Bilingual Education Policy and Practice: Teacher and Student Experiences of Bilingual Education in Sri Lanka (73584)

Session Information: Education Development: Policy & Experiences
Session Chair: Alexandra Vasile

Saturday, 25 November 2023 10:25
Session: Session 1
Room: Room D (Live Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Bilingual Education (BE) was first introduced to Sri Lanka in 2001 by offering English medium instruction for a few selected subjects. The goals of this project were to allow all children to acquire adequate proficiency in English for higher education and career advancement, to provide equitable education for all children irrespective of socioeconomic and/or regional disparities and to promote social harmony and social cohesion in ethno-linguistically diverse Sri Lanka. The project has expanded over 7% of schools across Sri Lanka, and further expansion is currently being considered.

However, some recent studies show that the project fails to fully deliver its objectives. Lack of clarity and well-designed policies are identified as major drawbacks of the BE system. This presentation discusses an ongoing study designed to explore bilingual education in Sri Lanka from the perspectives of teachers and students. A qualitative multiple case study was undertaken at three Sri Lankan schools. The findings suggest that, while the BE programme may be leading to self-reported improved English proficiency gains for the small number of students, this is limited as the number of students who are accepted on the programme is typically about 2% of the entire student population. The study also identifies systemic factors in both the school system and bilingual programme and a lack of governmental support for schools as problematizing to all three programme goals. This presentation will offer some potential, practical solutions for programme improvement.

Udumbara Samarakoon, Hiroshima City University, Japan

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Udumbara Samarakoon is a University Doctoral Student at Hiroshima City University in Japan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00