© 2015

Trilingualism in Education in China: Models and Challenges

  • Anwei Feng
  • Bob Adamson


  • The first volume to offer a holistic understanding of the language diversity in China and its implications on education that affect a minority population of 100 million

  • A unique resource for information on L1 (minority home language), L2 (Mandarin Chinese) and L3 (English) use and provision for indigenous minority groups in China and the social issues that go with them

  • Uses a new methodology that encompasses policy analysis, community language profiles, as well as school-based fieldwork in order to provide rich data that facilitates multilevel analysis of policy-in-context


Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Meng-Chao-Xin

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-24
    2. Fang Dong, Narisu, Yanhui Gou, Xinggang Wang, Jia Qiu
      Pages 25-45
    3. Zhen’ai Zhang, Liting Wen, Guanghe Li
      Pages 47-64
  3. Qing-Zang-Chuan

  4. Yun-Gui-Yue

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 173-174
    2. Yichuan Yuan, Deying Hu, Peng Li, Honghua Zhu, Jinjun Wang, Yun Shang et al.
      Pages 175-198
    3. Jacob E. Finifrock, Doerthe Schilken
      Pages 199-221
    4. Bob Adamson, Anwei Feng
      Pages 243-258

About this book


This book examines language policies and practices in schools in regions of China populated by indigenous minority groups. It focuses on models of trilingual education, i.e. education in the home language, Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese, the national language), and English (the main foreign language). Special attention is given to the study of the vitality of the minority home language in each region and issues relating to and the effects of the teaching and learning of the minority home language on minority students’ acquisition of Mandarin Chinese and English and on their school performance in general. The book also examines the case of Cantonese in Guangdong, where the local Chinese ‘dialect’ is strong but distant from the mainstream language, Putonghua.  It takes a new approach to researching sociolinguistic phenomena, and presents a new methodology that emerged from studies of bi/trilingualism in European societies and was then tailored to the trilingual context in China. The methodology encompasses policy analysis and community language profiles, as well as school-based fieldwork, and provides rich data that facilitate multilevel analysis of policy-in-context.


Education in Tibetan Schools in Qinghai Indigenous education L2 Mandarin and Chinese Language Education in Tibetan Schools in Qinghai Language policy Minority home language Mongolian Nationality Schools Trilingual Education in China Trilingual Education in China’s Korean Communities Trilingualism among the Dong Minority in Guizhou Province

Editors and affiliations

  • Anwei Feng
    • 1
  • Bob Adamson
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts & EducationUniversity of Nottingham Ningbo, ChinaNingboChina
  2. 2.Dept. of Int'l Edu & Lifelong LearningHong Kong Institute of EducationTai PoHong Kong SAR

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Trilingualism in Education in China: Models and Challenges
  • Editors Anwei Feng
    Bob Adamson
  • Series Title Multilingual Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title Multilingual Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-94-017-9351-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-024-0800-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-017-9352-0
  • Series ISSN 2213-3208
  • Series E-ISSN 2213-3216
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 258
  • Number of Illustrations 11 b/w illustrations, 5 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Language Education
    Applied Linguistics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site