and Substantive Equality - Kelley Loper
Gulbahar H. Beckett is Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Cincinnati, USA. Gerard A. Postiglione is Professor and Head, Division of Policy, Administration and Social Sciences, and Director of the Wah Ching Center of Research on Education in China of the University of Hong Kong.