SHAPING THE MULTILINGUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION PILOT PROJECT IN GEORGIA
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The multicultural and multilingual nature of the environment creates a necessity to deal with the diversity and social integration, thus making minority education one of the leading themes almost in any education reform today. Georgia, like many other former Soviet republics, experiences the need for multicultural policies. To test the multilingual education model as a tool to respond to urgent needs of the Georgian society in the spheres of education and societal cohesion, an internationally designed and funded Multilingual Education Pilot Project was implemented during the school years 2006 - 2008 in 12 schools in Georgia. During the Pilot Project, 12 research methods and instruments have been devised and implemented. Conclusions from the data analysis have been drawn, and recommendations for a broader implementation of multilingual education in Georgia have been provided. The overall impact of the Project was evaluated as highly satisfactory. The article aims to reflect on project experience, track observable changes in the educational environment, and analyze the pedagogical factors involved in successful implementation of multilingual education and sustainability of the innovations.
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