ERG SES H 02, Language and Education
The trilingual education policy at Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (hereafter NIS) was developed based on experiences of such countries like Canada, Switzerland, Estonia, Malaysia and particularly Luxembourg. It intends that students are fluent or proficient in Kazakh, Russian and English by the end of their schooling. According to the NIS curriculum model acquisition of three languages in secondary school level is supported through a) teaching languages at language classes; b) teaching subjects through Kazakh and Russian either by teaching in the target language by one teacher or by bilingual team teaching; as well as c) organization of extracurricular activities in three target languages. Learning gradually become fully trilingual at the beginning of the high school, thus secondary school functions as a preparatory foundation for further transition into fully operating trilingual education model.
NIS trilingual education policy documents set intended outcomes, define aims and values, responsibilities of parties, outline leading pedagogical principles, evaluation, expectation for stakeholders, and quality of language. However, little research has been done on how stakeholders are translating principles and policy into practice (Field, 2015). This is particularly vital in the context of the plan to rollout this policy nationwide.
Although in language policy the evaluation of trilingual education is not a completely new field, the majority of research in the field of multilingual education has been done around bilingual education and its different forms. Despite the literature gap in the certain specific aspects of trilingual education and third language acquisition, bilingual education and second language acquisition research findings are considered to be relevant (Cenoz, Hufeisen and Jessner, 2001). At the same time it will not be fair to apply those findings fully to the context when more than two languages are operating.
For creating theoretical framework we attempt to analyze what is written in the NIS policy documents and what is considered as the successful trilingual education in the literature. Based on the existing literature, effectiveness of bilingual/trilingual programs in various context can be characterized by several factors or criteria. First, additive trilingualism should not be to the detriment development the first language. Second, content of subjects taught in L2/L3 should not suffer (Hugo, Genesee and Mehisto, 2013). Third, high quality instruction and pedagogical practices are crucial (Montecel & Cortez, 2002). Fourth, sophisticated and integrated curriculum is also required to advance students’ linguistic and disciplinary development simultaneously (Doherty et al., 2003; Lyster, 2007). Finally, detailed planning (Met & Lorenz, 1997) and supportive and knowledgeable leadership (Lindholm-Leary, 2001) are required for successful implementation of trilingual/bilingual education policies.
Therefore, we intend to investigate the mechanisms and forces that have facilitated and hindered trilingual policy implementation (Mehisto & Genesee, 2015). This means that we seek to identify and capture the explicit and tacit knowledge schools have developed about establishing trilingual education programmes. The research questions that will be addressed in this research are the following:
1) What framework will allow the key measurable features of well-functioning trilingual programmes to be implemented in NIS schools?
2) To what extent are the key measurable features of well-functioning trilingual programmes evident in the practice of NIS schools?
3) What barriers can be identified which restrict the potential of the trilingual programme in NIS schools to achieve greater success in each of the key measurable features?
4) In what ways can these barriers be addressed that will maximise the potential of the trilingual programme?
Berg, D. (2009). Copula goodness-of-fit testing: An overview and power comparison. The European Journal of Finance, 15(7-8), 675-701. Doherty, R. W., Hilberg, R. S., Pinal, A., & Tharp, R. G. (2003). Five standards and student achievement. NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 1, 1-24. Johnson B., Onwuegbuzie A., Turner L. (2007). Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research // Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 2, 112-133. Mehisto, P. & Genesee, F. (2015). Building bilingual education systems: Forces, mechanisms and counterweights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Met, M. & Lorenz, E. B. (1997). Lessons from U.S. immersion programs: Two decades of experience. In R. K. Johnson & M. Swain (Eds.), Immersion Education: International Perspectives (pp. 243-264). New York: Cambridge. Montecel, M., & Cortez, J. (2002). Successful Bilingual Education Programs: Development and the Dissemination of Criteria To Identify Promising and Exemplary Practices in Bilingual Education at the National Level. Bilingual Research Journal, (26)1, 1-21. Lindholm-Leary, K. J. (2001). Dual language education. Avon, UK: Multilingual Matters. Lyster, R. (2007). Learning and teaching languages through content: A counterbalanced approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Research Methods in Language Policy and Planning: A Practical Guide, First Edition. Edited by Francis M. Hult, David Cassels Johnson, Appendix A, Interacting with Schools and Communities, Rebecca Freeman Field. Hugo, B.B., Genesee, F., and Mehisto, P. (2013). Review of Research on bilingual and trilingual education, Astana: Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.
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