Current Issues in Language Planning
Call Deadline: 15-Nov-2015
Current Issues in Language Planning (ISSN 1466-4208) is announcing a Call for Papers for a forthcoming issue on ''Language planning and the medium of instruction in public schools in Africa''. The editor for this issue is Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu firstname.lastname@example.org . Please send proposal by email. It is anticipated that papers will be published in 2016.
Reminder: The deadline for receipt of abstracts is 15 November 2015.
The deadline for receipt of the final paper is 15 April 2016.
One of the most crucial language planning decisions that a country can make is ''the determination of a language to serve as the medium of instruction in school'' (Fasold, 984: 292). African countries have been grappling with this issue since they started liberating themselves from European colonialism in the late 1950s. The challenge for African countries has been whether to replace former colonial languages with indigenous languages as the medium of instruction in public schools and universities and, in doing so, cut off students from the international scholarly community; or retain former colonial languages as the sole mediums of instruction and, in this process, perpetuate linguistic imperialism and neo-colonialism (Phillipson 1992; Reagan and Schreffler 2005). In post-colonial Africa, the pendulum has, despite the cognitive advantages of vernacular medium instruction, continued to swing in the direction of former colonial languages as the sole medium of instruction in school. However, use of these languages as the sole medium of instruction has not necessarily translated into massive academic success for the students. On the contrary, ''it seems to have exacerbated the failure rate in schools, thereby undermining the development of the nation-states and seriously reducing the continent's competitive edge'' (Mchombo, 2014:32). The literature indicates that after 50 years of experimenting with European languages as the mediums of instruction in African schools, 80% to 90% of the population in most African countries have yet to learn how to speak the (official) European languages (Djité 2008: 66). The question, then, is ''how many more centuries can Africans afford to wait'' (2008: 180) to become literate in the languages of their former colonial masters?
We invite papers that offer new approaches to language planning in Africa aimed at promoting use of African languages as the medium of instruction throughout the entire educational systems alongside former colonial languages. In particular, contributors to the special issue will explore how African languages can become a viable medium of instruction in public schools so that they can compete with former colonial languages at least in the local formal labor market.
Topics may include but are not limited to the following:
- Education policy and planning approaches to the medium of instruction in Africa
- The medium of instruction and educational policy and planning in officially multilingual African countries
- The consequences of policies privileging former colonial languages in education.
- Intended and unintended consequences of language-in-education policies for African learners.
- The impacts of language-in-education policies on Africa's socio-economic development
- Language attitudes and ideologies among policymakers, social actors and stakeholders.
- The role of supra-national organisations in promoting African languages as the medium of instruction in public schools.