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ERIC Number: EJ1098920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-8566
The New Language of Instruction Policy in Malawi: A House Standing on a Shaky Foundation
Kamwendo, Gregory Hankoni
International Review of Education, v62 n2 p221-228 Apr 2016
This research note is a critique of Malawi's new language of instruction (LOI) policy. The new policy stipulates English as the medium of instruction from the first year (Standard 1) of primary school in a country where English is not the dominant language of household communication. The children are now expected to learn (and that includes learning to read and write) in English, a language they have not had any contact with before their first day at school. Moreover, some of the teachers themselves struggle to use English as a medium of instruction. The results of this policy are devastating, and the fact that the school system is poorly resourced in terms of infrastructure, materials and teachers is further thwarting positive learning outcomes. On the strength of ample empirical evidence which supports the mother tongue as the best medium of instruction in the initial phases of primary education, the author of this research note argues that the new language policy stands on a shaky foundation, and that it cannot serve as a strategy for eradicating low English proficiency among Malawian learners.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malawi
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A