Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Language and learning in Ethiopia
Author: James, Zoe Cariad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 7667
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the relationship between language of instruction policy and educational outcomes in Ethiopia. In 1994 Ethiopia introduced a mother tongue education policy which marked a move away from Amharic-only instruction, to the use of multiple local languages in primary schooling. This thesis investigates three key dimensions of this policy: (i) whether there is an advantage to being a ‘mother tongue learner’ in terms of learning outcomes; (ii) whether there are inequalities in learning progress between students learning in different languages of instruction, and if so, why; and (iii) whether the use of multiple mother tongues for school instruction can ensure access to essential languages of wider communication, and if not, with what implications. The mixed methods analysis finds that (i) there is an advantage to being a ‘mother tongue learner’ in Amharic language classes, but this advantage disappears when other indicators of educational experience are taken into account, and varies between linguistic environments/ contexts; (ii) that stakeholders support the use of mother tongue for reasons that relate both to pedagogy, and to the assertion of ethnolinguistic identity, emphasising the nonlearning-related benefits of the policy; (iii) that between-language of instruction inequality of learning outcomes are evident, with students learning in many of the newly introduced languages of instruction making less progress in mathematics than their counterparts in Amharic language of instruction classrooms; (iv) that these between-language inequalities in learning outcomes may be explained by variation in literate environments and linguistic development and standardisation, as well as heterogeneity of school quality between different linguistic communities; and (v) that stakeholders perceive important inequalities in opportunities to acquire languages of wider communication (Amharic and English) between students learning in different languages of instruction, raising important concerns about the extent to which the policy can translate into social and economic opportunity and mobility for all.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available