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Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Feb 26 16:07:31 UTC 2015


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Date: Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 1:12 PM




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Cc:
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:16:41 +0200
Subject: RE: [lg policy] African countries using African languages in
education?

In South Africa African languages are used as MoI as well as being subjects
of study. In the former case (unfortunately) only up to about Grade 3,
followed by a switch to English. The consequences of this set-up is clearly
disadvantageous with respect to learners’ cognitive and attitudinal
development. This is especially the case regarding learners in rural areas.



The reason for this situation is the immense power of English.



My own writing is mainly directed at the development and promotion of
African languages. But HOW do you manage to change citizens’ convictions
(that English is the passport to success and opportunity) and to accept
that the African / Bantu languages can also be as effective as MoI and
languages of high-function formal contexts???



Vic Webb



*From:* lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu [mailto:
lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu] *On Behalf Of *Annette Islei
*Sent:* 23 February 2015 11:50 PM
*To:* Language Policy List
*Subject:* Re: [lg policy] African countries using African languages in
education?



Hello



In Uganda a 'local language' is used in government schools if possible for
the first 3 years, with transition to English in year 4. Urban schools tend
to be allowed to use English. Private schools usually are as well - and
there are a lot of private schools. So the policy is still fairly fragile,
but does function. It was instituted with a new Thematic curriculum in
2007. Having both together was important for the language policy to be
taken seriously. We have researched literacy in year one, and found the
government Guide for Teachers was very poor in the methods recommended for
local languages and children were hindered in their learning. Methods were
possibly more suited to English - so the hangover of English continues in
many obvious and subtle ways, and local language in itself is not a
'cure-all'



Uganda has about 40 local languages, with maybe gradually up to 20 having
an adequate orthography, dictionary, etc. Kiswahili has relatively low
status and usage - different from Kenya, and even more so Tanzania.



Please beware - although Kiswahili is indigenous in Tanzania there are a
very high number of 'local languages', and the dominance of Swahili can
have a negative effect on them, just as English can in Uganda. And not all
languages are Bantu languages like Swahili - so just because it is
'African' does not mean it is ideal in the early years for children to
learn through Swahili - their home language may be very different in
structure



Also - do not confuse government policy with  practice. Actual practices
and language use indicate semi- or unofficial family, school and community
policies.



But TZ seemed to have a big problem with transition to English in the first
year of Secondary - and this is a very brave and radical step. Another
place to look at is South Africa - where Kwazulu-Natal university, for
instance, is now officially bilingual.



Best regards



Annette



Secretary of Language in Africa SIG, British Association for Applied
Linguistics (BAAL)

Founding Member / Advisor, Centre for Action and Applied Research for
Development (CAARD) (U) Ltd., Fort-Portal, Kabarole District, Uganda.
www.caard.co.ug



On 23 February 2015 at 16:18, Steve L. Sharra <Steve.Sharra at mopipi.ub.bw>
wrote:

Hello all,



With the new language in education policy, will Tanzania be the only
country in Africa using an African language as a language of instruction? Would
anybody know if there are other African countries that already use African
languages for instruction in schools at any level?



Steve




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