Loud and Clear: Teach Children in a Language They Use and Understand

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Loud and Clear: Teach Children in a Language They Use and Understand

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The World Bank’s focus on foundational skills requires that issues of language and Language of Instruction be brought to the forefront of education policy discussions. Poor Language of Instruction policies harm learning, access, equity, cost-effectiveness, and inclusion. Yet, inappropriate Language of Instruction policies affect too many students in low- and middle-income countries. Given the large numbers of students being taught in languages that they do not understand globally, massive learning improvements are feasible by teaching in a small number of additional languages.

This discussion will present the World Bank’s first Policy Approach Paper on Language of Instruction, “Loud and Clear: Effective Language of Instruction Policies for Learning”, to outline its position and recommendations. The paper also offers an indication of the work that will be undertaken to support countries in introducing reforms that will result in more resilient, equitable, and effective systems by promoting teaching in the languages that students and teachers speak and understand best.

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