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Bilingual education boosts Xinjiang's development

2013-05-20 14:53 CNTV     Web Editor: yaolan comment

With a total of 47 ethnic nationalities in Northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Uygur language is one of the most widely spoken there. Ethnic minorities make up 60 percent of the region's population, and preserving their mother tongue is important to them. But in recent years, teaching children, both in their mother tongue and the Chinese mandarin has been given a boost. A boost that has been well-received by both the students and teachers alike.

Kurexi Balati has been teaching Uygur in Xinjiang for 17 years. And now, students in his class have six classes a week learning the language. He believes that for students to learn their mother tongue is of great importance.

Which is why Uygur students in Xinjiang are learning both their mother tongue and standard Chinese, from kindergarten to high school. Most students believe this kind of bilingual education helps broaden their minds.

Both Uygur and Chinese teachers are now receiving more training to further improve their teaching methods. And with all ethnic minority students in Xinjiang learning both their mother tongue and standard Chinese, this school has also provided more platforms for cultural exchanges. This kind of fashion show is one of those platforms. Dresses in their ethnic clothes, students are displaying their catwalk and dance skills. It is helping students to preserve their own culture while learning about others. Schools like this have mushroomed in Xinjiang in recent years.

In 2012, Xinjiang invested almost 50 billion Yuan on education, an almost 20% increase on 2011 levels. Bilingual education makes up an important part of that. After grasping more languages, these minority students are hoping to make a greater contribution to Xinjiang as well as in other places.

During the past years, ethnic minority students here have benefited from bilingual education. With increased government support, they have also enjoyed improved facilities, good teacher and environment. This has made a difference, especially in poor areas where many young hopes are pinned on a better education to a brighter future.


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