English in a Mongolian Ethnic Minority Primary School
Primary schools in regional China with large ethnic minority populations are confronting the challenges of policies concerning multilingual education, comprising the minority language, Mandarin Chinese, and a foreign language, usually English from Year 3 (Adamson & Yi, China’s English: A history of English in Chinese education, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2015). English, which is selected for its significance as an international language, is different from both Chinese and Mongolian in its writing system as well as its linguistic features. This chapter analyses the role and nature of English in the curriculum of a Mongolian minority primary school in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR). It focuses on three aspects: policy decisions at the state and provincial levels, the views and arrangements of the school leaders, and the pedagogical decisions made by teachers in the classroom, with a particular focus on the medium of instruction. In addition, the relationship between English and the other two languages is discussed in terms of models of trilingual education.
KeywordsEnglish as a foreign language Trilingual education Mongolian ethnic school Chinese education
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