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      时间:2017-06-25 来源:英语广场

        Overall situation
        English education has existed in China for a very long time. English has been studied in China since eighteenth century for political and economic reasons (Chang, 2006). The status of English has experienced dramatic changes since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. During the Great Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, the English was treated as a threat and the enemy’s language and the Chinese government was hostile to it. During this period, the Russian was the most important foreign language in education system for the alliance between China and Russia. Many English professors and talents were seen as political prisoners. However, this situation was totally transformed when China began to implement the reforming and opening policy from 1978. When china opened to the outside world and stepped into the trend of the world globalization, how to communicate with other countries became a problem. Under this national situation, the English was treated as an important resource for China’s developing. Therefore, Chinese government changed the English policy. It has become the most important foreign language in schools. For this great encouragement and the market demand, the English education kept prevailing until now. As a result, English as the first preferred language in China tremendously benefits the economic development and the successful interaction with the outside world. On the whole, the English education quality d has been great improved since 1978 in China; however, the specific condition is complex and unbalanced today. China has fifty-five minority groups and one majority group Han. The English education quality of the majority group Han is much higher than the minority groups. This inequality shapes for many reasons and the Chinese government has been working on this issue for decades. To narrow the gap between majority group and the minority groups is a long-term task.
        Factors for the inequality
        This inequality of English education has been a problem for decades. As China is such a geographically big country with the greatest population in the world, it is pretty hard to achieve a balance between majority group and minority groups. The inequality demonstrates itself in various dimensions and is generated by many reasons. Firstly,, the role of English in minority groups is different from that in majority group. The English is the second language for ethnic Han, but it is the third or fourth language for many minority groups. In the majority group’s curriculum, most subjects are taught in Mandarin and the English is taught in both Mandarin and English. From my own experience, even through I’m from the Han majority group, it is still hard for me to learn English. Because I had at least 7 subjects for every semester since middle school, I didn’t have enough time to learn English in detail. I just regarded it as math or physics, doing numerous English exercises and taking note from blackboard. It is such a busy time for all students from majority group in middle and high school. However, the situation is not the same in minority groups. On one hand, most minority groups have their own languages. They speak it in daily life and also learn it in school. On the other hand, Mandarin is the official language. What’s more, the government wants to make the 56 ethnicities as one unity and one family, the minority groups are encouraged to learn Mandarin as a second language. As a consequence, the English becomes the third or even the fourth language for minority groups. In the mainland of China, most schools in minority areas vigorously advocate the Mandarin. In China, For most minority groups, Holmes (2008) argues that when there are no indentify physical features to distinguish them from others, the languages is one important remaining symbol of ethnicity. To maintain minority language, culture and identity, the Chinese Ministry of Education defines that the indigenous minority home language is the first language in school and the mandarin Chinese is the second language .At last, the English is the third language for minority groups. However the actual situation is not like this. Actually, the mandarin Chinese becomes the first language in school because of its greater use in society and the assimilation. Therefore, the English learning is harder for them. Secondly, the striking economic unbalance between majority group and minority groups is another significant factor. China’s minority groups with more than 100,000,000 people reside in five autonomous regions and many other provinces (Ruan & Leung, 2012). They are scattered over more than half of the total area of the territory, but most of the minority groups live in the remote and mountainous western inland area which is much economically undeveloped. Under the influence of globalization, the government’s economic policy is that the eastern coastal areas are the first regions to develop for its advantageous geographical location; then the coastal regions help the inland of China to develop. After 30 years’ reforming and opening policy, the whole country has enjoyed amazing fast economic development, especially the costal areas. Most people live in these regions are from majority group, what’s more, the majority group mainly live in the big cities and economically better areas. The minority groups are mostly in the mountainous places where the transportation is not so convenient. Under this national situation, the coastal regions and the big inland cities have much more opportunities to interact with the outside world, especially with the Western Countries and the North American. A large number of foreign-funded companies settle down in these places and the reform of the state-owned enterprises which greatly boost their development and also generate the great demand for English talents. Because they are better economically regions, more qualified teachers are attracted to these places. What’s more, these areas have much more money to invest on the English education. Last but not the least, these regions’ closer interaction with outside world results in keen demand for English talents, many foreign language colleges and private English -training institutions with advanced teaching equipments have mushroomed. On the contrary, the minority groups didn’t enjoy so much progress like the majority group before although they are fast developing now owe to the government’s western development strategy. Because of their less developed economic conditions, most English teachers don’t want to work there. What’s more, because there are not so many English talents needed market, no new teaching equipments are introduced into the English class. Just blackboard and chalks assist the teaching. Thirdly, the awareness of the importance of the English and the different ways of thinking and lifestyles enlarge the inequality between minority groups and the majority group. The distributional characteristic of all ethnic groups in China is that all ethnic groups live together over vast areas while same ethnicity lives in individual concentrated communities in small areas. There are five ethnic minority autonomous regions which are in the western part of China. Geographically, most of the minority groups live in the western inland part of China where the transportation system is not so convenient and the network is not so universal, so they do not so often interact with the people from other regions and they have their own lifestyles and cultures which have existed for several thousand years. What’s more, different ethnicities may have different religious beliefs. Because of Their fixed thought pattern, their own cultural identity, simple lifestyle under low economic status with little contact with the outside world, especially with other countries, they don’t hold the positive attitude towards English. It is pretty hard for some of them to accept foreign culture for the great effect of their own changeless and simple lifestyles and cultural values. In addition, most minority groups do not have so many chances like the majority group to contact with other countries and gain access to English resource. They actually don’t know the importance of English for their career. But if they are able to be admitted to universities, most of them will gain a new perspective for the importance of English. Firstly, because most of the universities, especially the key universities are in the metropolitans where can significantly broaden their horizon. Secondly, because all undergraduates come from all corners of the country, the minority students get much more information from the interaction with classmates. However, when they realize the significance of English, their English ability has already lagged behind their peers-Han classmates.
       

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