4    A brief report on bilingualeducation for the Dongxiangs

A new initiative

Yisu Zhou

Introduction

Dongxiang Autonomous Country (DAC) is the area for the Dongxiang ethnic minority group in northwestern China. According the 2000 census, there are 513,805 Dongxiang people nationwide, 451,622 (or 87.89 percent) of whom live in the Gansu Province. Most (215,144) reside in Gansu's Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture,1 DAC (National Bureau of Statistics, 2003). Others live in the nearby counties of Hezheng, Guanghe, and Linxia, and a small number reside in Xinjiang Province (National Bureau of Statistics, 2003). Not many Dongxiang people speak Mandarin. For example, according to Qin and Ma (2004), 85 percent of Dongxiang people speak only Dongxiang ...

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