ISBN 9789987417360
Pages 268
Dimensions 229 x 152 mm
Published 2005
Publisher Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania
Format Paperback

Languages of Instruction for African Emancipation

Focus on Postcolonial Contexts and Considerations

edited by Brigit Brock-Utne, Rodney Kofi Hopson

With rhetoric in the twenty-first century focused on the African Renaissance, the central role of language in the development and emancipation of the continent seems to have taken a backseat. The fact that many countries on the continent are operating with pre- independent and colonial language policies is catastrophic to large numbers of people who are not in a position to participate in the political democracies of their countries.

Languages of Instruction for African Emancipation is a collection of case studies from seven African countries poses questions such as: What alternatives are there for educational language policies towards African emancipation? What efforts have governments made to change the language policy in favour of African languages and how far have they succeeded? What challenges do African learners face when it comes to current language of instruction policies? The authors reject a language education policy that neglects the multilingualism existing in Africa; that reinforces patterns of privilege that existed in the colonial era, further entrenching the schism between the elite and the masses. They give short shrift to the 'new' justification of the unjustifiable status accorded to English in Africa as the language of globalisation, suggesting that it is not relevant to the vast majority of African lives and their human development. The sum of thoughts presented suggests that the answer to the language question provides the key to development challenges and further emancipation of the African peoples, which, it is argued, is at the same time a question that will determine whether Africa will remain a recognisable and distinctive cultural component of humanity or whether Africans will cease to exist culturally as Africans.

This is a co-publication with the Centre for the Advanced Study of African Societies, the pioneering research organisation dedicated to the furtherance of African languages for education and development.

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About the Editor

Rodney Kofi Hopson

Rodney Kofi Hopson is an African-American with experience living and teaching in post-independent Namibia.

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