Singapore’s speak mandarin campaign

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The Speak Mandarin Campaign aims to persuade the ethnic Chinese of Singapore to use Mandarin as their lingua franca in place of Chinese dialects. The three main arguments are: educational (dialects interfere with the effective learning of Mandarin in schools), cultural (Mandarin, it is claimed, represents a core value of Chinese culture), practical (Mandarin is preferable to a multitude of mutually unintelligible dialects). Some difficulties with these arguments are discussed. Some other aspects of the campaign, such as the paraphernalia, changes ' in the university’s entrance policy and changes in the media, are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-448
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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