[lg policy] Theme 2: Language Policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 19 14:46:42 UTC 2011

Theme 2: Language Policy

English as a medium of education is the key issue for Africa, isn’t it?

Theme 2 tests the assumption that English medium education and the cut
over from mother tongue/ regional/ national languages, is the single
most important issue for English for educational development.

Your preparation
The table below shows the three stages of formal education where
cutover can occur.

First, we are asking you to reflect on the pros and cons of cutover in
each of the three stages of formal education.  The table immediately
below suggests some Pros and Cons we like you to develop in
preparation and in the event itself.
Cut over in Primary 	
      Cut Over in Secondary 	
             Cut Over in Tertiary
PROProvides appropriate preparation for secondary 	PROSimplifies and
standardises curriculum and delivery 	PROAccess to tertiary level
material is predominantly in English.
CONDoes cut over in primary inhibit literacy development?
	CONCompetency in English a barrier to concept formation 	CONRequires
investment in remedial action for students whose English is weak
As in Theme 1, we are asking you to come to the event prepared to
share ideas.  Again, if you would like the British Council to
distribute soft copy documents to participants, please send them to
the e mail address given on page 1.

Second, we are asking you reflect on how cutover affects teachers and
learners in your country, and the implications of these affects on
teaching standards and effective learning.

If you represent an organisation, we’d like you to bring to the
meeting your experience of working in the areas of language policy and
of responding to the challenges for teachers and learners in coping
with cutover.

The table below suggest some issues you may want to develop.  There
are no doubt others you would like to add.
Teachers 	Learners 	Other factors
English language proficiency for English teachers and subject
teachers. 	Learner proficiency in English and ability to cope at and
beyond cutover. 	Classroom materials, examinations.
As above.

At the event itself
Your contribution will help the facilitators create a wider picture of
the key issues of English language policy in education.

·         Exploring shared issues
·         Lessons from past and current experience
·         Future plans and possible collaborations

Theme 1: The role of English in development.
Theme 3: Improving the quality of teaching.
Theme 4: Improving learner access to quality materials.


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