ERIC Number: EJ728525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
English as a Third Language among China's Ethnic Minorities
International Journal of Bilingual Education & Bilingualism, v8 n6 p552-567 2005
This paper examines the teaching and use of, as well as the attitude towards, English among China's ethnic minorities. Starting with a critique of China English, a term used with increasing frequency in the literature on World Englishes and English nativised in the Chinese context, the paper attempts to show that English has yet to find its way into most of the minority communities. After a brief introduction to the 55 ethnic minorities and their languages, it describes the slowly developing English Language Teaching (ELT) industry among their communities, in comparison with the widespread teaching and use of English in China's coastal regions. This is followed by a discussion of the contributing factors, including a lack of funding, a low perceived value of English, Chinese-minority language bilingual education and Chinese-only instruction, as well as the challenge of learning a linguistically distant third language. In conclusion, the paper argues that the nativisation of English is hardly seen among minority communities in the west and calls for more professional attention to the investigation of English among China's 100 million-strong ethnic minority residents.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Bilingual Education, Minority Groups, Ethnic Groups, Language Maintenance, Language Attitudes, Second Language Learning, Multilingualism, Second Language Instruction, English (Second Language)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China