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How multilingual African contexts are pushing educational research and practice in new directions
Stockholm University, Centre for Teaching and Learning.
2010 (English)In: Language and Education, ISSN 0950-0782, E-ISSN 1747-7581, Vol. 24, no 4, 323-336 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A strong case can be made for developing more flexible and relevant multilingual strategies for teaching and learning within the field of bilingual education. This paper aims to demonstrate how current linguistic and educational practices in countries like Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Ethiopia suggest new directions for research and practice. A practical approach is proposed to illuminate the gap between actual language competence on the part of primary students and teachers and the language competence to which their education system aspires. By applying known language and learning principles, policies and practices can be more realistically directed towards reducing this gap in the short, medium and long terms. This involves a reconstruction of multilingual pedagogy to capitalise on the strengths of learners, teachers and linguistic communities. Meanwhile, there is a need for more research on the following: (1) effective ways to assess multiple language competencies on the part of teachers and learners; (2) the relationship between learners' multilingual oral competence and literacy; and (3) methodologies that facilitate transfer of skills and knowledge between languages. The implications are that language-in-education policy should be based on what is possible in each sociolinguistic situation and should be flexible enough to offer equitable opportunities for all.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 24, no 4, 323-336 p.
Keyword [en]
multilingual education, language policy, language competence, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Ethiopia
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-48958DOI: 10.1080/09500781003678704ISI: 000282032600005OAI: diva2:376390
authorCount :1Available from: 2010-12-10 Created: 2010-12-10 Last updated: 2010-12-14Bibliographically approved

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