[lg policy] South Sudan: British Council Holds Language-in-Education Conference on 4-8 March in Juba: Is the Council Setting a New Tone in This Part of Africa?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 4 19:40:52 UTC 2012

British Council Holds Language-in-Education Conference on 4-8 March in
Juba: Is the Council Setting a New Tone in This Part of Africa?

by Emmanuel Monychol ǀ 03.03.2012

The British Council organizes a major international Language in
education conference in juba for the first time. The British Council,
UNICEF and DFID co-funded this major international
language-in-education conference. The major topics would include:
Language policy and its implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa; Use of
mother-tongue (or ‘home’) languages in education; multilingual
education and the role of English in a globalized world and
Transitioning from mother-tongue to English language instruction. The
Council has invited as plenary speakers, a good number of
internationally acclaimed professors and academics of language in
education. The professors will give academic addresses in the set of
well thought out and coordinated themes and subjects on the importance
of language in education.

According to the British Council Country Director, “There will be some
80-100 conference delegates who will have the opportunity to listen to
leading academics from Africa and across the world present the latest
thinking on the design of national language policies in relation to
national transformation and economic development; this includes
implications for classroom teaching and learning, syllabus and
materials development, literacy, trainer and teacher training and
evaluation and assessment. The final day of the conference will be
dedicated to South Sudan”.

Delegates, including South Sudanese will benefit from the series of
sessions organised in moderated groups to help the delegates tackle
the complex issues to do with language in education. The Council notes
that the delegates will “share experience and ideas on how best to
implement national language policies”. So when the delegates return
home, they will have bags full of knowledge and experience to apply to
their own situation or more clearly, to their “language in education
contexts” back in their home countries.

South Sudan feels honoured to host this prestigious conference. The
British Council South Sudan is truly aware of South Sudanese painful
history of Struggle. Significantly, we must recall that Language was
one of the reasons South Sudan went to war against the north. That is
why South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution rushes to address the
issue of language at the onset of the nation’s formation stating that

“6. (1) All indigenous languages of South Sudan are national languages
and shall be respected, developed and promoted.

(2) English shall be the official working language in the Republic of
South Sudan, as well as the language of instruction at all levels of

Most importantly, South Sudan needs to go through some kind of
healing. Hosting a major international conferences that will bring
along with it exposure and warmth from the rest of the world is a
great step for this young country enduring war trauma.

Email:akutogoor55 at gmail.com


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