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ERIC Number: EJ862589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Steps Forward and New Challenges: Indigenous Communities and Mother-Tongue Education in Southern Africa
Hays, Jennifer
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v12 n4 p401-413 Jul 2009
Two international conferences held in southern Africa in 2005 gathered education and language experts to discuss practical, theoretical, and political aspects of the development of African languages for education. Despite the diversity of the participants, there was unanimous agreement that the economic and social benefits of providing mother-tongue education far outweigh the costs. Furthermore, the predominant view was that mother-tongue education in minority languages should be seen as valuable in its own right, and not merely as a bridge to the dominant language, and that it should continue beyond the first few years of schooling. These meetings represent a major step forward, ushering the movement toward mother-tongue education into a new phase of priority and collaboration. However, with this new phase come new challenges. As the movement toward mother-tongue education gains steam, and as national governments, local and global non-government organizations, and international donors get on board, we must remain attuned to the need for projects that are flexible, process-oriented, and firmly embedded in the communities they aim to serve. Using an innovative mother-tongue education project in Namibia as a case study, this paper highlights some important considerations and potential pitfalls. (Contains 5 notes.)
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; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa