Percentage of students in a) early grades, b) at the end of primary, and c) at the end of lower secondary education who have their first or home language as language of instruction.

Definition

SDG Indicator 4.5.2: Percentage of students in a) early grades, b) at the end of primary, and c) at the end of lower secondary education who have their first or home language as language of instruction.

Data source

Data for this indicator may come from El Laboratorio Latinoamericano de Evaluación de la Calidad de la Educación (LLECE) 2013 (Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE), Programme d'analyse des systèmes éducatifs de la confemen (PASEC) 2014 and 2018, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015, and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys 6 (MICS6).

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for Statistics http://tcg.uis.unesco.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/08/Metadata-4....

Calculation method

Number of students in primary education who have their first language or home language as language of instruction expressed as a percentage of the total number of students at the same level stage of education and year

Data required

• Data from household surveys collecting language most often spoken at home and spoken by teachers when teaching; • Data from student assessments’ background questionnaires on language spoken at home; and • ISCED mapping by country.

Interpretation

The higher the percentage of children taught in their home langage, the higher the probability that they acquire cognitive skills such as beginning reading and writing. After building solid skills, learners can gradually transfer skills from the familiar language to the unfamiliar one.

Limitations

Indicator estimates from international student assessment data generally do not collect data on the language of instruction used in practice in a classroom but rather whether the language of the child used most often at home is the same as the language of the test, which in turn is generally the official language of instruction. Indicators are estimates which have a sampling distribution including confidence interval and standard error. Estimates from MICS 6 for primary students overall and have been mapped to mid-primary.

Purpose

Language is key to communication and understanding in the classroom. Education in the mother-tongue has been linked to improved learning outcomes. Research suggests that mother-tongue instruction improves learning outcomes including the ability of children to learn languages later in school.

Quality standards

The UIS maintains the global database on home language. The inclusion of data point in the database, it is done following a protocol for reporting the indicators, reviewed by UIS technical focal points to check for consistency and overall data quality. This review is based on a set of objective criteria to ensure that only the most recent and reliable information are included in the databases.

Types of disaggregation

Disaggregation by level of school, sex, urban or rural location and wealth (see common metadata for indicators derived from student assessment data for details on definition of these sub-populations).