University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series > Taking the Babble out of Babel: Forces, mechanisms and counterweights for building bilingual education systems

Taking the Babble out of Babel: Forces, mechanisms and counterweights for building bilingual education systems

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Laura Carnicero.

The complexities of bi- and trilingual education are manifold. This talk offers a construct for disentangling into three broad categories factors identified as contributing to or hindering the development of successful bi- or trilingual education – forces, mechanisms and counterweights. The construct arose from research into bilingual programme development in Estonia, and is informed by the presenter’s cooperation with the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Kazakhstan.

A force belongs to the ideational realm. It is a form of intellectual power that has the capacity to affect people and events. An example of a force is a belief in the value of bilingual education. Forces can be harnessed to fuel action, to empower mechanisms. In contrast to forces, mechanisms are tangible. They belong to the material realm. A mechanism is part of a system that interacts with other parts and leads to something else being done or created. Policy prescriptions are a mechanism. Counterweights can help keep a system in balance. Finally, the construct remains dependent on stakeholder knowledge from numerous disciplines and broad skills sets. Ultimately bilingual education calls for ‘complexity competence’.

The seminar can also be attended online via http://collab8.adobeconnect.com/kazakhstan_seminars

This talk is part of the Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series series.

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