Parental support for Chinese-English bilingual education: A survey of parents of primary and secondary students in Shanghai

Rining Wei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While many studies conducted outside China attest to the importance of parental support in determining the extent of success in implementing a bilingual education (BE) programme, few empirical studies have been conducted into the strength of parental support for Chinese-English BE in mainland China. This paper reports upon a survey targeting parents of students who were receiving some form of BE in Shanghai (viz. BE parents, N=199) and parents of those who were not (viz. non-BE parents, N=196). The instruments are two questionnaires respectively designed for these two groups of parents, aiming to elicit information about their support for BE, and three related factors, namely their demands for English proficiency, perceived ineptitude of teaching English only as a subject and perceived effects of BE on children's English proficiency. A major finding is that 78% non-BE and over 85% BE parents were supportive of BE. This strength of parental support was probably a function of the three aforementioned factors. The paper concludes with some implications of the findings and a call for empirical studies of other factors affecting the implementation of a BE programme, as parental support alone does not seem sufficient to carry the Shanghai BE project forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-496
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • English proficiency
  • Shanghai
  • bilingual education
  • parental support

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