NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ824104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Language Planning and Literacy in Kenya: Living with Unresolved Paradoxes
Muthwii, Margaret Jepkirui
Current Issues in Language Planning, v5 n1 p34-50 Feb 2004
This paper is a critique of the interaction between language planning and literacy in Kenya. It demonstrates that, contrary to the reasons given at independence for not favouring indigenous languages as languages of instruction or as languages for communication in public discourse, the very things that the language policy was meant to safeguard have happened. As in many African nations today, such a policy contributes to many ills in Kenya in particular, the high levels of illiteracy that have persisted because a big portion of the Kenyan population does not manage to attain meaningful literacy levels through the school system. Consequently, many are not able to participate meaningfully in the important discourses and thoughts which are by and large expressed in a foreign tongue. A close look at Kenya's literacy statistics, literacy working definitions used in Africa, language attitudes, and school language practices underlines this worrying trend. Several practical suggestions are offered to combat illiteracy; a major one is the need to redefine literacy in Kenya because a peoples' perception of what counts as literacy plays an important role in determining their approach to it. (Contains 2 figures and 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kenya