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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


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Title: Bridges and Barriers
Subtitle: Language in African Education and Development
Written By: Eddie Williams
Series Title: Encounters
Description:

Recent decades have seen sub-Saharan Africa decline in both economic and
human terms. The rich North has responded with a barrage of well-publicized
initiatives, from pop concerts to international commitments on debt relief,
aid, trade and good governance. Among the complex of factors necessary to
sustain economic and human development, education receives little media
coverage, although it is crucial. However, education must be effective.

This book argues that in 'Anglophone' Africa, education is not effective
because of the use of English, rather than children's first languages, both
as the medium of instruction, and also as the language in which children
are first taught to read. Research is presented from Malawi and Zambia,
countries with contrasting language policies, using evidence from tests in
English and African languages, small-group discussions and classroom
observation. The findings show that English-medium policies in Africa do
not give students any advantage in English over first-language policies,
while the use of English discriminates against girls and rural children.

The book concludes that much education in Africa is a barrier rather than a
bridge to learning because of the prevailing language ideology, which has
resulted in massive over-estimation of the value of English. While
appropriate language policies alone will not solve education and
development difficulties in Africa, they do have a positive contribution to
make. The evidence presented here suggests they are failing to make that
contribution.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: St. Jerome Publishing Ltd
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s): English
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1900650975
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 278
Prices: U.K. £ 19.99