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Chinese Social Policy in a Time of Transition$
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Douglas Besharov and Karen Baehler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199990313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199990313.001.0001

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Ethnic Minorities and Trilingual Education Policies

Ethnic Minorities and Trilingual Education Policies

(p.180) 10 Ethnic Minorities and Trilingual Education Policies
Chinese Social Policy in a Time of Transition

Bob Adamson

Feng Anwei

Liu Quanguo

Li Qian

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the consequences of language policies in education that foster trilingualism in primary schools in ethnic minority regions of China. Based on data from a national project, the chapter explores the different policy streams that have, by accident rather than design, produced this expectation and identifies four models of trilingual education that have emerged somewhat haphazardly as a response to these policies. It argues that Chinese education policymakers could develop a more coherent plan that balances students’ needs for identification with their ethnic culture; for integration into the social, economic, and political life of the nation; and for engagement with the opportunities of internationalization. With such a plan, trilingual education could become a force for social justice with the potential to reduce marginalization by giving ethnic minority groups the means to sustain and improve their social, economic, and political status.

Keywords:   Language policy, ethnic minorities, trilingualism, marginalization

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