Native- vs. Nonnative-Medium Schools: Applying Critical-Cultural and Historical-Structural Theories to Reframing Language Planning and Policy

Tania Hossain, Cornelius B. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In much of the developing world, disparities between native- and nonnative-medium schools are fueled in part by government actions such as resource allocation and administrative oversight that determine institutional policies and practices that perpetuate and exacerbate educational divides, which, in turn, lead to further societal inequality. This article argues that government agencies and educators should apply complementary critical-cultural and historical-structural theories to proffer language-policy directions and a pedagogic blueprint that have the potential to improve significantly a bilingual educational system fraught with pedagogic inequalities, social disparities, and misaligned resources. Critical-cultural analysis examines phenomena from three overarching perspectives: multiculturalism, hegemonic ideology, and power relations; a historical-structural perspective places English teaching within contexts of socioeducational practices. Resource-poor rural schools, where English teaching was at best perfunctory, placed their students at a significant disadvantage. The implications of these findings for reframing current language planning and policy are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-219
Number of pages29
JournalCritical Inquiry in Language Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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