ERIC Number: ED367169
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Literacy in Papua New Guinea: Which "Language"?
A major controversy in education in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been the choice of language for initial literacy education. It is now generally accepted by academics, education leaders, and politicians that this should be a language already spoken by the learner. Research suggests that this will contribute to better, not worse skills in English at a later point. However, another issue to be considered is the kind of language (formal or vernacular) to be taught. In early PNG colonial history, written language was seen by native people as an almost mystical force because of the uses to which it was put by the Europeans. Cognitive skills required for literacy include visual skills to make the connection between sounds and symbols, skills for linking linguistic structure and meaning, and skills in the ability to decontextualize language. Literacy materials should be produced or selected according to two main criteria: the language used must be real (meaningful) to the learner; and there must be a match between the materials and the learner's cognitive skills. Use of pictures in literacy materials also provides context for written text. A source of materials to be exploited is the newspaper. Several newspaper items in pidgin and standard English are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Papua New Guinea
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Critical/Developmental Literacy (Waigani, Papua New Guinea, August 27-28, 1993).