UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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Recommendation No. 78 to Ministries Responsible for Education and Culture Concerning the Contribution of Education to Cultural Development

Part IV of the Final Report of the 43rd Session of the International Conference on Education (Geneva 1992), entitled 'Recommendation No. 78 to ministries responsible for education and culture concerning the contribution of education to cultural development' includes several recommendations concerning language of instruction.

14. Teaching and languages: The choice of one or more languages, the mother tongue or a national or foreign language, as a separate subject or as a medium for studying other subjects is determined by the educational and cultural policy of each country. When choosing the language of instruction, in particular at the level of basic education, account should be taken both of the efficiency of the educational process and the right of individuals and various ethnic groups to preserve their cultural identity, of which their language is one of the most important vehicles. The views of these groups should be taken into account, as far as possible, in decisions concerning them. It is desirable that the education system, particularly through out-of-school cultural and educational activities, should contribute to the preservation and development of minority languages, particularly unwritten ones. In this context, research should be carried out in such fields as educational science, linguistics, anthropology and history, and the preparation of teaching materials in the mother tongue should be encouraged.

Note: The full text of the Final Report of the 43rd Session of the International Conference on Education is available at http://www.unesco.org/education/pdf/REC_78_E.PDF

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