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Language Disadvantage

Dhir Jhingran (Author)
Synopsis The right to quality elementary education is now being recognized as the guiding principle of all government initiatives. But, in practice, a significant proportion of children are deprived of an ‘equal opportunity to learn’ at the primary stage of schooling. Children who join school with a first language that is very different from the one used as the medium of instruction at school, face a serious disadvantage in the early years that stunts their learning at school. Barring a few sporadic pilot initiatives, the education system has failed to respond to this huge learning challenge. This study argues that the learning disadvantage is not confined only to tribal children who are totally unfamiliar with the school language at the time of joining school. Children who speak dialects that are very different from the standard language used at school, children of migrants and those residing in inter-stage border areas are similarly disadvantaged. The findings of the fieldwork for this study have helped to provide a flavour of the nature and extent of this problem. This study outlines some successful educational strategies that have been implemented in other countries to help children who suffer due to the gap between the home and school language. Some of the initiatives under government educational programmes in India have also been outlined with the objective of learning from the problems in their implementation. The author identifies some appropriate educational strategies for the various school situations in India and discusses some issues in the planning and implementation of such initiatives.
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About the author

Dhir Jhingran

Dir Jhingran belongs to the Indian Administrative Service and is presently Director in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. He has worked extensively in the area of elementary education in the past decade at the state and national levels. His research and programme implementation work in the past few years have focused on the inclusion of disadvantaged children in the fold of elementary education. The author can be contacted at [email protected].

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Bibliographic information

Title Language Disadvantage
Author Dhir Jhingran
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8176488488
length xii+193p., Tables; Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.