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Title: The roots of bilingual education for majority-language students in mainland China : a historical study on bilingual education policies and practices in late Qing dynasty (1840-1911)
Authors: Shi, Xuanzhi
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: This study examines the nature, purposes, results and consequences of bilingual education in late imperial China between 1840 and 1911. In particular, it analyzes how and why the bilingual education policies and practices changed during the late Qing period, and examines the relationship between the bilingual education policies and the external sociopolitical contexts. This study aims to provide a historical perspective to language policy and bilingual education research, to reconstruct the history of bilingual education in late imperial China, and to offer historical insights into current Chinese-English bilingual education. Based on a wide range of primary sources of archival data such as memorials to the throne, original archives of bilingual education practices, imperial edicts and news reports in the late Qing period, this study details the central policies and practices of bilingual education in late imperial China. The "conventional content analysis method" was adopted to derive themes and categories from the archival data. There are three main findings emerged from the historical study. Firstly, the evidence suggests that the emergence of bilingual education in China did not result from western linguistic imperialism but satisfied China's needs for strengthening and modernizing the country. Although the language education policy was tied to the western powers' political and economic interests in China, the leadership of language education was still in the hands of China's central government (the Qing government). Secondly, the findings suggest that the bilingual education gradually moved alongside the wider socio-political contexts over seven decades. The purposes of bilingual education changed from converting Chinese children to Christianity in mission schools to cultivating translators and professionals to bridge China's communicative barriers with the West and strengthen China's military power. The bilingual education later moved towards cultivating the intellectuals to acquire expertise in western politics and make contributions to the institutional reform in the early 20th century. Thirdly, the findings also reveal a tendency for increasing participation of the Qing government in educational affairs. During the first two decades of late imperial China, the Qing government granted autonomy to individual schools and headmasters to develop their bilingual education practices. By contrast, in the last decade of Qing Dynasty, the Qing government became the main provider of bilingual education, which was reflected in the establishment of the Guimao Education System as the first bilingual education system in China.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Education -- China -- History -- To 1912
Education, Bilingual -- China
Pages: xx, 604 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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