The Uyghur language is mainly spoken in Northwest China in the region known as The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and previously known as Chinese Turkistan or East Turkistan. It is also spoken in Central Asia and in some European Countries and USA. All Uyghur classes in the Uyghur Autonomous Region are taught in Chinese.
Even though it is clearly stated in the Chinese Constitution that people should have the ‘freedom to develop their dialects and languages, and to preserve or reform their traditions, customs, and religious beliefs’(Zhonghua...falü huibian 1985,), in the past decade, and with increasing intensity since 2002, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has pursued assimilationist policies aimed at removing Uyghur as a language of instruction in the region. Employing the term “bilingual” education, the PRC is, in reality, implementing a monolingual Chinese language education system that undermines the linguistic basis of Uyghur culture. (Uyghur Human Rights Project July 24, 2007)
All classes are taught exclusively in Chinese. From previously being an educational language Uyghur has now become a family language which results in the following disasters.
_______Marginalizing Uyghur in the educational sphere with the goal of eliminating it as a language of instruction in Uyghur Region.
_______Forcing Uyghur students at levels ranging from preschool to university to study in a second language.
_______Removing Uyghur children from their cultural environment and placing them in Chinese language “Xinjiang classes” located in inland China ( mean in Central China away from Uyghur Region)
_______Using Chinese language requirements and school mergers to force veteran Uyghur teachers out of the classroom.
_______Taking decisions on the language of instruction for Uyghur children out of the hands of parents.
_______Increasing tensions between the Uyghur and Han populations in Uyghur Region.
Thus effects of the Chinese language push on Uyghur students, teachers, and parents, as well as on ethnic relations, places the language policy into the context of other policies of assimilation directed at the Uyghur people. The. implication of true ‘bilingualism’ PRC in the schools of East Turkistan is to assimilate the whole nation.
Each Uyghur had the constitutionally enshrined right to develop his own language and culture. The goal of The Uyghur Language Studies is
_______ To support the officially recognized Uyghur nationals to use their own language and writing system.
_______ To increase awareness of Uyghur and its culture.
_______ To involve more people, including academics and other volunteers and establish links to better studies on Uyghur Language.
_______ To improve Modern Uyghur Language care through Uyghur language studies.
_______To accelerate conduct of research and evaluation programs.
During recent years, we have been piloting the Uyghur Language Studies with a small group of people and students within the limited resources available to increase awareness of the Uyghur Language and prepare research results which are ready for publication..