5    China's minorities withoutwritten scripts

The case of education access amongthe Dongxiang*

Jiayi Wang and Gerard A. Postiglione

The Chinese state sees language policy as an essential determinant of ethnic minority educational progress. The use of minority language as a medium of instruction is viewed as a way to increase attendance rates and strengthen socialization into a national identity. However, the policies differ for those ethnic minorities with or without a commonly used written script. Among the minorities without a script are the 300,000-strong Dongxiang, an ethnic group with the lowest level of literacy and school access in China. There has been little systematic research on the role of language in school access for Chinese minority ...

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