Benchmarking language policies in West Africa through reassessment, networked technologies and continuing involvement with other learning communities
Anatole Balma, Purdue University, United States
Purdue University . Awarded
Whether our concerns are about the everyday lives of people and their social interaction, or about social change and education, the issue of language is as vital as it is complex. Language performs different functions including a means of communication, expression and conceptualization. Therefore, language should be seen as a resource rather than a problem. In a multilingual society, knowledge of more than one language is an asset both in an immediate economic sense, at the workplace, for instance, and in the larger social sense of opening many worlds or cultures and as a nation-building and pro-democracy practice. In the 21st century, multilingualism is the norm, not the exception, and Africa is well endowed in this respect. We work with, not against, the grain of our societal multilingualism. The purpose of this study is to attempt to articulate language policies in West Africa from the field of benchmarking with the goal of improving educational outcomes. In so doing, this study has elected to describe, compare and contrast existing language policies in Burkina Faso and Ghana, it will also explore whether benchmarking offers genuine promise for improvement in teaching and learning and ask what approaches to policy and benchmarking hold the most promise.
Balma, A. Benchmarking language policies in West Africa through reassessment, networked technologies and continuing involvement with other learning communities. Ph.D. thesis, Purdue University.
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