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ERIC Number: ED472693
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Bilingual Education in West Africa: Does It Work?
Hovens, Mart
This study compared the impact of experimental bilingual schools to the impact of regular schools in Guinea-Bissau and Niger. The Guinea-Bissau school used Creole for instruction in the first two grades, then transitioned abruptly to Portuguese in third grade. Nigerian children were taught in one of the five main languages (Hausa, Zarma, Peul, Tamajaq, and Kanuri) in the first three grades. Halfway through second grade, French was introduced orally, and in the three higher grades, it became the language of instruction, while the national language remained as a subject of study. Students from both bilingual and monolingual systems were tested in reading, writing, and math in both languages (official and national). Researchers also conducted classroom observations. Results indicated that in the bilingual schools, there was more dynamic interaction between teachers and students and between students themselves. Teaching was more student-centered. Achievement was higher in bilingual schools for girls than boys and for farmers than civil servants. Results suggested that the earlier schools started teaching the second language, and the later schools introduced the second language as a medium of instruction, the better the students' achievement. Results also indicated that the transition to the official language in bilingual programs should be gradual. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa