The Problems and Possibilities of Multilingual Classrooms in Ethiopia
International Journal of Secondary Education
Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2019, Pages: 51-60
Received: May 13, 2019; Accepted: Jun. 29, 2019; Published: Jul. 13, 2019
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Fuad Ali, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Debre Berhan University, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia
Desalegn Motbaynor, Department of Educational Planning and Management, Debre Berhan University, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia
Yared Mulat, Department of Educational Planning and Management, Debre Berhan University, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia
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Choosing language of instruction in education is one such concern and often is not free of critics from different perspectives. While students in primary schools come from different language background, it is noted that schools are employing a single language of instruction in classrooms which seems problematic to the students and require investigation. The situation is more worthy in countries like Ethiopia where people live heterogeneously. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess the problems and possibilities of multilingual classrooms in North and East Shoa zones of Ethiopia. To conduct this research, mixed research method and descriptive survey design was employed. The primary sources of data were 260 teachers, who responded to the questionnaire, 10 teachers and 2 primary school directors who participated in FGD. In addition, various literatures and policy documents were the secondary data sources of the study. Purposive, stratified and simple random sampling techniques were employed to select sampled primary school teachers and directors. Questionnaires were the main data gathering instruments while Focus Group Discussion was employed to enrich the data gathered through questionnaires. Moreover, the collected data were analysed quantitatively by using simple descriptive statistics and qualitatively using descriptive narration. The finding of the study indicates various opportunities and problems of multilingual classrooms. Further, although multilingual classrooms provide an opportunity to get to know each other’s culture, if not properly handled it may also results the promotion of dominant group culture and language, which in turn may result in the extinction of minorities cultural elements. Although the issue of multilingual classroom has its own uniqueness that shall be treated differently, still, it is not given due consideration as expected. Finally, policy related as well as short and long term recommendations related to teacher’s attitude, recruitment and deployment were forwarded as to improve the challenges of multilingual classrooms.
Multilingual Classrooms, Problems, Possibilities
To cite this article
Fuad Ali, Desalegn Motbaynor, Yared Mulat, The Problems and Possibilities of Multilingual Classrooms in Ethiopia, International Journal of Secondary Education. Vol. 7, No. 2, 2019, pp. 51-60. doi: 10.11648/j.ijsedu.20190702.15
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