Linguistic Diversity in Practice: Educational achievement in Estonia

By Anu Masso.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The present paper concentrates on a current topic–the relationship between study language and educational achievement. Estonia is used as an example with its multifarious formal language education (e.g. Estonian—and Russian—medium schools, etc.). The quantitative data on pupils’ achievements (upper secondary school examination results) are analysed. The main research question is how the advancement in schools could be characterised by the study language, or by other individuals—(e.g. the order of languages learned) or school-level indicators (stress on the humanities, etc.). The initial results show that pupils learning at the secondary level of education in minority language schools have to some degree lower examination results compared to those learning in the majority language. Nevertheless, school-level variables, such as the number of foreign languages learned, turned out to be more essential differentiating factors when compared to the study language. The paper suggests that learning in the minority language (sometimes including subjects learned in a second language) does not necessarily deteriorate the results in subject knowledge, but only in cases where the curriculum is systematically balanced (e.g. combining second language learning and multiculturalism).

Keywords: Second Language Education, Linguistic Diversity, Multilevel Modelling, Education and Humanities

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 9, pp.69-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 787.931KB).

Anu Masso

Lecturer (PhD), Institute of Journalism and Communication, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, Estonia

My research interests include developments in geo-cultural space (e.g. distances with different cultures, mobility and its relations with social and linguistic capital). My second interest is methodology that I can implement in my lecturing work (I teach courses like quantitative data analysis, qualitative interview, qualitative data analysis techniques and software).

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