Article: Policy, Advocacy & Programs for Multilingual Education

The book that contains the article

Dhir Jingran knows what he is talking about when he writes about Policy, Advocacy, and Programs for Multilingual Education. In his previous job in the government of India, he made policy; as a director of an NGO, he does advocacy; and, as a researcher and trainer of teachers, he knows all about programs. No wonder that this article is definitely worth reading!

One of the problems with scholarly articles is usually that they tend to talk about the ideal. In practice, there is hardly any classroom with just one language, one grade, sufficient schoolbooks, and a trained teacher. In this article, Dhir not only talks about the pedagogically ideal approach to multilingual education, he also provides alternatives for when the ideal is not possible. 

He discusses different types of classroom situations based on research in Nepal. He then describes four different approaches for use in sequencing of languages in primary education:

  1. Using children's L1 as the medium of instruction for an extended period

  2. L1–based MLE

  3. L2 as the medium of instruction with extensive use of oral L1 and L1 development

  4. Using multiple L1's in the classroom as a resource to develop competence in L2 and additional languages

He talks about a three-pronged action for multilingual education to create a cycle of change: policy, advocacy, and programs. These need to go hand-in-hand to establish lasting change in the educational system. In talking about the role of governments, he mentions such things as teacher employment for specific languages, teacher education focusing on multilingual education, and the support from curriculum development agencies.

In the conclusion, the suggested comprehensive approach is clearly stated as the best, but he also writes: "even incremental steps along these dimensions can help facilitate a gradual evolution of supportive language-in-education policies and cultivate widespread commitment for formal introduction of children's first languages in pre-primary and primary curricula".

For those with a LinkedIn in account, the article can be found here. An even better idea would be to buy the book in which it is published:

Language Issues in Comparative Education II: Policy and Practice in Multilingual Education Based on Non-Dominant Languages. 2021. Language Issues in Comparative Education II. Brill Sense.

It has lots of interesting articles in it. I have copied the table of contents below. Happy reading!



---- Book table of contents ------ 

Introduction The State of Research on Multilingual Education in the Context of Educational Development

Authors: Carol Benson and Kimmo Kosonen


Part 1: Language-in-Education Policy Change from Above, from Below, and from the Side

Chapter 1: Bringing Non-Dominant Languages into Education Systems

Change from Above, from Below, from the Side—or a Combination?

Authors: Kimmo Kosonen and Carol Benson

Chapter 2: MLE Implementation in Ethiopia and Mozambique

How the Above-Below-Side Framework Shakes out in Two Multilingual Contexts

Author: Carol Benson

Chapter 3: Jumping, Sliding, and Creating Shared Spaces “from the Side”

Reflections on V├Áro Language Education in Estonia

Author: Kara Brown

Chapter 4: Language-in-Education Policy Reform in the Philippines

Who Influences Policy Change from Above?

Author: Diane Dekker

Part 2: Non-Dominant Languages in Implementational Spaces

Policies and Practices

Editors: Carol Benson and Kimmo Kosonen

Chapter 5: Implementing Kenya’s Language of Instruction Policy among Maa-Speaking Communities of Laikipia North

Authors: Lucy Maina and Roderick Hicks

Chapter 6: Stakeholder Perspectives on Medium of Instruction Policy in Ethiopia

Author: Zoe James

Chapter 7: Cultural Heritage and Displacement

Implementing a Non-Dominant Language Literacy Program for Darfur Refugee Children and Adults in Eastern Chad

Author: Eunice Kua

Chapter 8: Contextualizing Pre-Service Teacher Education Materials and Instruction in Multilingual Ethiopia

Authors: Shannon Hall-Mills, Adrienne Barnes, Dawit MeKonnen, Marion Fesmire, and Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi

Chapter 9: Refugee Education and Medium of Instruction

Tensions in Theory, Policy, and Practice

Authors: Celia Reddick and Sarah Dryden-Peterson

Pages: 208–233

Chapter 10: Trilingual Rajbanshi-Nepali-English Education in Southeastern Nepal

Improving Educational Quality for Rajbanshi Speakers and Others

Author: Carol Benson

Part 3: Supporting Education in Non-Dominant Languages

Research Methods and Strategies

Chapter 11: Getting the Right Language Information for Education

Insights from a Language Mapping Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Author: Maik Gibson

Chapter 12: Language-in-Education Policies

An Analytical Framework Applied to Kenya and Uganda

Author: Pierre de Galbert

Chapter 13: Policy, Advocacy and Programs for Multilingual Education

Kick-Starting Change at Scale

Author: Dhir Jhingran