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ERIC Number: EJ1003479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
The Challenge of Medium of Instruction: A View from Maldivian Schools
Mohamed, Naashia
Current Issues in Language Planning, v14 n1 p185-203 2013
In the era of globalisation, language-in-education policies continue to present challenges as policy-makers across the globe aim to balance the emphasis given to students' first language and the pressing need for students to be proficient in English as the global "lingua franca" [Hanna, P. (2011). Gaining global perspective: Educational language policy and planning. "International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism," 14(6), 733-749]. Within this debate, the impact of the medium of instruction (MOI) on students' linguistic, cognitive and affective development has received much attention ([Tam, A. C. F. (2011). Does the switch of medium of instruction facilitate the language learning of students? A case study of Hong Kong from teachers' perspective. "Language & Education," 25(5), 399-417]). This study focuses on the case of the Maldives, a small Asian nation with its own unique language and homogeneous culture that adopted English as an MOI in an early partial immersion model half a century ago. Using a case study research design, it seeks to uncover the perspectives of students, educators and parents on the benefits and challenges of a policy that adopted a second language as the MOI in a monolingual, monocultural situation, without providing any options for gaining an education in the first language. The survey data indicate that while the need for students to be proficient in English is not disputed, questions are raised regarding its role as the MOI throughout a student's school education. Observational data from classrooms and analysis of instructional materials show the need for urgent reform of the language policy so as to promote students' linguistic diversity and enhance academic achievement. Policy changes that can foster student learning and satisfy language-based civil rights are recommended. (Contains 4 tables and 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong; Maldives