The most widely read GEM Report publications is our paper last year on language policy in education. Why? Because there are about 6,500 languages spoken in the world today, and, as we showed in that study, a staggering 40% of the global population are learning in a language they don’t understand.
It doesn’t need explaining perhaps, that being taught by a teacher in a language you don’t speak at home will negatively impact your school performance and test results, but it continues to be a hotly contested topic around the world – as recent headlines from Argentina, India and Uganda illustrate.
Politics and ideology are two reasons the issue is contested, but cost is another. Multilingual teaching, the training needed to support it, and the revision of existing learning materials result in a hefty bill. This is why we should loudly celebrate when countries do make the leap…
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