Timor-Leste: Multilingual Education for All?

Type Journal Article - Ellipsis
Title Timor-Leste: Multilingual Education for All?
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 55-72
URL http://www.apsa.us/wp-content/ellipsis/10leech.pdf
This article presents a review of medium-of-instruction policy in Timor-Leste
after ten years of independence. The review is set against the provisions for language in the
country’s National Constitution and the human development discourses of the Education
for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is informed by a range of
literature dealing with language policy and the medium of instruction in linguistically diverse
and developing contexts. The article provides an overview of the language situation and the
development challenges facing education planners, followed by a critical examination of
medium-of-instruction policy over the period 2000-2012. This critique is followed by an
explanatory discussion of the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE)
policy for Timor-Leste and a consideration of some concerns about MTB-MLE. The article
closes with an assessment of the potential of this policy to promote linguistic diversity in
Timor-Leste and help deliver on the EFA and MDGs for 2015.

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