This review shows that there is evidence that girls, poor and vulnerable
children stay in school longer if they are taught first in their mother
tongue. Fifty percent of the world's out-of-school children live in
communities where the language of schooling is rarely, if ever, used at
home. The language used in schools, is one of the principal mechanisms
through which inequality in education is reproduced. This underscores
the biggest challenge to achieving Education for All.
Section 3 focuses on girls and it shows that girls who learn in familiar
languages stay in school longer, are more likely to be identified as
good students, do better on achievement tests, and repeat grades less
often than girls who do not get home language instruction. This means
that they are more likely to enjoy school, experience success, and
perceive that schooling is relevant, which will give them the skills and
confidence to continue their school careers.
Section 4 focuses on poor and vulnerable children and shows that
teaching in their mother tongue means that they will stay in school for
longer. Teaching in a foreign language is highly inefficient, causing
repetition, failure and dropout for all but a few. There is inequality
of opportunity for those children who speak minority languages and it
leads learners to have low aspirations for their own educational
achievement and participate unwittingly in a vicious circle of dropout
Holley, C. Helpdesk Report: Mother Tongue Education- Girls and Poor/Vulnerable Children. Human Development Resource Centre, UK (2011) 16 pp.
Helpdesk Report: Mother Tongue Education- Girls and Poor/Vulnerable Children