A number of nursery schools using Shanghai dialect as their standard instructional language have emerged, becoming a new option for many Shanghai parents.
“Many parents are beginning to realize their children are not the only ones that cannot speak Shanghai dialect,” said principal of a dialect-oriented nursery.
Qian Jing is one parent who sends her child to one such nursery. Born and raised in Shanghai, she insisted children should speak their own dialect.
According to Qian, her son feels very comfortable at the center because teachers all speak the dialect. “As a local Shanghai resident, the last thing I want is to see people in Shanghai no longer speaking the dialect,” she added.
Zhang Yi, who was not a native but later moved to Shanghai, said the exact reason she sent her daughter here is because it uses Shanghai dialect as the language of instruction.
For Zhang, learning the dialect can also heighten a sense of belonging. “When you get familiar with the dialect, you will feel more involved as part of the city,” she said.