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ERIC Number: EJ1218346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-8566
Local Knowledge, Global Knowledge: The Role of Local Language Literacy for Lifelong Learning in Rural African Contexts
Trudell, Joel; Cheffy, Ian
International Review of Education, v65 n3 p409-425 Jun 2019
Lifelong learning is an established concept in international education, with the discourse surrounding it implying that it is globally relevant. Nevertheless, lifelong learning takes place in specific local contexts in which features such as language, location and content are distinctive. This raises the question: How is an understanding of the global concept of lifelong learning enriched by a study of such learning in the Global South? This article examines the circumstances surrounding local language literacy in Africa, and suggests that the associated literacy practices help us to refine the concept of lifelong learning. The data for this article are taken from interviews the authors conducted in Ethiopia, Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana and Burkina Faso with 95 adults who had completed local-language literacy instruction within the previous 20 years and who were asked to identify the changes in their lives that had come about after learning to read, write and calculate in their own language. The study provides compelling evidence that lifelong learning has a local reality separate from the global discourse. It contributes to understandings of lifelong learning, demonstrating that once people learn to read in their own language, their literacy skills continue to serve them for engaging in new, literacy-based learning throughout the rest of their lives. Important knowledge from outside of the local community also becomes accessible to them, contributing further to lifelong learning. Thus Northern institutions committed to expanding the lifelong learning options of adults in the Global South must recognise that lifelong learning is significantly enhanced by local-language literacy programming and publication.
Springer. Available from: Springer Nature. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Ethiopia; Kenya; Cameroon; Ghana; Burkina Faso
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A