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A medium of instruction (plural: media of instruction, or mediums of instruction) is a language used in teaching. It may or may not be the official language of the country or territory. If the first language of students is different from the official language, it may be used as the medium of instruction for part or all of schooling. Bilingual or multilingual education may involve the use of more than one language of instruction. UNESCO considers that "providing education in a child's mother tongue is indeed a critical issue".[1] In post secondary, university and special educational program settings, content may often be taught in a language that is not spoken in the students' homes. This is referred to as content based learning or content and language integrated learning (CLIL). In situations where the medium of instruction of academic disciplines is English in countries where the first language is not English, the phenomenon is referred to as English medium instruction or EMI.[2]

In different countries and regions


Western Hemisphere


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Every public school uses Brazilian Portuguese as the medium of instruction, but no law prohibits the use of other languages in private schools. Many schools use other European languages (mainly because of the country's European heritage) such as English, German, Italian or French. Public schools also have mandatory English and Spanish but only once or twice a week.


Further information: Languages of Canada, Education in Canada, Official bilingualism in Canada, and Language policies of Canada's provinces and territories

United States

English is used, but in some schools, Spanish, French (in Louisiana), Hawaiian (in Hawaii), and local Native American/American Indian languages are used as well.

  • The Cherokee Nation instigated a 10-year language preservation plan that involved growing new fluent speakers of the Cherokee language from childhood on up through school immersion programs as well as a collaborative community effort to continue to use the language at home.[6] This plan was part of an ambitious goal that in 50 years, 80% or more of the Cherokee people will be fluent in the language.[7] The Cherokee Preservation Foundation has invested $3 million into opening schools, training teachers, and developing curricula for language education, as well as initiating community gatherings where the language can be actively used.[7] Formed in 2006, the Kituwah Preservation & Education Program (KPEP) on the Qualla Boundary focuses on language immersion programs for children from birth to fifth grade, developing cultural resources for the general public and community language programs to foster the Cherokee language among adults.[8] There is also a Cherokee language immersion school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma that educates students from pre-school through eighth grade.[9]


South East Asia

Australia and Oceania


Prior to the 2017 law "On Education" the mediums of instruction in pre-school education were Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, Moldovan, Crimean Tatar, English, Polish and German; in general education, Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, Moldovan, Crimean Tatar, Polish, Bulgarian and Slovak; in vocational training, Ukrainian and Russian; in higher education, Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian[30]

See also


  1. ^ Results of the 7th consultation of member states on the implementation of the Convention and Recommendation against discrimination in education. Para. 41
  2. ^ Macaro, Ernesto; Curle, Samantha; Pun, Jack; An, Jiangshan; Dearden, Julie (2017-12-12). "A systematic review of English medium instruction in higher education". Language Teaching. 51 (1): 36–76. doi:10.1017/s0261444817000350. ISSN 0261-4448.
  3. ^ "Kiswahili". Archived from the original on April 17, 2001. Retrieved 2001-04-17. Tanzania National Website
  4. ^ 5.1.9 Language laws Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine // Zimbabwe. International Database of Cultural Policies
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2014-12-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Native Now : Language: Cherokee". We Shall Remain - American Experience - PBS. 2008. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Cherokee Language Revitalization". Cherokee Preservation Foundation. 2014. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Kituwah Preservation & Education Program Powerpoint, by Renissa Walker (2012)'. 2012. Print.
  9. ^ Chavez, Will (April 5, 2012). "Immersion students win trophies at language fair". Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Olinda Hassan Education in Transition: English based learning in Bangladesh today Forum, The Daily Star
  11. ^ Minglang Zhou, Hongkai Sun (2004). Language Policy in the People's Republic of China: Theory and Practice Since 1948. Springer. pp. 119–120. ISBN 9781402080388.
  12. ^ Alternative report on the implementation by Georgia of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in the region of Kvemo Kartli — p. 59
  13. ^ 18 colleges declared 'English medium'
  14. ^ Enclosure No. 1 to "Department of Education Order No. 74, 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-16.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. ^ Pre-school Education
  16. ^ Constitution of Vanuatu Article 3
  17. ^ Почему белорусcких школ становится всё меньше? Белорусский Партизан 2010(in Russian)
  18. ^ Elementary Education Archived 2012-05-11 at the Wayback Machine Ministry of Education of Croatia
  19. ^ National system overview on education systems in Europe, Estonia (PDF). EURYDICE. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-25.
  20. ^ "Minority education: statistics and trends". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. June 5, 2018.
  21. ^ Comments by Mr Boriss Cilevics, Member of the Latvian Delegation Archived 2009-11-30 at the Wayback Machine Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe 2006 — Para. 13
  22. ^ Education in Lithuania. Facts and Figures pp. 42-43
  23. ^ Part 6 Archived 2010-11-29 at the Wayback Machine Ohrid Agreement
  24. ^ a b c List of declarations made with respect to treaty No. 148 Council of Europe
  25. ^ Koziński, Bartosz (2013). "Wybrane Aspekty Edukacji Mniejszości Narodowych i Etnicznych we Współczesnej Polsce". Forum Pedagogiczne UKSW. 1.
  26. ^ Об исполнении Российской Федерацией Рамочной конвенции о защите национальных меньшинств. Альтернативный доклад НПО Москва, 2006 — § 331 (in Russian)
  27. ^ Сулейманова Д. Языковая ситуация в Республике Татарстан 2009(in Russian)
  28. ^ Compulsory basic education in Slovenia Archived 2011-09-14 at the Wayback Machine Ministry of Education and Sport of Slovenia
  29. ^ Beyond the scandal: what is Ukraine’s new education law really about?
    on language provisions of Ukraine’s education law not over – minister
    Ukraine agrees to concessions to Hungary in language row
  30. ^ Third report submitted by Ukraine pursuant to Article 25, Paragraph 2 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities pp. 42-43