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ERIC Number: EJ885588
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
How Multilingual African Contexts Are Pushing Educational Research and Practice in New Directions
Benson, Carol
Language and Education, v24 n4 p323-336 Jul 2010
A strong case can be made for developing more flexible and relevant multilingual strategies for teaching and learning within the field of bilingual education. This paper aims to demonstrate how current linguistic and educational practices in countries like Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Ethiopia suggest new directions for research and practice. A practical approach is proposed to illuminate the gap between actual language competence on the part of primary students and teachers and the language competence to which their education system aspires. By applying known language and learning principles, policies and practices can be more realistically directed towards reducing this gap in the short, medium and long terms. This involves a reconstruction of multilingual pedagogy to capitalise on the strengths of learners, teachers and linguistic communities. Meanwhile, there is a need for more research on the following: (1) effective ways to assess multiple language competencies on the part of teachers and learners; (2) the relationship between learners' multilingual oral competence and literacy; and (3) methodologies that facilitate transfer of skills and knowledge between languages. The implications are that language-in-education policy should be based on what is possible in each sociolinguistic situation and should be flexible enough to offer equitable opportunities for all. (Contains 5 tables and 3 figures.)
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: Ethiopia; Guinea-Bissau; Mozambique