[lg policy] China: Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to popularize bilingual education in southern region and rural areas.

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 28 14:01:11 UTC 2010

Better communication

English.news.cn   2010-05-28 10:32:51 FeedbackPrintRSS

BEIJING, May 28 -- The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has decided to
popularize bilingual education in its southern region and rural areas.
By 2020, the regional authorities hope, students of all ethnic groups
would be effortlessly able to speak putonghua, whose pronunciation is
based on the Beijing dialect and standardized Chinese characters
created in 1955. Language is a tool for communication and better
opportunities. That explains why English is taught at Chinese schools
and putonghua is being studied overseas.
There are many factors involved in the delivery of quality basic
education, but language is clearly the key to communication and
understanding in the classroom.

The authorities have encouraged putonghua in the belief that the
policy would smoothen communication between people of different
regions, especially among the ethnic groups.
The Chinese spoken by the Han majority, who constitute 92 percent of
China's population, comprises seven major dialects. It can further be
sub-divided into hundreds or even thousands of categories. In October
2000, the Law on Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language was
released. The legislation requires local governments and relevant
departments to take active measures to popularize putonghua and the
standardized Chinese characters.

The bilingual education policy is aimed at imparting in the ethnic
groups strong competence in putonghua and their native languages so as
to enable them to communicate with, and succeed, in mainstream
society. A good command of putonghua enables people from outside
Beijing to access quality education and better careers. China has also
taken steps to protect ethnic languages, particularly those on the
endangered list.

 (Source: China Daily)


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