Language Issues in Comparative Education II

Policy and Practice in Multilingual Education Based on Non-Dominant Languages


This second volume of Language Issues in Comparative Education, following the tradition of the first, introduces the state of the field, re-establishes core terminology and concepts, and situates the chapters in terms of their contributions to multilingual education based on non-dominant languages. The first group of chapters examines language-in-education policy change, applying an innovative framework to analyze diverse contexts including Mozambique, Estonia and the Philippines. The next group of chapters describes activities designed to implement multilingual education. Using examples from Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nepal, they explore progress in teacher professional development and elaboration of materials for literacy and learning through non-dominant languages. Some highlight new areas of the field, attending to speakers of non-dominant languages other than the ones chosen for instruction, and to the urgent multilingual needs of refugee learners. The final group of chapters presents strategies for research and advocacy, illustrated with examples from DR Congo, Uganda and India. Taken together, these contributions form a cohesive body of work that takes stock of advances in multilingual education and moves the field forward.

The authors and editors share a common commitment to comparativism in their methods and analysis, and aim to contribute to a more inclusive and multilingual education for all.

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  • Introduction The State of Research on Multilingual Education in the Context of Educational Development
Carol Benson, PhD (1994), is Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She researches policy development and innovation in multilingual education for speakers of non-dominant languages, with ongoing collaborative projects in Cambodia and Senegal.

Kimmo Kosonen, PhD (1998), is a Senior Consultant in multilingual education with SIL International and Specialist in language development at Payap University in Thailand. He has published on non-dominant languages, multilingual education, and language-in-education policy in Asia.
“This book is an important contribution to research on a topic that has been neglected in the academic field of comparative education and sidelined in the EFA/SDG policy discourse. A balanced combination of context-specific and comparative analyses, it opens nuanced perspectives on the issues of multilingual education policy and practice in their wider socio-cultural contexts, complemented with suggestions for needed further research.” – Tuomas Takala, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Education, University of Tampere
“First language-based multilingual education is one of the most formidable strategies for inclusion. The lessons in this book will help policy makers in governments improve their own basic education systems to ensure that the learner is in the center of education implementation.” – Dina Ocampo, Professor, College of Education, University of the Philippines
“This volume contributes a timely, authoritative argument for the use of non-dominant languages in education as an essential component of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for education. The chapters in this volume demonstrate that the keys to linguistic sustainability are language-in-education policies and teaching practices that recognize children’s first languages as valued resources for their communities, their nations, and the world.” – Jessica Ball, Professor, School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria
“At a time when most of the news is bad–pandemic, unemployment, climate change, 40% of children cannot understand their teachers—it is very cheerful to have an account of serious efforts to correct one of these problems. This collection reports a number of efforts to provide education in the home language of pupils, describing promising cases to provide mother language education. It deserves to be widely read.” – Bernard Spolsky, Professor Emeritus of English, Bar-Ilan University

Jessica Ball
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

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

Carol Benson and Kimmo Kosonen

PART 1: Language-In-Education Policy Change from above, from below, and from the Side

1 Bringing Non-Dominant Languages into Education Systems: Change from above, from below, from the Side—or a Combination?

Kimmo Kosonen and Carol Benson
2 MLE Implementation in Ethiopia and Mozambique: How the Above-Below-Side Framework Shakes out in Two Multilingual Contexts

Carol Benson
3 Jumping, Sliding, and Creating Shared Spaces “From the Side”: Reflections on Võro Language Education in Estonia

Kara Brown
4 Language-in-Education Policy Reform in the Philippines: Who Influences Policy Change from Above?

Diane Dekker

PART 2: Non-Dominant Languages in Implementational Spaces Policies and Practices

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

Roderick Hicks and Lucy Maina
6 Stakeholder Perspectives on Medium of Instruction Policy in Ethiopia

Zoe James
7 Cultural Heritage and Displacement: Implementing a Non-Dominant Language Literacy Program for Darfur Refugee Children and Adults in Eastern Chad

Eunice Kua
8 Contextualizing Pre-Service Teacher Education Materials and Instruction in Multilingual Ethiopia

Shannon Hall-Mills, Adrienne Barnes, Dawit MeKonnen, Marion Fesmire and Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi
9 Refugee Education and Medium of Instruction: Tensions in Theory, Policy, and Practice

Celia Reddick and Sarah Dryden-Peterson
10 Trilingual Rajbanshi-Nepali-English Education in Southeastern Nepal: Improving Educational Quality for Rajbanshi Speakers and Others

Carol Benson (with Members of the Project Support Team)

PART 3: Supporting Education in Non-Dominant Languages Research Methods and Strategies

11 Getting the Right Language Information for Education: Insights from a Language Mapping Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Maik Gibson
12 Language-in-Education Policies: An Analytical Framework Applied to Kenya and Uganda

Pierre de Galbert
13 Policy, Advocacy and Programs for Multilingual Education: Kick-Starting Change at Scale

Dhir Jhingran

Researchers, professors and students of language issues in comparative education, sociolinguistics, bi-/multilingual education and language policy; educational development professionals and their colleagues from multilingual countries and contexts.