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Expanding Knowledge on Language of Instruction Policy
World Wide
June 2001 – November 2001

World MapSpeakers of local languages make up twenty-two percent of the world’s population, yet few nations’ education policies and few international education projects directly address the fact that many children enter school with little or no understanding of the language used in the classroom. The national policies on language of instruction that do exist are wide-ranging and have never been distilled so that in-country policymakers can look at the experiments and experiences of other countries with similar circumstances, and learn from their successes and failures. This can lead to mistakes repeated, resources wasted, and children continuing to be excluded from education because of a lack of comprehension of the language of instruction.

BEPS sought to address the need for a comprehensive body of knowledge on language of instruction that could serve to inform policy decisions. BEPS, in collaboration with the World Bank, SIL, and the National Clearinghouse on Bilingual Education, developed a Web-accessible database containing country-specific information on experiences from around the globe in language of instruction. The database catalogues country information, language of instruction policy, and research on pedagogical, economic, and institutional impacts of language of instruction policies. The database is searchable by country, region or keyword.

Through the production of this database, BEPS sought to deepen the knowledge base on international language of instruction policy, resulting in better-informed project design and policy decisions. The creation of the database also resulted in collaboration between various institutions and the development of dialogue and relationships around language of instruction. These strengthened relationships and building of common ground promote broader support of language of instruction policies.

The database is live at:LOI/Database



USAID: From the American People
Creative Associates International Inc. Basic Education and Policy Support Activity