Education Report Roundup

Report Examines How Asian Nations Use Native Languages in Instruction

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 04, 2005 1 min read

Read “First Language First: Community-based Literacy Programmes for Minority Language Contexts in Asia” from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

China has some strong programs when it comes to using the native languages of minority groups for school instruction, according to a report published in 2005 and released online in July by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO.

Minorities living in China who benefit from bilingual education include Kazakhs, Koreans, Mongolians, Uygurs, and Tibetans. By contrast, some other Asian countries have government policies supportive of bilingual education but do little to implement them, according to the report. Vietnam, for instance, claims to have bilingual education, but in most such programs, local languages are taught only as subjects or are part of transitional programs that do not support students in becoming truly bilingual, the report states.