Research Article

The Case of East Timor Education beyond Independence 2000-2008


  • Yunita Reny Bani Bili Lecturer of English Education Department – Universitas Nusa Cendana, Kupang, Indonesia


The strong motive of East Timor government to establish a national identity through education had brought serious issues. This writing primarily discusses about the drawbacks regarding to East Timor language policy in education sector during the period of 2000 – 2008. Spolsky’s framework was employed to analyze the sociolinguistics situation, working of national/ethnic/other identity within the community, minority language rights and English role as a global language. The study was done by thorough library research in the related fields. The results show that while community language practice was ignored, the top-down language policy put more emphasis on Portuguese as the national identity language, Tetun Dili and English as the global language. As a result, the teachers and students were disadvantaged due to the inability to speak Portuguese, Tetun Dili and English. Second, the strong socio-historical context and political affinity to Portugal and its language had given little role to local languages in Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

3 (11)





How to Cite

Bani Bili, Y. R. (2020). The Case of East Timor Education beyond Independence 2000-2008. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 3(11), 188–193.



language policy, local languages, education, national identity, drawback