Education Notes is a series produced by the World Bank to share lessons learned from innovative approaches to improving education practice and policy around the globe. Background work for this piece was done in partnership, with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-06) Bender, Penelope; Dutcher, Nadine; Klaus, David; Shore, Jane; Tesar, Charlie
Fifty percent of the world's
out-of-school children live in communities where the
language of schooling is rarely, if ever, used at home. This
paper discusses the benefits of use of first language
instruction. The results of benefits from first language
instruction discussed are: increased access and equity;
improved learning outcomes; reduced repetition and dropout
rates; socio-cultural benefits and lower overall costs. The
paper outlines why many countries have been reluctant to
deliver basic education in local languages. It also gives
lessons learned on: policy formulation around language of
instruction issues; bilingual programs; and management of
the policy environment of language reforms.