English Language Policy and Planning in Sri Lanka: A Critical Overview

  • Dilini Chamali WalisundaraEmail author
  • Shyamani Hettiarachchi
Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 11)


The focus of this chapter is to provide an overview of English language policy and planning in Sri Lanka subsequent to 1978 with a detailed reference to some of the key historical aspects that led to the current situation. One of the key factors that is explored is the role of English as a link language as imbued in the constitution of Sri Lanka and its significance in the development of English language teaching and learning in the country. For this purpose, a set of key variables in the form of students’ performance at national level examinations, the allocation of English teachers in the country, the issue of English language learners with disability and teacher allocation for English medium instruction have been used. The data reviewed covered a period close to 15 years in some instances and the analysis revealed a considerable disparity between policy decisions, investments made and the subsequent results of such actions demanding a need to re-evaluate the implementation of such policies.


English language policy Planning Sri Lanka disability Link language 



A special thank you to Prof. Hema Ramanathan for making this opportunity available to us and to Dr. Sandagomi Coperahewa, Mr. Noel Jayamaha, Ms. Lakshmi Cumaranathunga, and Ms. Paru Nagasundaram for providing us with their time and resources. Thank you, to Mr. N.M Anura Jayasinghe, Ms.P.A.C.P. Prathapa Arachchi and Ms. W.H. Iresha Charangani for their help with the statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dilini Chamali Walisundara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shyamani Hettiarachchi
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Sri JayewardenepuraNugegodaSri Lanka
  2. 2.University of KelaniyaKelaniyaSri Lanka
  3. 3.Curtin UniversityBentleyAustralia

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