[lg policy] Re: lgpolicy-list Digest, Vol 83, Issue 20

Kennedyper at aol.com Kennedyper at aol.com
Fri Mar 18 16:47:48 UTC 2016


Hi Hal,
How are you doing?
Congrats on you last day of treatment  !!!
Tom
 
 
In a message dated 3/18/2016 12:01:04 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
lgpolicy-list-request at groups.sas.upenn.edu writes:

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Today's Topics:

1.  Stellenbosch academics feel the strain of dual language
decision (Harold Schiffman)
2. At What Costs the New  Language Policy Will Be Delivered    in
Morocco? (Harold  Schiffman)


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Message:  1
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 12:01:33 -0400
From: Harold Schiffman  <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Subject: [lg policy] Stellenbosch academics feel  the strain of dual
language    decision
To: lp  <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Message-ID:
<CAB7VSRCqfT4wmthk5Q79Qhsb4==SSbaW-LA8QtKw3CoubSqX=Q at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type:  text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Stellenbosch academics feel the strain of  dual language decision
by Bekezela  Phakathi
<http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/staffprofiles/2012/08/02/bekezela-phakathi-
profile>,
17  March 2016, 06:48

[image: Stellenbosch University. Picture: SUNDAY  TIMES]
Stellenbosch University. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

STELLENBOSCH  University says its push to give English and Afrikaans equal
status has  added pressure on its academic staff, as extra teaching will be
required to  maintain the Afrikaans offering.

On Wednesday, university management  also said preliminary figures showed a
decline in the number of black  students who had registered at the
institution this year.

Late last  year, the Stellenbosch University council, which has  oversight
responsibilities of academic and operational issues, decided to  give
English and Afrikaans equal status, despite support from the  rector’s
management team for the adoption of English as the primary  language of
communication and administration from this year.

This  year, the registration rate for first-year black students dropped  7%
compared to last year, the Coloured group declined 3%, while  the
registration rate for Indian newcomers increased 1%, according  to
Christelle Feyt, the senior director of prospective students.

She  cited campus unrest, the Luister documentary, which captured  some
students’ and a staff members’ accounts of racism at the  
institution, and
negative media coverage as some of the possible reasons  fewer black
students had enrolled this year.

This emerged on  Wednesday, when members of Parliament’s higher education
and training  portfolio committee visited the university to be briefed on
governance,  transformation, enrolment for this year and the institution’
s
language  plan.

PW van der Walt, the deputy chairman of Stellenbosch University  council,
told MPs the previous language policy had shortcomings in  accommodating
students who did not have a working knowledge of  Afrikaans.

"Our academics have worked hard to remedy these in the  interim, while the
language policy is being revised. While enthusiastically  pursuing the goal
of greater language inclusivity, they unfortunately moved  outside the
confines of the current policy," he said.

This had  resulted in a court challenge by Afriforum Youth.

"We now have to  realign our offerings with the current year book, but we
can’t move back  to a less accommodating position. It will require
additional teaching to  maintain the Afrikaans offering. This will place a
heavy additional load on  our academics."

Meanwhile, Ms Feyt told MPs the university was aiming  to increase the
number of black, Coloured and Indian students in the next  five years to
more than 15,000. According to the 2016 preliminary figures,  out of 30,000
students, 62% are white, 18% coloured, 17% black and 3%  Indian.

Committee chairwoman Yvonne Phosa expressed satisfaction with  the
university’s transformation plans. "The challenge now is the  actual
implementation of the plan," she said.

Stellenbosch  University is just one of a number of traditionally Afrikaans
universities  grappling with transformation. Following weeks of student
unrest, the  council of the University of the Free State said last week
English would be  the primary medium of instruction at undergraduate and
postgraduate level  on its campuses in Bloemfontein and  Qwaqwa.

http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/education/2016/03/17/stellenbosch-academics
-feel-the-strain-of-dual-language-decision


--  
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Message:  2
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:05:16 -0400
From: Harold Schiffman  <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Subject: [lg policy] At What Costs the New  Language Policy Will Be
Delivered    in  Morocco?
To: lp  <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Message-ID:
<CAB7VSRD-HbFJ4EtKVN3+UFVHc5o-7odcpep7_x3ufX6MRgDG3Q at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type:  text/plain; charset="utf-8"

At What Costs the New Language Policy Will  Be Delivered in Morocco?
Thursday 17 March 2016 -  09:21


Abdellatif Zaki is a professor of Languages and Communication  at Institut
Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco. He has  taught
introductory courses to the study of the Koran and Islam as well as  courses
on various intercultural issues. He has ...
At What Costs the  New Language Policy Will Be Delivered in Morocco?

Rabat – Rumors had  it that French would be reintegrated in primary
education as well as a  language of instruction both for the hard sciences
and the  humanities.

