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1  GENERAL / Education/Children / Re: Language democracy, education and opportunity on: February 23, 2009, 05:39:23 PM

I just through reading Ngugi Wa Thiongo's "Decolonizing the Mind" where he looks at the use of African languages in Literature(theatre, prose, poetry etc). Was really refreshing for me to read it. I came across this article about one who was similarly inspired by Ngugi and late last year delivered his Doctoral thesis in Gikuyu

Dissertation Makes History at the University of Wyoming

Dec. 18, 2008 The first-ever doctoral dissertation in a Kenyan African language has been submitted to the Department of Plant Sciences and the Graduate School of the University of Wyoming.

Gatua wa Mbugwa, an instructor in UWs African American Studies Program, wrote the historic Ph.D. work in his native Gikuyu, one of the African languages of Kenya. He has translated an English copy which has been combined and submitted with the original Gikuyu version.
2  GENERAL / Education/Children / Re: Language democracy, education and opportunity on: January 07, 2009, 01:00:48 AM
The School system and the resulting disparate opportunities and life chances between those who exist on the continuum of primary "kweyol"(creole) speakers and those with proficiency in English is one realm in which in inequality is apparent. It is perhaps where it is less visible that I think it may be most striking and impactful.

In function in various sectors of our society, English proficiency is a necessity and the lack thereof, a handicap. It is perhaps more acute in this case (where the creole has a vocabulary base in French and a structural basis in Franch and perhaps in African languages which contributed to its development) than perhaps ebonics which shares a strong semblance to the official and spoken English.

The medical field which is increasingly being filled by persons with little if any proficiency in Kweyol (Many are directly from India). How does one fare in pursuance of properly health services if one faces difficulty both in explaining adequately what one's dilema is and further, in understanding the prescriptions and advice of the doctor.

The same can be said for various other sectors. As pertains to governance, beyond voting and the throne speech(which opens parliarment) one who is not proficient in English may or may not understand the runnings of parliament.

It appears that the policy is to subtly kill the language by ignoring it.

3  GENERAL / Education/Children / Re: Language democracy, education and opportunity on: January 07, 2009, 12:41:58 AM
Thanks. I do hope that others which such knowledge could share whatever they can.

I will attempt to get these books. I also came across the following sources - This page looks at Papiamentu in the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. Some positive developments concerning language. very enlightening article. It is part of a site which looks at "creoles" and "pidgins" and the like. - this is one of the early articles I read on the issue and where I recognized some similarities with our language situation here.
 Some examples include
desk => des
breathe => breave (in Trinidad they say bread)
bath => baff(in Trinidad they say Bat') among others - is another source I encountered. The two above concern the dynamics of the languages which arose eg. "Ebonics". In another post I will explain some of the further details of my concern and the reason for my title
Again, much thanks.
4  GENERAL / Education/Children / Language democracy, education and opportunity on: January 04, 2009, 05:21:24 AM
I live in a country where English is spoken as the official language but a large percentage of the population speak a "creole" with a largely French vocabulary and I think a significant African influence where structure and even pronunciation. This second language is not recognized in the education system and is blamed for "bad english" spoken by students. it is also accused of interfering with students' learning of "proper English". It is my suspicion that the English spoken here(in St. Lucia) is influenced similarly as is the french based creole by the deepset language structure in the minds of the largely African population(as opposed to the being influenced directly by the french based creole. I would like to know if there anyone can offer any useful sources or perspectives on multi-lingual situations, learning, opportunity etc in other areas of the world so that I can make a comparison. I am also concerned with teaching policy and strategy in such situations.

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