In the 1970s, the newly independent Seychelles government took the landmark
decision to make Seychellois Creole (SC) an official language. The
Seychelles thus became the first Creole-speaking country worldwide to give
its Creole the status of a national language and to use it as a medium of
instruction. The decision to use SC in the school system has resulted in
many positive developments such as increasing rates in public literacy.
Despite these advances, there are many critics who contend that formal
instruction in SC interferes with the speedy and necessary acquisition of
English and French, which are internationally associated with
socio-economic power and prestige.
This book assesses the attitudes of SC speakers towards their mother
tongue, in relation to the colonial history of the country. Its objectives
are twofold: firstly to shed light upon the attitudes which modern
Seychellois hold towards their mother tongue and its use in the education
system; and secondly to demonstrate how these attitudes may affect the
achievement of the government's educational agenda.
The findings of this book are directly relevant for other investigators
interested in globalization, multilingual education, pluriliteracy,
minority language maintenance, language policy, and teacher training.
Moreover, the implications of this research are applicable to other
post-colonial settings throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas
where the pursuit of sensitive yet effective multilingual educational
policies remains acute.
Background Information on the Islands of the Indian Ocean Region - The
Mascarenes: Réunion, Mauritius Rodriguez - The Seychelles: Geography,
History, Population and Speech Situation - Sociohistorical Conditions of
the Early IOR Colonial Societies - The Origin of the Seychellois Creole -
The «Bourbonnais» versus the «Isle de France» Theory - The Genesis of the
Seychellois Creole - Minority Languages - Language Planning - The
Seychelles Education System - Language Attitudes towards the Seychellois
Creole: A Case Study - Research Tools: Questionnaires, Interviews,
Documentary Analysis - Attitudes Towards the Promotion and Learning of
Creole - The Status of Creole as a Formal Language - Value Differences
Between English, Creole and French - The Role and Status of Creole in the
Seychelles School System - Improvement of the Seychelles School System
through Creole - Attitudes of Teachers and Policy-Makers Towards Creole in
Schools - Recommendations - Summary and Outlook.