Rumors had it also that the place of English was to be  scaled up and
promoted to a language of instruction. In the press  conference, Rachid
Belmokhtar, the Minister of National Education held on  Tuesday, he
dissipated doubts and confirmed the decision to rehabilitate  the status of
French and to upgrade that of English. The introduction of  the latter in
the lower classes, he announced, will be gradual depending on  the
availability of teachers until it covers all grades starting the fourth  and
it becomes a language of instruction. For many, this was also  the
confirmation of the downward indicators of the status of Arabic in  Moroccan
education, the argument being that the language had its shot, a  precious
one, and managed to miss it lamentably driving the whole system  into a
wall. A challenge for the minister will certainly be how to still  tongues
and tame ideologies that have for over half a century been  mesmerizing the
population with discourse hoisting the Arabic language on  top of all
pedestals and making of it the only possible way out of a fatal  course
education had been taking ever since independence.

In his  presentation of the strategy, it was, in fact, clear that the
concern of  His Excellency, was, on the one hand, how to maintain a balance
between the  two major competing foreign languages both of which one could
tell must  have been applying a lot of heat on him and, on the other hand,
how to  convince of the compromise that can but result in affecting the
current  dominating status of the Arabic language and jeopardize the place
which the  Amazigh language has been aspiring to since the constitution has
granted it  official status.

The plight of the man and of his team must not have  been pleasant. Whatever
the case, with the political decision now made and  announced, the load is
off the Minister’s back and he must be feeling  relieved and safe on the
other side of the tight rope. Discussing the  relevance of the decision
would serve much less purpose for the time being  than discussing how it
will be implemented. We will leave that exercise to  the Head of the
Government who a few weeks ago made a scene in the  parliament because the
Minister of Education had announced very timidly  that that the French
language could be used in the future to reach some  scientific subjects in
dine technical schools. The Head of the Government  had disowned his
Minister in public and in a manner many had judged as  humiliating. The
Minister of education had remained placid and did not  react. Now we
understand why, he was working out his K,O. blow. Now, it is  he who disowns
the boss who seems to have swallowed his tongue.

One  fear I have expressed several times is to see foreign agencies  and
organizations taking over the process and pushing solutions they would  not
envisage in their own countries. In fact, I have been part of  discussions
in which it was suggested to entrust baccalaureate level  students with
teaching English after having provided them with a few weeks  training. The
suggestion was rejected at the time but I am neither sure the  current
propositions are much brighter nor that those at the helm are apt  to resist
the pressures of such temptations.

To make sure the  political decision achieves its objectives, and that is
all one can talk  about now, is to make sure the professional profiles of
those who will  implement the project are appropriate and that the overall
setup for its  unfolding is adequate. One simple but sure way to define
profiles would be  to borrow those of the home countries of the consultants
and experts of the  foreign agencies advising the Minister. If they hire
teachers with high  school diplomas and deliver them their own kids after
two or three week  training programs, that would be a decent benchmark. If,
however, an agency  whose country requires academic, training and
certification conditions  which they do not recommend for Morocco, we would
know they are neither  earnest nor honest and are operating with agendas
whose objectives would be  hard for them to admit.

It would seem that the minimum conditions for  one to be candidate to a
teaching position in any pre-college level is a  Bachelors degree and a one
year training in a teachers’ college and to  complete a certification
process successfully. These conditions would  ensure that the teachers will
have an appropriate mastery of the language  both at the fluency and
accuracy levels, a good knowledge of the culture,  history and civilization
of the foreign language and the professional  qualifications to teach it.
This would be the first initiation steps to the  profession. For a
functional integration into the system, the novice fully  qualified teacher
would need to be in a supporting environment that would  ensure them
personal growth and professional development.

The actual  support is provided by senior teachers in every school, teacher
supervisors  and a systematic in-service teacher development program. Other
than this  minimum, the reform will precipitate the educational system in a
darker  abyss and at an uncontrollable increasing speed. Other than this,
Morocco  will end up with a generation of speakers of foreign languages who
can  hardly be understood before it will have to make new decisions and
reforms,  Furthermore, the efforts that would have been made to shift to
teaching  subject areas in these newly introduced foreign languages would
end driving  the nail of functional illiteracy deeper and draw the country
faster into  incompetence and disqualify it from the economic competition it
was  initially planning to reach with this reform.

The issue of teaching  materials in the newly adopted foreign languages is
also a matter of  critical importance. I remember from personal experience
that every  proposition to introduce a change in the foreign languages
taught and in  their functions and objectives, the propositions have been
twinned with  offers of packages of course books, textbooks, pedagogical
materials,  training expertise. There were times in which the packages were
part of  more general offers including loans and political conditions. The
Minister  did not talk about who is to design, write, edit, publish and
print the  teaching materials, We are not talking peanuts but billions of
dirhams over  decades. He did not talk either about the political, economic
and  ideological cost of the operation.

While the idea may be beautiful, the  force of its attraction may be
blinding to the risks it entails. The flower  may look beautiful, but how
sure are we there is no
serpent underneath  ….. would have warned good old  William.

http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2016/03/182297/at-what-costs-the-new-languag
e-policy-will-be-delivered-in-morocco/

--  
**************************************
N.b.: Listing on the  lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its
members
and implies  neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or
sponsor of the  list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with  a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal, and to write
directly to the  original sender of any offensive message.  A copy of this
may be  forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

For  more information about the lgpolicy-list, go  to
https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/
listinfo/lgpolicy-list
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