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LINGUIST List 16.3079

Tue Oct 25 2005

Diss: Applied Linguistics: Sociolinguistics: Canvin: 'L.

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        1.    Maggie Canvin, Language and Education in Mali: A consideration of two approaches


Message 1: Language and Education in Mali: A consideration of two approaches
Date: 25-Oct-2005
From: Maggie Canvin <maggie_canvinsil.org>
Subject: Language and Education in Mali: A consideration of two approaches


Institution: University of Reading
Program: Institute of Education
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Maggie Canvin

Dissertation Title: Language and Education in Mali: A consideration of two approaches

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Sociolinguistics

Dissertation Director:
Naz Rassool
Keith Watson

Dissertation Abstract:

Issues surrounding the decision of which language/s to use in formal
education are of great importance to education policy makers in developing
countries. However, this area is often ignored in studies of education
systems. This study explores issues surrounding linguistic diversity and
its implications for education, together with political concerns about
language and resultant government language policies. Many countries in
sub-Saharan Africa, such as Mali, are linguistically complex and have low
literacy rates. These countries are concerned about the high levels of
drop-outs and retakes in their school systems. In order to alleviate this,
many have tried the introduction of indigenous languages in a variety of
bilingual education programmes. One such programme, Pédagogie Convergente,
combines the use of indigenous languages with an innovative pedagogy. This
study contributes to the debate on linguistic diversity and language and
education in Mali in Mali by researching the Pédagogie Convergente
approach, and contrasting this with the Traditional French approach still
being used in most Malian schools. It does this by focussing on the
realities of everyday school life in one school complex. Data was collected
using a variety of ethnographic research methods, including classroom
observations, interviews, questionnaires and various recording techniques.
The study concludes that Pédagogie Convergente appears to deliver a better
education for Mali because students pass through the system more quickly,
fewer drop out and students receive a better educational experience. But it
argues that there are factors other than language and that the new pedagogy
needs to be taken into account when evaluating the true benefit of the
innovative approach.





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