Insights from the archives: British development aid and English language teaching

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Britain has funded English language teaching (ELT) initiatives in developing countries for decades, despite changes in government and a series of substantial overhauls in the administration of development aid. This article reveals the relevance of ideational factors in explaining how ELT remained a key part of Britain’s aid policy during a period of significant domestic and international change. It uses constructivist institutionalism to interpret an extensive range of evidence from government archives spanning a twenty-two year period (1964-1986). It sheds light on how and why certain ideas become normalised and institutionally embedded over time, and become the cognitive template through which key actors form policy preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Early online date20 Nov 2019
Publication statusEarly online - 20 Nov 2019


  • political discourse
  • language policies
  • language learning
  • education


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