Timor-Leste: sustaining and maintaining the national languages in education

Taylor-Leech, Kerry (2011) Timor-Leste: sustaining and maintaining the national languages in education. Current Issues in Language Planning, 12 (2). pp. 289-308. ISSN 1466-4208


This article presents an overview of language-in-education policy development between 1999 and 2010 in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. In the decade since independence language-in-education policy in this newly independent country has been dominated by debates about the medium of instruction. Over time, policy has shifted from an authoritarian stance that insisted on monolingual, submersion schooling in a former colonial language to one that accepts the need to accommodate linguistic diversity in order to promote social inclusion. Recent policy documents allow for instruction in the vernacular languages, designated in the 2002 Constitution
as national languages. The article identifies some key drivers that have provided impetus for this change in orientation, a change which offers opportunities for localised language planning from below. The paper therefore suggests that the acceptance of agency at both macro- and micro-levels will play a critical role in sustaining and maintaining the national languages in East Timorese education.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2011 01:27
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2014 03:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: Timor-Leste; national languages; mother tongue-based multilingual education; language-in-education; language policy and planning; language planning from below; Tetum
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2004 Linguistics > 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160103 Linguistic Anthropology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/14664208.2011.589108
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19322

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