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ERIC Number: EJ974340
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-1479-0718
Juggling Languages: A Case Study of Preschool Teachers' Language Choices and Practices in Mauritius
Auleear Owodally, Ambarin Mooznah
International Journal of Multilingualism, v9 n3 p235-256 2012
Mauritius is a linguistically diverse island: most people on the island are native speakers of Mauritian Creole, a French-lexified Creole; English is the written medium of instruction in primary schools and French is taught as a compulsory subject. The discontinuity between the home language and the school languages is viewed as problematic by some local educationists, who argue against children being made literate and receiving education in languages other than their first language. Focusing on Mauritian children's initial contact with education in the preschool, this research paper uses a case study approach to investigate preschool teachers' language choices and language practices in a context where they can use Creole, French or English. The data show that the observed teachers adopt French as the dominant language of communication, with switches to Creole, English and the oriental languages, often leading children to being mute or engaging in very restricted communicative interactions. Analysing the relationship between the existing language policy and the local language dynamics, the author of this paper argues that in such ex-colonial multilingual contexts where existing language policies are vague, the preschool is a site where preschool teachers juggle emotional, educational and social concerns through their language practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mauritius