Mother Tongue Proficiency, Second Language Acquisition in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants




Does mother tongue proficiency have any affect on the acquisition of second languages? Mother tongue education is becoming a crucial matter in a multilingual region, where it can be associated with minority rights and indigenous rights. This dissertation research sets out to determine the correlation between mother tongue proficiency and second language acquisition in Xinjiang, China. The Chinese government abolished the Uyghur education system and implemented a Mandarin dominant bilingual education system in Xinjiang in the early 2000s (Schluessel, 2007). This dissertation project will investigate the development and the outcome of decreased mother tongue education on Uyghur students' second language acquiring abilities.