chapter  3
42 Pages

The development of minority education and the practice of bilingual education in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Under the overarching principle of representing a unified nation-state, the political,

economic, and cultural integration of diverse ethnic minority groups is a constant

core concern of any multi-ethnic country. When each ethnic group has its own par-

ticular language and cultural traditions, the use and the future trend of their lan-

guages surely become sensitive societal issues. Countries in the contemporary

world have been, to varying degrees, involved in the trend of globalization; there-

fore, the function of language as both a cultural carrier and a tool for education

and communication takes on an important role in communication between coun-

tries and between ethnic groups within a country. Furthermore, in response to the

need for increased inter-ethnic communication in trade and cultural interactions,

‘‘regional languages’’ emerge in different areas, meaning that the people of all

groups in one region intend to learn and use one language for the sake of effi-

ciency (Ma, 2008). Language learning is the necessary prerequisite for cultural

exchange and integration among ethnic groups, and the development of languages’

usage predicts the prospect for the progression of an inter-ethnic relationship.