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ERIC Number: EJ891683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0738-0593
Research and Policy on the Language of Instruction Issue in Africa
Brock-Utne, Birgit
International Journal of Educational Development, v30 n6 p636-645 Nov 2010
Since 1995 I have been engaged in consultancies and since 2001 in research dealing with the language of instruction policies in Africa. To what extent are the policies being implemented? What is the role of research and consultancy when it comes to language policy? What happens when researchers or consultants come up with recommendations which do not please donors or the people of power? My paper builds on a consultancy on the language policy of Namibia from 1995, the stock-taking exercise of ADEA/GTZ/UIL of 2006, as well as on research results and experiences gathered within the LOITASA (Language of Instruction in Tanzania and South Africa) project. In the first part of the article I give two examples where the policy recommendations by the consultants/researchers have not been followed up. I give an example of a consultancy that has had some impact on the policy formulation in some African countries. Recommendations from only one of the four studies/consultancies looked at have been thoroughly followed up. These recommendations were in line with what the donors wanted, but did not logically follow from the research done. In the second part of the article I deal with the challenge of making policy research relevant for those most greatly affected by the policy. This means working for a paradigm shift in the research and consultancy on language policies in Africa. It also means looking at the power of misconceptions held by lay people. Towards the end of the article I discuss changing a belief system which has become common knowledge. I show examples of how Tanzanian colleagues in the LOITASA project are trying to do this.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Namibia; South Africa; Tanzania