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

Annette Islei annetteislei at gmail.com
Thu Feb 26 20:53:38 UTC 2015


Hello - I agree there are major problems in context that people who
advocate MT education are rather glib about. Until those of us interested
in the idea that children can learn to read more easily in a Bantu
language, and can learn well in those early years (although intonation is
an issue for some orthographies) really make an effort to broadcast this
and persuade people in the local languages, there is something of a dead
end.

The Malawi case is shocking. The SIG tried to add their protest through a
petition. Eddie Williams, who compared reading levels in Malawi and Zambia
in the 90s, is one of our members. Perhaps it would help if they were more
aware of how far they are going against moves in other countries.

Interestingly, although it is the P4 teachers who bear the brunt of the
transition to English as LoI in Uganda, and have suffered, I met one
recently who said that she would not want the policy to change as when they
reach her class they have really been learning and know things. Of course,
it is very cheering to hear what one wants to hear. But in this case I
don't think she had any reason to think she was pleasing me by saying so.
And I reacted with surprise at how positive she was.

But until local languages are a valid qualification (apparently they were
at P7 back in the 50s), it is going to be very hard to convince people that
they have any value beyond a sense of being part of their culture. I think
one problem is that people believe they can maintain their own languages
through use in the home. As a higher ratio of children go through primary
with all emphasis on English, I predict that a) (due to drop-out, etc)
there will be more 'less competent English' - a result the people of Uganda
fear a great deal - that their English is no longer 'correct', and b) in a
couple of generations homes will be using more English than their own
language.

Web Results
Rosemary *Wildsmith*-*Cromarty* - Home - University of KwaZulu-Natal
<http://lll.ukzn.ac.za/Linguistics/Staff/RosemaryWildsmith-Cromarty.aspx>
http://lll.ukzn.ac.za/Linguistics/Staff/RosemaryWildsmith-Cromarty.aspx

Rosemary now has a new post, and is always doing a lot of things at once,
but she really has been at the heart of the bilingual efforts at
KwaZulu-Natal. So if you ask her simply to put you on the track of some
material, mention my name, she might be able to give you some quick
pointers.

All the best

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 26 February 2015 at 16:37, Steve L. Sharra <Steve.Sharra at mopipi.ub.bw>
wrote:

> 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
>
>
>
>
> On 25 February 2015 at 13:47, Steve L. Sharra <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
>
> Email: 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] *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
>
>
>
> On 24 February 2015 at 08:16, Hirome Tembe <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>
> 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
> To: adegboyeadeyanju at yahoo.com; joyceanku at yahoo.com;
> margaretansre at gmail.com; margabaleeta at yahoo.com; ngwebin at yahoo.com;
> bayomoto at yahoo.co.uk; dennisnk at hotmail.com; isibebwa at yahoo.co.uk;
> jamesboat76 at yahoo.com; chailemariam at yahoo.com; myrna242000 at yahoo.co.uk;
> evelema at yahoo.com; agnesgath at gmail.com; kintujohn65 at yahoo.co.uk;
> rashioh_koroma at yahoo.co.uk; a.kwapong at gold.ac.uk; nanamosi at hotmail.com;
> constanceforbiz at yahoo.co.uk; mpakaalice at gmail.com; gsitali at unam.na;
> flomutez at yahoo.fr; manuelmuranga at gmail.com; r.i.musa at yahoo.com;
> becky77aweng at yahoo.com; judna2001 at yahoo.com; ngenevoix at yahoo.com;
> n_njobvu at yahoo.com; evantaki at gmail.com; d.nuwagaba at yahoo.com;
> stephenopira at yahoo.co.uk; leila_schroeder at sil.org; ctante2 at yahoo.com;
> Tembehirome02 at gmail.com; temedan at gmail.com; Ootom-lawyer at uclan.ac.uk;
> Orlawyer2004 at yahoo.com; felicianosal at yahoo.com.au; tsaphinah at gmail.com;
> rwabayeho at yahoo.fr; 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>
> 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
>
>
>
>
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