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Lessons in Educational EqualitySuccessful Approaches to Intractable Problems Around the World$
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Jody Heymann and Adele Cassola

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199755011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755011.001.0001

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The Role of Language of Instruction in Promoting Quality and Equity in Primary Education

The Role of Language of Instruction in Promoting Quality and Equity in Primary Education

(p.199) 9 The Role of Language of Instruction in Promoting Quality and Equity in Primary Education
Lessons in Educational Equality

Carol Benson

Oxford University Press

Early literacy, relevant content learning and effective classroom communication is necessary for education to make a difference in marginalized children’s lives. Teaching in the learner’s home language has the potential to make schools more inclusive and participatory, and will go a long way to attracting children to school, keeping them in school, helping them succeed in learning literacy and other curricular content, and giving them an equitable opportunity to participate in society. This chapter examines the obstacles to learning that result from teaching students in a foreign language, and reviews the evidence of how and why learners’ home languages should be used for literacy and learning. It argues that teaching additional languages should be part of a systematic approach to the school curriculum through bi- or multilingual education. The chapter discusses policymaking with regard to languages in education, explores where the problems lie and concludes with strategies for moving forward.

Keywords:   home language learning, linguistic equity, language of instruction, educational equity, bilingual education, multilingual education

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