Language Education in China

Policy and Experience from 1949


Agnes S. L. Lam

ISBN : 978-962-209-751-3

Education Education in China: Reform and Diversity

October 2005

292 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$195.00

Also available in Hardback HK$395.00

Language Education in China: Policy and Experience from 1949 is unprecedented as a comprehensive study of the multilingual circumstances in China. It tracks policy changes in the learning of Chinese, foreign languages and minority ethnic languages in China since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. On the basis of survey and interview data, the experiences of different age cohorts of learners are presented as “windows” to the realities of language education policy implementation over the last half century. The effects of political changes, language backgrounds and various motivations for learning, at both the national and individual levels, are vividly presented in this composite story of China and learners in China.

Agnes S. L. Lam is an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong. She has published in the areas of bilingualism, multilingualism and language education.

Language Education in China serves as a fitting introduction for anyone interested in multilingualism and bilingual education. It provides a refreshing balance to the large number of works devoted to bilingualism in English-speaking countries.” —Thomas Scovel, English Department, San Francisco State University

“Agnes Lam succeeds in reporting on the language educational policies in China in the most readable way and capturing for us the diversity of learners’ experiences. All language educators who have an interest in multilingualism will need to read this excellent and authoritative introduction and will enjoy listening to the voices of so many learners.” —Edith Esch, Faculty of Education, Cambridge University

“The most up-to-date resource for understanding the complexities of language policy and practice in China. This research demonstrates the diversity of perspectives within China about language study and language learning.” —Gerard Postiglione, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong