Both humanist and quality concerns should have made language of instruction a priority in educational development, yet there has been no clear trajectory. This study explores whether the advantages of L1-based approaches as documented in the scholarly literature have been reflected in the development discourse over time, based on an analysis of all twelve UNESCO Global Monitoring Reports. We investigated three hypotheses using macro-analyses on the frequency of language-in-education mentions and the co-occurrence of these with mentions of early grade reading, and a micro-analysis of content associated with language. While we found no consistent trend in language-in-education terms over time, there has been more mention in reference to early grade reading, challenging support for longer-term use of L1 to support learning. More detailed mentions of language, however, appear to be aligned with sound policies and practices, and simple mentions presume that L1-based approaches are important for effective educational development.
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Benson, C., & Wong, K. M. (2015). Development Discourse on Language of Instruction and Literacy: Sound Policy and Ubuntu or Lip Service?. Reconsidering Development, 4 (1). Retrieved from http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/reconsidering/vol4/iss1/7