[lg policy] African countries using African languages in education?

Steve L. Sharra Steve.Sharra at mopipi.ub.bw
Thu Feb 26 16:37:02 UTC 2015


Hi Annette,

I do remember reading something about South Africa wanting to start using African languages for instruction in tertiary education institutions. How far have they gone in that direction?

I'm at the University of Botswana currently, teaching language education to secondary school teachers, but I come from Malawi. There we are going in the opposite direction. The Malawi Government wants English as the language of instruction starting from first grade. Currently it's the same as in most countries, local language till fourth grade and then English from fifth onwards.

The resistance to local languages from most Malawians and Africans suggests to me that people do not make much of the studies that say mother tongue facilitates learning, nor that local languages can be vehicles for national development. None of that matters; the people want English. And the Malawi government is obliging. Other countries are in a dilemma I think. The language educators and researchers believe in the research on the significance of promoting local languages, but everybody else is fixated on the prestige of English, and understandably so, if I may add.

If you have more info on what is happening in South Africa, I'll be grateful to learn.

Steve

From: lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu [mailto:lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Annette Islei
Sent: 25 February 2015 19:21
To: Language Policy List
Subject: Re: [lg policy] African countries using African languages in education?

Hello Steve - that is very likely! Except that SA is beginning in tertiary - do they have African  LoIs in secondary?

But another interesting case might be with French in Burkino-Faso or Mali. It won't strictly be secondary, but they may be calling it basic education up to 14 years of age.

The significant thing with TZ is that it looks like they are dissolving the Primary Secondary division. If such a radical change of curriculum happens the new language policy could work. Of course, TZ has the advantage that Kiswahili is so far institutionalized that people can hardly use English - in other words, it is the de facto primary language of communication. You can't get by in TZ without Kiswahili, and TZ researchers who came to Uganda needed translation into Kiswahili. So Nyerere really did create something new there.

In Uganda they are trying for universal and free secondary education, and to modify the curriculum so it is a more natural extension to the changes in the Primary curriculum. Myself, I think always starting 'bottom up' from Primary has serious flaws, as the teacher educators don't know what is going on and don't have the training themselves in local languages, there is not the language development, changes in initial teacher education lag behind the school curriculum change (took 6 years in Uganda!) and so the teachers are left to sink or swim - or flounder at best.

So to me the political will behind beginning with tertiary in SA is also pretty much unique - with its obvious recent historical background. And something to be followed with interest by researchers. However, as far as I know, the issues and difficulties of using non-European based languages in schools are actually similar to other African countries.

What has happened there is some research into how well students (at KwaZulu-Natal Uni) can study through their own first language, and this has led also into interesting research into how to teach reading in a Bantu language, and whether, due to the agglutinative structure, reading is actually slightly different from in English. Which is how I linked in from Uganda, because they don't have good methods there - and it became pretty obvious that this was because of ignorance at the top of the education ladder. So you see where I coming from!

Uganda tries to bring Kiswahili in the curriculum, and there are either no students or no teachers

One of the people in our SIG is Rosemary Wildsmith-Cromarty, and she knows a lot about what is happening at tertiary - although she has moved on to another post now.

I guess you are in Botswana - what is your post and personal interest?

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<http://www.caard.co.ug>



On 25 February 2015 at 13:47, Steve L. Sharra <Steve.Sharra at mopipi.ub.bw<mailto:Steve.Sharra at mopipi.ub.bw>> wrote:
These are very helpful responses, Annette. Thank you for reaching out to your network.

It looks like once the policy is operational, Tanzania may be the only African country using an African language up to tertiary education levels. Unless there's a country we haven't heard about yet.

Thanks again,

Steve

---
Steve Sharra, Ph.D.
University of Botswana
Department of Languages and Social Sciences Education
Faculty of Education

Office: Building 242A Rm048
Tel: +267-355-5409<tel:%2B267-355-5409>
Email: steve.sharra at mopipi.ub.bw<mailto:steve.sharra at mopipi.ub.bw>
Personal blog: http://mlauzi.blogspot.com
TEDxLilongwe talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-otnO33fMhQ



From: lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu<mailto:lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu> [mailto:lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu<mailto:lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu>] On Behalf Of Annette Islei
Sent: 25 February 2015 15:12
To: Language Policy List

Subject: Re: [lg policy] African countries using African languages in education?

