Language of Instruction Transitioning in Low-and- Middle Income Countries: An Evidence Synthesis




Language of Instruction Transitioning in Low-and- Middle Income Countries: An Evidence Synthesis

Date: 15 December 2021

Children across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are learning in bilingual or multilingual educational contexts. In this webinar we will discuss: 1) how can we apply midrange theory to understand the impacts of language of instruction transition choices on student learning outcomes; 2) what the impacts are of mother tongue education on learning outcomes in the mother tongue as well as in a national or later acquired language across contexts; and 3) what are the key ingredients of a successful language of instruction transition program across contexts?



Pooja Nakamura

Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Pooja Reddy Nakamura is a Principal Researcher in the International Development Division at American Institutes for Research. She has 16 years of experience leading research and assessments focused on foundational literacy development in low- and middle-income countries across the world – especially in bilingual and multilingual contexts. She also has extensive experience designing foundational literacy programs and curricula in linguistically diverse educational settings. She is currently leading or co-leading language and literacy studies in several countries, including Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Laos, Mozambique, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom, and conducting an evidence synthesis across LMIC’s.

Zelealem Leyew

Professor of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University
Zelealem Leyew is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics, AAU. He is engaged in teaching and advising graduate students. He is a Humboldtian and Founding Member of the Ethiopian Association of Humboldt Fellows. As a researcher, he has published extensively on descriptive, socio- and anthropological linguistic issues. The interdisciplinary book on plant nomenclature is among his contributions frequently cited as it has brought together the theories and methodologies of linguistics and ethnobotany.

Barbara Trudell

SIL International

Barbara Trudell has lived and worked in the global South since 1982, first in Peru and then in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research, advocacy and consulting work over that time have focused on empowering minoritized language communities to use their languages for learning and communication. Her particular areas of interest include the links between language, literacy and development, the use of local languages for learning, and community engagement in the development of their own languages. She currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa where she is the director of SIL Africa Learning & Development (