Local-Global Tension in the Ideological Construction of English Language Education Policy in Nepal

  • Prem PhyakEmail author
Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 11)


In this chapter, I analyze ideologies of the de facto English-as-the-medium-of-instruction policy in Nepal’s school level education system. By situating the current language policy in Nepal’s multilingual context, I also discuss how this policy reproduces social inequalities between the rich and the poor, and how it negatively affects children’s access to the academic content. My analysis shows that the current de facto English language policy is shaped by two major ideologies – English-as-a-global-language and English-as-social-capital – that ignore the local multilingual and multicultural realities surrounding students’ everyday lives and disregard the evidence that students’ home languages can be a resource for learning both content and language. More importantly, the analysis reveals increased tensions between the local and global ideologies by showing that the English language policy contradicts the Ministry of Education’s mother-tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) policy, the latter of which aims to promote the use of local languages as the medium of instruction up to Grade 3.


English-as-the-medium-of-instruction Language ideology Neoliberalism Multilingual education English-as-social-capital 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Tribhuvan UniversityKirtipurNepal

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