English medium instruction in South Asia’s multilingual schools: unpacking the dynamics of ideological orientations, policy/practices, and democratic questions

Sah, Pramod K. (2022). English medium instruction in South Asia’s multilingual schools: unpacking the dynamics of ideological orientations, policy/practices, and democratic questions. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 25(2) pp. 742–755.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2020.1718591

Abstract

This article provides a critical review of English medium instruction (EMI) policy/practices in the K-12 multilingual schools in South Asia, especially in Nepal, India, and Pakistan. Employing Bourdieu’s (1993) lens of ‘linguistic capital’ and ‘linguistic marketplace,’ the article takes stock of (a) the development of EMI and its ideological and pedagogic motivations, (b) the models of EMI policy in relation to mother-tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) and their practices, and (c) social justice concerns that arise from such policies/practices. As the review of research and policy/practices reveals, EMI is ideologically perceived as a means of acquiring the linguistic capital, often believed to provide access to the global economy; and, therefore, a liberating tool for socioeconomically minoritized groups. Such ideology has, then, oriented the concerned bodies to position EMI within the framework of MTB-MLE in South Asian countries, creating the discourse of inequality and injustice for different social groups. The article continues the argument that the language policies, which are being developed/practiced in the lure of economic globalization, ignoring the local realities, become a source of marginalization along the lines of class, ethnicity, gender, and regions.

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About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 83070
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1747-7522
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Four-Year Doctoral FellowshipNot SetUniversity of British Columbia
    Killam Doctoral ScholarshipNot SetNot Set
  • Keywords
  • English-medium instruction (EMI); political economy; language policy; globalization; South Asia
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
  • Depositing User
  • Pramod Sah

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