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Question. concerning second-language instruction policy in Chinese public school [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2015-1-13 02:09:22 |Display all floors
I have read that in China, all students must pass not only a second-language test to fulfil second-language instruction requirements to graduate, but rather specifically an English-language test. In many jurisdictions around the world (especially Hungary) students can choose to be tested in one of over 20 second-languages, including a sign-language.

Is what I read true, that in China everyone must learn English specifically to graduate? I just have difficulty believing it since it seems so different from other jurisdictions aside from some former British colonies.

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Post time 2015-1-13 04:18:02 |Display all floors
In Hungary, students can even choose Latin or Esperanto if they wish!

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Post time 2015-1-13 09:12:18 |Display all floors
Maybe in China the second-language is English ........

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Post time 2015-1-14 00:05:38 |Display all floors
Thanks zjjgpj.

If I understand you correctly, it might just be a strategic policy decision.
In the case of Hungary and other such countries, it might be about adopting a market approach recognizing they also need people who speak sign-languages to communicate effectively with the deaf, Latin for historians and archaeologists, English for major multinational companies and international radio communication, German to trade with smaller German businesses that might not have access to English, Esperanto for those lacking the necessary aptitude to learn a more difficult language, dyslexics who want to learn to read and the blind who want to learn to pronounce an easier language and possibly to develop the Esperanto cultural industry or for import-export and tourism between Esperanto-speaking companies, etc. In short, they might perceive second-language instruction policy as part of overall public policy.

The Chinese approach and that of former British colonies might be more related to using English-language exams as a gateway to higher education and international communication, promoting closer diplomatic and cultural ties with English-speaking countries specifically (the USA is just across the Pacific from China after all), etc. It can also promote more employment opportunities for English-speaking Chinese as public school English teachers by eliminating competition from sign-languages and other languages, and also promotes the English-language industry overall by promoting the sale of English-language textbooks and making business in China easier for foreigners who speak English compared to other foreign languages so as to help promote English beyond China's borders too.

Though I lean towards the Hungarian model, I acknowledge that it might just be a cultural difference and that the Chinese approach has its own advantages too, especially in building closer ties with English-speaking countries and some former British and US colonies too, which has its own undeniable advantages too.

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Post time 2015-1-14 00:18:16 |Display all floors
Now that I think about it, the Chinese model is not so strange after all. I'm Canadian and in Canada education is a provincial responsibility. Some provinces follow the Hungarian model, others the Chinese model.
For instance, English is s compulsory second-language in Quebec because of its dependence on the English-speaking North-American market. French is a compulsory second-language in Ontario because of its dependence on the Quebec market. Maybe they are like China with its dependence on the US market.

BC and Alberta allow for multiple second-language optikns due to their dependence on multiple linguistic markets, as is the case with Hungary.

I guess if we look at it in terms of single versus diverse market dependence, that is what determines its second-language policy. I don't know if my theory is correct, but I do find public second-language policy to be a fascinating topic since it reveals so much of a country's perception if international relations, or in the case of Canada interprovincial relations.

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