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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Nelson Thomas

First Committee Member

Elaine Mo

Second Committee Member

Robert Oprandy


The Shanghainese language is currently in danger of becoming extinct. An increasing number of Shanghainese youth born in the 1990s are unable to speak Shanghainese. The Shanghai government officially issued a paper on the teaching of Shanghainese in Shanghai kindergartens in May, 2013 as a way of maintaining and developing Shanghainese. As a result, 20 public kindergartens were selected to start the teaching of Shanghainese on a trial basis in September. 2014. The purpose of this study is to document the implementation, understanding and perceptions regarding the teaching of Shanghainese in Shanghai kindergartens. More specifically, this study includes a detailed description and analysis of the teaching of Shanghainese in three Shanghai kindergartens (one demonstration kindergarten, one first-level kindergarten and one second-level kindergarten). Using a multi-case study approach, three kindergarten principals, six kindergarten teachers and six parents were interviewed separately. Sources of data include observations, audio-recorded interviews, and documents. In general, the teaching of Shanghainese across the three kindergartens is primarily implemented by an increase in the daily use of Shanghainese, the use of ballads in Shanghainese, and playing Old Shanghai alley games in Shanghai kindergartens. By applying Krashen’s acquisition and learning hypothesis and input hypothesis, the teaching of Shanghainese is implemented with an attempt to create an acquisition-rich learning environment for children to acquire Shanghainese with sufficient comprehensible input. However, there is much more that needs to be done in creating an acquisition-rich learning environment and for there to be a sufficient and quality comprehensible input in helping children learn Shanghainese. The results contribute to our fledgling knowledge about the teaching of dialect in general and specifically in Shanghainese kindergartens for teachers, administrators, and policy makers.





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