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ERIC Number: EJ1003474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 83
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Mediating Inequalities: Exploring English-Medium Instruction in a Suburban Indian Village School
Bhattacharya, Usree
Current Issues in Language Planning, v14 n1 p164-184 2013
India is home to 1652 languages, but only 22 are officially recognized. And while the Constitution requires local authorities to provide mother tongue instruction in schools (Article 350A, Constitution of India), a mere 43 languages are used nationally as instructional medium. An exploding demand for English-medium schooling across socio-economic divides further complicates the language-in-education context. This case study, a sub-part of a broader project drawing on four years of ethnographic work, focuses on five young multilingual children living at an "anathashram" (orphanage) in suburban New Delhi and studying in an English-medium village school. I explore the different literacy practices influencing the negotiation of the instructional medium, their impact on language learning, and their wider language policy and planning implications. Careful analyses of the teaching context, pedagogical and textbook approaches, and learning practices reveal how "English-medium" instruction in a typical small, private Indian school catering to poor children leads to restricted acquisition of English, in ways that also constrain students' ability to access educational content across subject areas. Thus, poor children who enroll in these schools in increasing numbers precisely "because of" the schools' self-identification as English-medium institutions end up doubly disadvantaged, because they are cut off from both language and content. (Contains 1 figure and 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India