Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2666-8882
  • E-ISSN: 2666-8890
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Whilst the vast majority of the Maldivian population speak Dhivehi at home, English typically serves as the only medium of instruction (MoI) starting from primary school. Teachers have expressed their concerns regarding educational quality, as many children are taught in a language they do not master sufficiently. The present study aimed to investigate the level of second language (L2) proficiency in relation to reading abilities and mathematical skills in 25 ten- to twelve-year-old children living in the Maldives. The results showed relatively low performance on all tasks, despite normal nonverbal intelligence. Moreover, we found a significant relation between English vocabulary knowledge and reading accuracy. Our findings contribute to a growing body of research suggesting that using an L2 as the only MoI may be detrimental to literacy development and learning outcomes. Considering the objectives of educational quality, language maintenance of Dhivehi and the pragmatic value assigned to English, we argue in favour of a bilingual model of education, in which the importance of native language development is emphasized.


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