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ERIC Number: EJ763960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 71
ISSN: ISSN-0305-764X
Choice of Classroom Language in Bidialectal Communities: To Include or to Exclude the Dialect?
Yiakoumetti, Androula
Cambridge Journal of Education, v37 n1 p51-66 Mar 2007
The issue of dialect and education and, in particular, the issue of which code to use as the medium of instruction has generated much heated debate in bidialectal societies. This debate is reflected in the literature on language policy in education which is divided into three main areas: (i) the use of the standard variety as medium of instruction; (ii) the use of a non-standard dialect as medium of instruction; and (iii) bidialectal education, which involves the use of both. The goal of this study is to gather empirical evidence which may inform on the potential benefits of bidialectal education. Specifically, the study attempts to cast light on the relationship between the use of the dialectal mother tongue in the classroom (as a comparative tool for the learning of the standard) and written school language production. An intervention-based study was carried out in primary schools in the bidialectal Greek-Cypriot community of Cyprus. The participants received language learning delivered in both the dialect and the standard variety. Analysis of students' written language production was carried out in terms of location of the school (urban vs. rural) and gender of the learners (girls vs. boys). The findings clearly indicate a number of educational advantages of making use of the dialectal variety in the classroom. The Cypriot sociolinguistic setting is discussed in the context of other bidialectal settings. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Cyprus