A further response from Uganda - see hidden text below

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<http://www.caard.co.ug>


On 24 February 2015 at 08:16, Hirome Tembe <tembehirome02 at gmail.com<mailto:tembehirome02 at gmail.com>> wrote:
Dear All,
Dr. Banda, you are right. The elite have for a long time misled the masses and perpetuated the interest of the custodians of the ex-colonial languages. Even the native speakers of these languages know what is best for their children, and we help them to maintain it.
In Uganda, we follow a multilingual language policy. We promote both the local languages, which should be used in teaching from Primary 1 - 4, while the ex-colonial language is also taught as a subject. The main concern, is that it is not enough to just use the local language only up to that level. There is no motivation for the learners to wish to learn more in it. The policy as it is, is not really committed to seeing the development of the languages, except for a few with ardent advocates who have pushed the learning in these languages beyond what the policy states.
Yes, it is a good policy that TZ is pursuing, and they need our support.
Juliet

On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 1:13 AM, DENNIS BANDA <dennisnk at hotmail.com<mailto:dennisnk at hotmail.com>> wrote:

Dear all,
 Zambia is now using 7 regional African languages as the languages of Instruction from grades 1-4. The only challenge we have is that the 7 are based on the zoning done at independence in 1965. There is a feeling that more languages must be used other than the 7. There is also a growing desire among many people that the selection criterion in colleges and universities should no longer be 5 'o ' levels with English but 5 'o' levels with a language and language could be English or any of the 7 Zambian languages. This is what is obtaining in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The elite do not seem to favour this but who cares about them anyway?

Dr. Dennis Banda
School of Education
 The University of Zambia
Department of language and Social Sciences


________________________________
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:54:05 +0000
Subject: Re: [lg policy] African countries using African languages in education?
From: annetteislei at gmail.com<mailto:annetteislei at gmail.com>
To: adegboyeadeyanju at yahoo.com<mailto:adegboyeadeyanju at yahoo.com>; joyceanku at yahoo.com<mailto:joyceanku at yahoo.com>; margaretansre at gmail.com<mailto:margaretansre at gmail.com>; margabaleeta at yahoo.com<mailto:margabaleeta at yahoo.com>; ngwebin at yahoo.com<mailto:ngwebin at yahoo.com>; bayomoto at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:bayomoto at yahoo.co.uk>; dennisnk at hotmail.com<mailto:dennisnk at hotmail.com>; isibebwa at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:isibebwa at yahoo.co.uk>; jamesboat76 at yahoo.com<mailto:jamesboat76 at yahoo.com>; chailemariam at yahoo.com<mailto:chailemariam at yahoo.com>; myrna242000 at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:myrna242000 at yahoo.co.uk>; evelema at yahoo.com<mailto:evelema at yahoo.com>; agnesgath at gmail.com<mailto:agnesgath at gmail.com>; kintujohn65 at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:kintujohn65 at yahoo.co.uk>; rashioh_koroma at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:rashioh_koroma at yahoo.co.uk>; a.kwapong at gold.ac.uk<mailto:a.kwapong at gold.ac.uk>; nanamosi at hotmail.com<mailto:nanamosi at hotmail.com>; constanceforbiz at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:constanceforbiz at yahoo.co.uk>; mpakaalice at gmail.com<mailto:mpakaalice at gmail.com>; gsitali at unam.na<mailto:gsitali at unam.na>; flomutez at yahoo.fr<mailto:flomutez at yahoo.fr>; manuelmuranga at gmail.com<mailto:manuelmuranga at gmail.com>; r.i.musa at yahoo.com<mailto:r.i.musa at yahoo.com>; becky77aweng at yahoo.com<mailto:becky77aweng at yahoo.com>; judna2001 at yahoo.com<mailto:judna2001 at yahoo.com>; ngenevoix at yahoo.com<mailto:ngenevoix at yahoo.com>; n_njobvu at yahoo.com<mailto:n_njobvu at yahoo.com>; evantaki at gmail.com<mailto:evantaki at gmail.com>; d.nuwagaba at yahoo.com<mailto:d.nuwagaba at yahoo.com>; stephenopira at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:stephenopira at yahoo.co.uk>; leila_schroeder at sil.org<mailto:leila_schroeder at sil.org>; ctante2 at yahoo.com<mailto:ctante2 at yahoo.com>; Tembehirome02 at gmail.com<mailto:Tembehirome02 at gmail.com>; temedan at gmail.com<mailto:temedan at gmail.com>; Ootom-lawyer at uclan.ac.uk<mailto:Ootom-lawyer at uclan.ac.uk>; Orlawyer2004 at yahoo.com<mailto:Orlawyer2004 at yahoo.com>; felicianosal at yahoo.com.au<mailto:felicianosal at yahoo.com.au>; tsaphinah at gmail.com<mailto:tsaphinah at gmail.com>; rwabayeho at yahoo.fr<mailto:rwabayeho at yahoo.fr>; wildsmithr at ukzn.ac.za<mailto:wildsmithr at ukzn.ac.za>

Please see below a question concerning use of African (non ex-colonial) languages in schools as languages of instruction in any African countries. The cause of the question is the new TZ policy of Kiswahili through to the 5th year of secondary education

Annette


Secretary of Language in Africa SIG, British Association for Applied
Linguistics (BAAL)
On 23 February 2015 at 16:18, Steve L. Sharra <Steve.Sharra at mopipi.ub.bw<mailto: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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--
Juliet Tembe (PhD)
+256-772-457946<tel:%2B256-772-457946>


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