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ERIC Number: EJ822962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Legislating Literacy for Linguistic and Ethnic Minorities in Contemporary China
Zhou, Minglang
Current Issues in Language Planning, v6 n2 p102-121 May 2005
The People's Republic of China has employed two means of literacy promotion: a campaign approach and a legislative approach to meet the needs of nation-state building through education. From 1949 through to the late 1970s, the campaign approach was motivated by a political rationale, but later an economic rationale also became important. From the mid-1980s and continuing to the present, a legislative approach emerged which treats compulsory education as the mainstream means for literacy development and illiteracy eradication as a supplementary one. Meanwhile, China's language policy has also changed from allowing parallel development of Chinese literacy and minority literacies to a linguistic hierarchy with Chinese as dominant and minority languages as subordinate. Minorities may challenge this order and in these challenges can be seen differences between national legislation and local legislation. The national laws generally take a "permission" stance towards literacy in minority languages, whereas local laws adopt stances ranging from "promotion" to "permission" to "tolerance", with the focus for contesting relative status concentrating on the area of literacy education rather than illiteracy eradication. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China