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Marshallese and English: Evidence and Recommendations for an Immersion Model of Education in the Republic of the Marshall Islands
|Title:||Marshallese and English: Evidence and Recommendations for an Immersion Model of Education in the Republic of the Marshall Islands|
|Abstract:||The Republic of the Marshall Islands, located in the Pacific region most commonly referred to as Micronesia, has recently assumed a new and more independent political status after nearly 400 years of colonization. The purpose of this paper is to propose educational reform through a language planning framework suited to the political, social, and cultural characteristics of this emerging nation.|
The first section of the paper traces the history of language issues and education policies which have affected the entire Micronesian region and, more specifically, the Marshall Islands. This is followed by an overview of current language and education programs in the Marshall Islands, with a description of their administrative, financial, curricular, and staffing features.
The third section of the paper provides a summary of negative school outcomes which occur at all levels of the Marshallese educational system. Possible causes of these outcomes are considered from both infrastructural and global perspectives. The discussion ends with a mandate for change, suggesting that an immersion model of bilingual education is the most appropriate framework for analysis and language planning in the Marshall Islands today.
In the fourth section, a review of the basic features of immersion education is followed by a discussion of program varieties. The discussion centers on the argument that a program based on "additive bilingualism" is the most appropriate model for this student population. The fifth and final section provides general guidelines for the establishment of a pilot immersion project in the Marshall Islands elementary schools.
|Appears in Collections:||Working Papers|
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