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 Gambia to introduce national language teaching
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gambiabev

United Kingdom
3091 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2011 :  11:49:36  Show Profile Send gambiabev a Private Message
If Gambia just had one language I would say definitely learn in the mother tongue. But there are so many languages, how would it be practical? If you choose Mandika or Wollof or Jola then you are disadvantaging other tribes.

English is an international language and for employment it is an advantage to know it. Also text books are more easily available.
It could be in future years that Chinese languages will be an advantage too.

Having a national language is a unifying factor in a tribal society.

But learning in ones own language is much easier and natural.

it's a really difficult issue and I don't know the practical solutions to this.
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toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2011 :  12:01:26  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
Gambiabev,what you say is true :

"Having a national language is a unifying factor in a tribal society."

The fact remains that Gambians think of themselves as members of a tribe first and Gambians second,this is probably due to the bad white man drawing a line on a map,or in Gambia's case by the British creating a country by the rule of how far a naval gun shell can travel from each side of the River Gambia.Nationhood is another very import consideration for progress (if it's wanted ) in The Gambia.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Janko

Gambia
1267 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2011 :  01:32:37  Show Profile  Visit Janko's Homepage Send Janko a Private Message
For the last 30-40 years the questions of ‘which language’ do we choose has always been the obstacle to progressive discussion anytime the question of language comes up. I assume our role is to encourage solutions for advancement and not repetitive argumentation without solution. In our quest for solutions we should be mindful not to choose one language above the other hence it would be 'throwing the baby with the bath-water'. And directly denying other language-life-experiences and existences and indirectly denying a part of Gambia’s identity.

There are Gambians who read and write Arabic but not English, or French, and now, if we are to go by turks information a Turkish school is on the way to establish. How is English unifying when it has been the official language for more than 60 year and yet- … what percentage of the population reads and writes English - how does that affect democracy and representation? So, the argument; English is unifying is not as obvious as we may think. Hence, there are other written languages present.

Let’s be mindful of not seeing language as just an economic instrument for it is much more than that. One of the strongest arguments for people to have their languages lively in both their everyday life and intellect is because it is the carrier of their uniqueness in this world. The importance of language is not the spoken word but the worldview that it makes possible- it’s about how one perceives and orients oneself in the world.

A more open approach would be to depart from a practical perspective, how we use and involve our languages in decisions making processes dealing with everyday reality. For example; to allow our languages in parliament, which emphasizes ‘to run for elections is not determined by the ability to read and write English’ but local knowledge and other locally attached know-hows (which is not the case today). This in turn would equip us with knowledge to build on as to how our languages could be involved and play important roles in governance.

Language is about being in the world for oneself and not for another

Clean your house before pointing a finger ... Never be moved by delirious Well-wishers in their ecstasy

Edited by - Janko on 11 Mar 2011 01:43:07
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toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2011 :  10:51:38  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
"Language is about being in the world for oneself and not for another"
So Janko you think that being a tribal member has nothing to do with what language you choose to speak ?

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Janko

Gambia
1267 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2011 :  14:09:20  Show Profile  Visit Janko's Homepage Send Janko a Private Message
We cannot choose what we already are, is not about choice but what we are.

Interestingly, in Gambia, even whereas we speak different languages we share the same WORLD-VIEW, how we perceive and understand the world around us, is almost the same compared to the English, or French, or Arabic.

It is problematic to think that English, or French, or Arabic is more suitable to teach and educate our children than their home languages. That approach, in my view, is taking the easy way out even whereas it does not guarantee an economic well-stand, a better society or and a higher status.

I have always supported teaching English, French and Arabic alongside our languages for the simple reason that we should not throw the fish in hand for the one we are standing on.

Clean your house before pointing a finger ... Never be moved by delirious Well-wishers in their ecstasy
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Sister Omega



United Kingdom
2085 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2011 :  00:20:51  Show Profile  Visit Sister Omega's Homepage Send Sister Omega a Private Message
The more educational materials that can be translated into indigenous languages the better after all if you don't use a language you will lose it. Let's face it Gambian children have the capacity to learn many languages. I's not only dependent on Mother tongue but whether or not the compounds where the children live speak another language and also the areas in which the children go to school will determine also what languages children grow up to be proficient in. For example a Fula child can live in a compound that is prodominantly Wolof and visit relatives whose neighbours speak Mandinka. Then go to school and be instructed in English or in French. They also have Qu'ranic classes where they learn about the Qu'ran and how to read and write Arabic. The same child will learn to speak Fula, Wolof, Mandinka, English, Arabic and French.


Now the questions posed arewhich languages is the child more proficient in? What language will he or she be able to emotionally express themselves in? What language will enable them to understand the socio-economic and political environment which they are living in better? Which language will enable them to navigate themselves in life?

Now in this multilingual world aided by technology it doesn't take of imagination on finding ways of producing cheaper learning resources to deliver multilingual resources that will enhance the invaluable skill of multilingualism which is a key skill. The main weakness that needs to be addressed to overcome this challenge is solar power to generate a reliable source of electricity for schools to be able to run their computer suites as is the case in Bansang Senior Secondary school. Where they are lacking Solar invertors to enable them to generate their own electricity supply.

Peace

Sister Omega



Peace
Sister Omega
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Janko

Gambia
1267 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2012 :  21:23:02  Show Profile  Visit Janko's Homepage Send Janko a Private Message
Language, Community, Identity

A panel discussion chaired by Professor Peter Trudgill FBA
Language is central to our sense of our own and others’ identity and value. The way we speak – or react to others speaking – is profoundly influenced by our (conscious or unconscious) desire to express allegiance to (or distance from) communal groupings based on nationality, region, class, gender, age, religion or occupation. The existence of these groups creates a multi-dimensional social context which demands remarkable multi-lingual adroitness on the part of language-users, since we are all members of several communities simultaneously, yet their speech codes may differ widely and their values may be in active conflict. How did the differences arise? How are the conflicts resolved? How far does language enable individuals and communities to create, maintain and harmonise their identities?...

Clean your house before pointing a finger ... Never be moved by delirious Well-wishers in their ecstasy

Edited by - Janko on 29 Mar 2012 22:12:50
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Janko

Gambia
1267 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2012 :  00:09:06  Show Profile  Visit Janko's Homepage Send Janko a Private Message
Language and Identity

Ngugi wa Thiong'o Planting African Memory
http://youtu.be/oz87K9l3y2s The Role of a Scholar in a Postcolonial World




Clean your house before pointing a finger ... Never be moved by delirious Well-wishers in their ecstasy

Edited by - Janko on 06 Dec 2012 00:27:58
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