Educational Problems of Minority Language Children in “Submersion” Situation

Posted: April 15, 2012 in International, Language, Politics, Region

 

The Potential of Bilingual Education in the Educational Development

of  Minority Language Children in Mountainous Badakhshan, Tajikistan

Stephen Bahry, Ed. D. candidate, OISE/UT, University of Toronto

Comparative, International and Development Education

sbahry@oise.utoronto.ca

 

Abstract

 

The problems of the development of the educational system of Tajikistan and Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Province (MBAP) will be surveyed focusing on those that relate to the linguistic complexity of MBAP and the language of schooling. Evolution in language policy of Tajikistan relevant to MBAP will be outlined followed by a review of research findings on the role of the medium of instruction in literacy and ultimate success at school for minority language students.  There has been debate as to whether minority language children should be introduced to literacy in the majority language or in their first language. Further, if literacy is introduced in the first language, how long mother tongue instruction should continue, and when & how instruction in the majority language should be introduced are important questions.

Language-related problems of students in Mountainous Badakhshan province of Tajikistan, where the majority of children do not speak Tajik, the medium of instruction in Tajikistan, as their first language were identified in a recent study.  Implications from the literature on minority-language students’ education will be drawn for school children in MBAP. Differences between Tajikistan’s language policy, which supports bilingual education in MBAP and actual practice will be discussed. Questions for further research on the relative effectiveness of various language policies for the education of minority language children in Tajikistan will also be proposed.

Stephen Bahry

Ed. D.  Candidate, Comparative, International and Development Education

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

 

via Educational Problems of Minority Language Children in “Submersion” Situation.

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