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Education for Ethnic Minorities in China(III)
Conducting bilingual language teaching, editing and translating teaching materials
2001-01-01

Before 1949, only 19 ethnic minorities had their own written languages. After 1949, the state formulated regulations in the Constitution and the Law regarding Ethnic Regional Autonomy, which stated that every nationality has the freedom to use and develop its own national written language. The state has also helped all ethnic minorities develop education by using their own written languages.

After liberation, the state has helped more than ten nationalities-the Buyi, Yi, Miao (41anguages), Naxi, Li, Lisu, Dong, Hani (two languages), Wu-create 14 languages. In addition, it has also helped the Uygur, the Kazak, the Lahu and Jingpo nationalities make reforms of their languages. Now, except the Hui and Manchu minorities which generally use the Han Chinese language, other 53 ethnic minorities all have their own languages. The Mongolian, Tibetan, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Sibo, Korean, Miao, Zhuang, Buyi, Dong, Hani, Bai, Yi, Naxi, Jingpo, Lisu, Lahu, Wa, Dai, the Uzbek nationalities have conducted teaching in their own languages.

publishing houses for ethnic education and ethnic language teaching coordinating organizations have been established for the purpose of editing and translating ethnic language teaching materials. Ethnic education publishing houses or ethnic teaching materials' publishing houses have been set up in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Jilin, Qinghai, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi provinces or autonomous regions, ethnic languages translating and editing organs have been established in 8 provinces and autonomous regions. In addition, coordinating groups for primary and secondary schools' textbooks in Mongolian, Tibetan and Korean languages have been formed. In 1988, 3500 kinds of textbooks of primary and secondary schools (about 100 million volumes) were produced in 29 ethnic languages for students in 21 nationalities.

In order to train personnel of ethnic background who can not only meet the demand of regional development, but also are capable of learning information and technologies from other parts of the country, schools and classes for ethnic students of all levels and of all categories have extensively offered bilingual language teaching Those schools which use Chinese textbooks also use an ethnic language as an assisted teaching language. For instance, ethnic language and culture courses are taught in ethnic languages while general disciplines are lectured in Chinese. According to initial statistics, throughout the country, there are about 10000 schools which conduct teaching in two languages, with the attendance of about 6 millions of students.

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