Language And Education: Language Choice In Education

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2. Review of Literature
2.1. Language choice in education
2.1.1. Language as an aspect of ethnicity and nationality
Language is usually defined as the ability of humans to use complex systems of communication and is often considered as an important part of the nationality and/or ethnicity as it depicts ones group identity. Ethnic groups consider that a language is the best medium to express their cultures and traditions and may attempt to make themselves distinct on such dimensions. Therefore the survival of a language is often correlated with the continued existence of a nation or an ethnic group (Hoffman, 1991). Therefore it is clear that there is a strong relationship between language, ethnicity and nationality.
2.1.2. Language and politics
Language of a nation is greatly related to the policies exerted by a government. The groups that have some economic and political power exert linguistic influence over the minority of a country or a country that has superiority over another will have a linguistic influence over the latter. Educational policies are the major factor that is imposed by a government that decides the basic framework of a country’s education system and moves the society towards bilingual or multilingual attitudes. Also any threat to a linguistic identity of a nation may arise sentiments of hostility across them or their countries which may also viewed as a political issue. Therefore it is clear that the language is essentially related to the politics of a country (Spolsky, 1998).
2.1.3. Language policy
Language policy or language status is a very important aspect of education where it involves the choice of languages in bilingual or multilingual systems. Therefore it is strongly related to the political decision...

... middle of paper ... /Academic Language Proficiency on the other hand occur in context reduced academic situations where higher thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation are needed. This involves the “language of learning”, which includes problem-solving, building hypothesis, imagining, reasoning and focusing into situations with which they have no previous experience (Cummins, 1984).
An instructional implication of Cognitive /Academic Language Proficiency has been described in two areas including cognitive and academic. Cognitive means that the instruction should be cognitively challenging with higher order thinking skills ( e.g. evaluating, inferring, generalizing and classifying) and Academic means that the curriculum content should be integrated with language instruction so that the students learn the language of the specific academic area (Cummins, 2000).

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