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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: The statistics of English in China
Author: Rining Wei
Author: Jinzhi Su
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In the mid-1980s, Crystal (1985) lamented that there were no reliable figures available for the number of learners to whom English is taught as a foreign language in many regions of the world, and that ‘China has always been excluded from the statistical reviews, because of the shortage of information from inside the country’ (Crystal, 1985: 9). More recently, Bolton (2008: 6) similarly notes that because of ‘the absence of accurate language surveys’ academics have to make educated guesses regarding the total number of those learning/knowing English. The figure of the total English learners/users in China has been estimated to be somewhere between 200 and 350 million (cf. Bolton, 2003: 48; Kachru, 1997; McArthur, 2003; Zhao & Campbell, 1995; Graddol, 2006: 95). Fortunately, a national language survey in China conducted at the turn of the century does provide some hard statistics on the number of English language learners/users in the world's most populous country, and also sheds some light on the realities of use of English and English proficiency among the Chinese people.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Today Vol. 28, Issue 3.

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