The Purpose and Value of Bilingual Education: A Critical, Linguistic Ethnographic Study of Two Rural Primary Schools in Mozambique

Chimbutane, Feliciano Salvador (2009). The Purpose and Value of Bilingual Education: A Critical, Linguistic Ethnographic Study of Two Rural Primary Schools in Mozambique. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This is a qualitative, interpretive study of discourse on bilingual education in two rural primary schools in Mozambique. My aim was to explore how different views about the purpose and value of bilingual education were manifested in classroom discourse practices and how these views related to historical and socio-political processes. I combined linguistic ethnography and critical, interpretive approaches to bilingualism and bilingual education. Data was collected using different techniques, mainly observation, audio recording, note taking, and interviewing. The study showed that the main official purpose of using local languages in education in Mozambique had been to facilitate pupils’ learning. There were three sets of values associated with bilingual education in the sites in this study: pedagogical, socio-cultural and socio-economic. The use of local languages in the classrooms had been creating spaces for pupil participation and learning. I also found that the beneficiaries in the local communities focussed more on the socio-cultural value of bilingual education, which they saw as prompting the development and upgrading of their languages and associated cultural practices. The study also revealed that, with the introduction of bilingual education, participants had begun to consider the potential capital value of local languages in formal linguistic markets. The general conclusion is that bilingual education is playing a role in social and cultural transformation in the sites in this study, though its potential has yet to be fully explored.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics


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