Bilingual Education in China Practices, Policies and Concepts Edited by: Anwei Feng

Hardback - 304 pages
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15 Jun 2007
Bilingual Education & Bilingualism
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148

Key features

- Examines the history, policy, philosophy, politics, provision and practice in bilingual, trilingual or multilingual education involving Mandarin Chinese, English and minority languages


The complexity and diversity of the linguistic situations, practices, policies and theories of bilingual education is widely acknowledged in a country with a population of 1.3 billion people consisting of 56 officially recognised indigenous nationalities speaking more than 80 languages. This book addresses this complexity and diversity with a comprehensive examination of issues in bilingual education for both minority and majority nationalities in China and explores the links between the two major forms of bilingual education. It includes voices that are ‘emic’ or ‘etic’, local or international, and voices that come from those who work at the forefront of bilingual education or in the development of theory. All these voices are needed as different and divergent perspectives represent a reality


This will be a significant sourcebook for all in Bilingual Education, not only Chinese specialists. It offers new perspectives by juxtaposing different forms of bilingual education and explaining bilingualism in China to readers worldwide.

- Professor Mike Byram, University of Durham.

This eagerly awaited book shares Eastern viewpoints and understandings that are sometimes varied from the dominant Western writings on bilingual education.

- Colin Baker, University of Bangor, Wales

This is a substantial and impressive work, which makes a valuable contribution to understandings of Chinese education, specifically of the immensely complex twin character of its bilingual practices. The able editor, Dr Anwei Feng of Durham University UK, ‘tops and tails’ the volume with a ground-setting introduction and an excellent reflective conclusion, in which he proposes re-interpretations of key guiding ideas in majority and minority bilingual education. Both the top and the tail lend the volume a commendable degree of cohesion. This book provides a comprehensive and generally excellent treatment of a wide range of issues that are always tied to the central theme of the volume. The issues and settings are intrinsically interesting and important as well as serving as a point of reference for the specifically Chinese nature of bilingualism and bilingual education.

- Journal of Asia Pacific Education - Joseph Lo Bianco, University of Melbourne

This work is one of the first to discuss the practices, policies, and concepts of bilingual education in China. It includes two types of bilingual education largely unknown to the West. One is bilingual education for the minority of Chinese, which is the teaching of Mandarin Chinese (Pu Tong Hua) and an ethnic minority language (e.g., Tibetan, Mongolian, Yao, Bai). The other is bilingual English and Chinese education (mostly for the Chinese majority, Han), which has become an important national education issue in recent years. Overall, this is an informative work and a must-read for anyone interested in language education in general and bilingual education in particular.

- Studies in Second Language Acquisition 4th December 2007 - Guofang Li, Michigan State University

Author Biography:

Anwei Feng lectures and supervises education doctoral students at Durham University mainly in the areas of bilingualism, bilingual education and intercultural studies. He has researched the experience of minority students studying the second and third language in universities in China and the experience of students from Confucian Heritage Cultures on UK campuses. His latest publications include the article ‘An evaluative analysis of parallel conceptions of bilingualism in China’ in IJBEB in 2005 and the book ‘Living and Studying Abroad’ (co-edited with M. Byram, 2006).

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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