ERIC Number: EJ778817
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Entrenching the English Language in a British Colony: Curriculum Policy and Practice in Trinidad and Tobago
London, Norrel A.
International Journal of Educational Development, v23 n1 p97-112 Jan 2003
This paper recognizes that the teaching of English was an objective in British colonial expansion, and investigates some approaches used in schools to accomplish this end at a time when learners already had a basic grasp of the language. The Colony used in this example is Trinidad and Tobago, and the period immediately prior to closure of over a century of British rule is the time frame in which the paper is cast. Data were drawn from observations about the English language curriculum used at the time. Log books kept by individual schools, "Notes" and "Forecasts" of lessons devised by individual teachers, and Government Reports on the teaching and learning of English in elementary or first cycle schools provide the main data sources. A historical-structural analysis is used to interpret the data gathered. The investigation reveals adoption of four major strategies to ensure not only dominance of, but also perpetuation in, English language usage locally. These comprise a packaging formula which guaranteed omnipresence of English in the classroom agenda; a pedagogical approach emphasizing the mechanics of grammar and syntax; a grammar syndrome to ensure punctiliousness in language use; and certain ideological frames to entrench supremacy of the English language in the consciousness of learners. The paper concludes that the English-language base in Trinidad and Tobago did in fact become fortified, but that some variants to the standard form also emerged.
Descriptors: Language Usage, Syntax, Foreign Countries, English (Second Language), Teaching Methods, English Curriculum, Educational History, Second Language Instruction, Elementary Education, Foreign Policy, Language of Instruction, Grammar
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Trinidad and Tobago