Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perception and use of Tanzania's Language of Instruction Policy in a Rural Ordinary Level Secondary School: Translating Qualitative Data into a Quantitative Instrument Measuring the Foreign Language Environment
by Wild, Justin, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2018, 519; 10931398
Abstract (Summary)

In Tanzania, the debate surrounding language of instruction has been rekindled with an announcement in February of 2015 that the language of instruction would be changed from English to Kiswahili in Ordinary Level secondary schools. European languages have perceived economic benefits, while researchers in cognitive learning argue foreign languages of instruction are often detrimental to a child’s learning. However, this debate is studied largely at the national and international levels. This dissertation research investigates perceptions of language of instruction in a rural school community using critical theory, the theory of communicative action, and a language ecology framework. Qualitative analysis of community foreign language learning resources and a construct modeling approach was used to create and pilot a quantitative instrument in several rural secondary school communities for the purpose of measuring and acknowledging foreign language learning resources in a rural school community. Findings revealed participants’ cultural attachment to Kiswahili in tension with the high utilitarian value they place on knowing the English language. Few participants believed there are many resources for learning English in or outside of school. Findings from the survey using descriptive analysis and item response theory revealed that few items captured the variability of the construct within the sample, yet exposed possible weaknesses and offered direction for further, future investigation. This study concludes with a discussion of the findings in relation to the theories and framework guiding this study, as well as a discussion of the child’s right to learn.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Coronel-Molina, Serafín M., Delandshere, Ginette
Commitee: Carspecken, Phil, Martínez, Sylvia, Omar, Alwiya
School: Indiana University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 80/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, Education Policy
Keywords: Construct measurement, Language ecology, Language of instruction, Secondary school, Tanzania, Theory of communicative action
Publication Number: 10931398
ISBN: 978-0-438-36386-1
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