1st Edition

Multilingual Education in South Asia At the Intersection of Policy and Practice

Edited By Lina Adinolfi, Usree Bhattacharya, Prem Phyak Copyright 2022
    190 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Spanning scholarly contributions from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, this edited volume seeks to capture and elucidate the distinct challenges, approaches and possible solutions associated with interpreting, adapting and applying language-in-education policies in a range of linguistically complex teaching and learning environments across South Asia. Centring on-the-ground perspectives of scholars, practitioners, pupils, parents and the larger community, the volume offers new insights into one of the most complex, populous, and diverse multilingual educational contexts in the world.

    Language-in-education policies and practices within this setting represent particularly high stakes issues, playing a pivotal role in determining access to literacy, thereby forming a critical pivot in the reproduction of educational inequality. The broad aim of the collection is thus to highlight the pedagogical, practical, ideological and identity-related implications arising from current language-in-education policies in this region, with the aim of illustrating how systemic inequality is intertwined with such policies and their associated interpretations.

    Aimed at both academics and practitioners - whether researchers and students in the fields of education, linguistics, sociology, anthropology or South Asian studies, on the one hand, or language policy advisors, curriculum developers, teacher educators, teachers, and members of funding bodies, aid providers or NGOs, on the other - it is anticipated that the accounts in this volume will offer their readership opportunities to consider their wider implications and applications across other rich multilingual settings – be these local, regional, national or global.

    1. The dynamics of bilingual education in post-conflict Sri Lanka
    Harsha Dulari Wijesekera and M. Obaidul Hamid
    2. Multilingual practices in Indian classrooms: Exploring and supporting teacher awareness and classroom strategies
    Amy Lightfoot, Rama Mathew, Lina Mukhopadhyay and Ianthi M. Tsimpli
    3. English as a medium of instruction, social stratification and symbolic violence in Nepali schools: Untold stories of Madhesi children
    Pramod K. Sah
    4. Policy to practice, national to local: Multilingual education at the meso and micro levels of Western Nepal
    Naomi Fillmore and Jnanu Raj Paudel
    5. Multilingualism and English learning in Pakistan: Towards an effective multilingual policy
    Imdad Ullah Khan, Louisa Buckingham and Martin East
    6. Bilingual early schooling among tribal children in India: Evidence of long-term learning gains
    Stanley V. John
    7. Medium of instruction, outcome-based education (OBE) and language education policy in Bangladesh
    Tania Rahman and Prem Phyak
    8. Participation of Saora children in MLE and MLE Plus schools in Odisha, India: Lessons learned and lessons to learn
    Sakshi Manocha


    Lina Adinolfi is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, UK whose professional and research specialisms embrace both language learning and language-in-learning. She has extensive experience of designing technology-enhanced language-supportive teacher professional development programmes in India and other low-resource multilingual South Asian contexts.

    Usree Bhattacharya is Associate Professor in the Language and Literacy Education Department, College of Education at the University of Georgia, Atlanta. Her research is inspired by questions of diversity, equity, and access in multilingual educational contexts. A primary aim of her work is to illuminate the role of discourses, ideologies, and everyday practices in the production and reproduction of hierarchical relations within educational systems.

    Prem Phyak is Assistant Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research areas include language policy, multilingual education, critical pedagogy and indigenous language education. His papers have appeared in journals such as Language Policy, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Language in Society, Multilingua, and International Journal of Sociology of Language.