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Title: An exploration of educational language policy on selected learning experiences in two post colonial small island developing states
Author: Surajbali-Bissoonauth, Chaya
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 856X
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2019
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This research explores selected learning experiences of educational language policy in Mauritius and the Seychelles. The study aimed at (i) analysing the definition of language policy; (ii) understanding the forces that influenced language of instruction; and (iii) exploring the perception of learning experiences of who had experienced language policy. Insights into the experience of participants, guided by a phenomenological approach, were gained from 24 participants by means of a Written Reflective Exercise and two semi-structured interviews. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) method was employed to analyse the data. It emerged from the study that both countries faced several challenges in the choice of an educational language policy. The findings reveal that English enjoys a high status in both states despite the presence of other languages. Whilst there are differences in language policies in both nations, the use of English as the language of instruction in the post-independence period was a way of safeguarding the stability of the education system. Participants' experiential descriptions of educational language policy revealed they went through two phases: initially, there was bafflement and confusion related to learning in English, and secondly an awareness of the importance of English, hence, their developing methods to cope with both learning English and learning in the language. The initial phase was characterised by different forms of anxiety that hampered learning when English was used exclusively for teaching. This led to what is termed as "double cognitive overload", the challenge participants faced when simultaneously processing information and learning new concepts in English. At the same time, further outcomes reveal a paradox regarding English and the mother tongue: English symbolised access to commodities in the educational and economic domains whereas the mother tongue was recognised as beneficial for scaffolding learning. The findings have implications for educational language policy in both small states including clarity regarding the role of the language of instruction and greater understanding of the stages where the mother tongue could be used as a facilitator for teaching and learning.
Supervisor: Stephens, David ; Robinson, Carol ; Mariaye, Hyleen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Educational language policy ; language anxiety ; English medium instruction