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Trilingual Education and Mongolian Ethnicity

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image of Frontiers of Education in China

Anxieties about Chinese-Mongolian-English trilingual program in Inner Mongolia reflect three linguistic ideologies, that is, the instrumental and the essentialist among Mongolian elites and the assimilationist among Han elites. Mongolian ethnicity is on trial in front of an upsurge of Chinese nationalism. Both pro and con trilingual education elites agree that the Mongolian language should be maintained, but they differ over the ways it is taught. In China, the nationwide drive to go back to “basics” has also encouraged national minorities to keep their traditional culture alive. Such surviving efforts demand a great measure of artful negotiating skills, necessary compromise, and strategic thinking. The trilingual education program in Inner Mongolia serves as a platform on which contending linguistic ideologies confront each other.

Affiliations: 1: College of Humanities, Guizhou University ; 2: School of Ethnology and Sociology, Inner Mongolia University


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