The Issue of Mother Tongue in Early Childhood Education in Ethiopia

  • Demelash Zenebe Woldu


The purpose of this article is to analyze the issue of mother tongue in Early Childhood Education in Ethiopia which has currently become a subject of concern for educationist, government and other stakeholders. To do this, as an introductory part, the paper briefly highlights the policy context of Ethiopian education system, particularly the aspect of language of preschool medium. Then, the article mainly focuses on the use of mother tongue in Early Childhood Education in relation to young children‟s learning and development, and the „supremacy‟ and competing role of English language in preschools and its implication on children‟s overall development. Consequently, the findings indicate that the use of mother tongue medium at preschool is subjected to different interpretations and practices by service providers, professionals, teachers, parents and other due to many factors. Additionally, the global „supremacy‟ of English language has a substantial effect on the detriment of mother tongue preschool education in Ethiopia. Finally, the paper provides conclusion and indicative suggestions based on critical analysis of related literature, policy documents, research findings, and reflections on observations and experiences.


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How to Cite
WOLDU, Demelash Zenebe. The Issue of Mother Tongue in Early Childhood Education in Ethiopia. IER FLAMBEAU, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 2, p. 1 - 15, may 2009. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 jan. 2020.
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