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Abstract

The question of language of instruction is at the top of the educational agenda in many countries around the world. Decisions about language of instruction (including what mother tongue languages to teach, in what grades, when to transition to the national language or international language) and efforts to develop materials and instructional strategies to support the language(s) selected are well underway. This article reviews a study of language of instruction conducted in the United States that has a rigorous study design and compelling results. Its outcomes and implications can provide helpful guidance for selecting languages of instruction and for planning programs and instruction in contexts around the world. It also raises interesting questions about the impact of context (including time, place, and participants) on implementation of programs and instruction based on research. It concludes with support for the strong design and findings of the study reviewed and, at the same time, cautions about matters of the context in which instruction takes place and language choice in instruction.

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