This paper provides evidence for a non-linear relationship between local language and English reading scores in multilingual South India. The mechanism suggests that being taught English prematurely may lead to struggles in English literacy acquisition; whereas being taught English after achieving a threshold reading level in the local language may lead to success in transitioning to English literacy acquisition. We base our findings on non-parametric and parametric regression analysis of data from assessments that were uniquely designed for South and Southeast Asian languages, and for multilingual children. Our findings help explain the global trend of increased school enrolment, with learning achievements lagging.
Pooja Reddy Nakamura, Thomas de Hoop & Chinmaya Udayakumar Holla (2018): Language and the Learning Crisis:Evidence of Transfer Threshold Mechanisms in Multilingual Reading in South India, The Journal of Development Studies, DOI:10.1080/00220388.2018.1493192
Correspondence Address: Pooja Reddy Nakamura, International Development, Evaluation, and Research, American Institutes for Research (AIR), 1000 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC, USA. Email: email@example.com