- 国際教育 (ISSN:09185364)
- vol.22, pp.121-138, 2016 (Released:2019-01-31)
In China, the equal use and development of minority languages are guaranteed by law. However, the rate of use of Chinese in the place of Mongolian has risen in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, and the loss of Mongolian and a trend towards the use of Chinese as a mother language are particularly marked in the case of Mongolians living in urban areas. Maintenance of the Mongolian language by Mongolians and its transmission to the younger generation have become an issue. Whereas the learning of Chinese and English is being stressed from childhood, use of the ethnic language has become narrower, and ethnic language ability has also declined. It is necessary to search for the factors in the selection of a kindergarten for young Mongolian children in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. The choice of a kindergarten is the first school choice, and since it has a major effect on the selection of schools thereafter, the choice of a kindergarten is extremely important. To answer the question in regard to key factors in the initial selection of a kindergarten, this chapter focuses on kindergarten selection in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, and takes as its purpose the examination of these determinant factors.
The study primarily uses domestic data related to kindergarten education, interview/survey data, and a comparison of two different types of kindergartens that each follow a different medium of instruction and terminology. Additionally, the statistical data is used to evaluate the current state of kindergarten education in Inner Mongolia, and identify its influence on kindergarten selection. Furthermore, the survey data, followed by a cross tabulation analysis, reveals the determinant factors of why a particular kindergarten was selected. This survey was conducted from August 30, 2013 to September 30, 2013. The subjects of the survey were the parents of ethnic Mongolian children aged between four and five years old in the city of Huhhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. Huhhot is the capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the area most densely populated with Han and Mongolian peoples. Three ethnic Mongolian and three ethnic Han kindergartens were chosen as samples for the survey. The researcher surveyed 208 parents, minding the balance between the number of infants in both types of kindergartens.
Three themes surfaced as a result of the above research and analysis. First is the linguistic factor, where Mongolian people who select an “ethnic Mongolian” kindergarten attribute their choice to the ability of their children to learn their mother tongue, and where Mongolian people who select a Han kindergarten attribute their choice to the ability of their children to learn both English and Chinese. Second, there are fewer “ethnic Mongolian” kindergartens in Inner Mongolia, which is an important factor for this group’s kindergarten selection. Finally, family background plays a vital role in the selection of a kindergarten, with circumstances such as the father’s low education level, the high income of a household, and one of the parents not belonging to the ethnic Mongolian group emerging as determinant factors. For example, if the language used in the home is primarily Han, the possibility that parents will select a Han Chinese kindergarten is high.