The following are the speakers that were at the event. Expand each name to read more:
Speakers A - C
Abou Bakry Kébé
What are the social implications of popularising plurilingualism?
Current living conditions demand a great deal of scientific and technical knowledge that has nothing to do with the knowledge gained from past experience. In the face of increasing technicalisation, adaptation becomes necessary. Between increasingly sophisticated tools, serving as intermediaries between products and subjects, and between the subjects themselves, humans need theoretical knowledge if they wish to retain control over their production material.The mastery of terminology and specialised lexicons constitutes a social and economic stake accepted by all, including the Senegalese State. However, if we accept that any reflection on popularising raises the responsibility for the choice of language, we might also remember that this is a fundamental question asked of all our conceptions of the relationship between science, society and development. The theoretical background to such reflection is the study of language policy actions, their implementation and their effects on language and, at the same time, the observation (taking into account) of the different social aspects of language. By taking a socio-theological perspective, this presentation will try to show that an efficient terminological policy must take into account extension. In this way, we will analyse the terminological data obtained from popular literature and collected from certain social actors. The results of our research can help better account for issues related to the popularisation of terminology in certain fields.
Abou Bakry has a PhD in Language Sciences. He teaches general linguistics and sociolinguistics at Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis (Senegal). He is a member of the RSD Laboratory - Didactic and Sociolinguistic Research - UGB and associate member of the DySoLa - Dynamics Langagières et Sociales - University of Rouen.
Adjaratou O. Sall
The place and role of national languages in the emergence of applications and start-ups in Senegal
In recent years, a variety of new players have entered Senegal's economic landscape. The emergence of start-ups and applications, are completely shaking up the rules of the game – one that has been established for decades – and bringing new solutions into several areas (health, environment, information, agriculture, etc.) with young creative and resourceful developers. In Senegal, the particularity of many of its new applications is that they appeal to national languages, thus becoming more accessible, facilitating the life of Senegalese, and improving their living conditions.
In this presentation, we will look at languages as vectors of transmission and the rationale for choosing certain languages. We will also analyse their functions and utility in the lives of the local populations and the challenges to overcome for better ownership of these communication tools and for better economic development.
Adjaratou worked on Wolof and Bedik, languages spoken in Senegal. She is also interested in language didactics.
Arabic in the Lake Chad Basin: between conflictual coexistence, subregional integration, and marginalisation
The dialectal varieties of the Arabic language of Lake Chad form a vehicular language whose users have conflicting relations of coexistence with those of other languages such as Fulfuldé and Hausa. Tagged as a "choa" language by its detractors, the Arabic of the Chadian basin has become a factor for the mastery of the Koran, an engine for inter-community concord and an instrument for sub-regional economic transactions. Given the interest they increasingly attract other users, these Arabic dialects have finally carved out a place in this "choppy" environment. But the States have abandoned it in favour of literary Arabic.
Ahmat Hessana’s research on inter-community and intra-ethnic group conflicts in the Lake Chad Basin emphasizes land, language, culture, and Islam issues. He is a Camerounian historian.
If you don’t understand, how can you learn?
This talk will present the findings of the latest Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report’s research on the importance of mother-tongue language instruction in schools. The research highlights challenges in monitoring the percentage of children who do not have access to an education in their home or first language. It also provides different methodologies of estimating the extent to which children and youth are not taught in a language they understand. It demonstrates the impact of this phenomenon on children and youth’s learning outcomes across the board, and the extent to which linguistic disadvantages are magnified by other disadvantages, including poverty, gender, and ethnicity. By analysing where language-education policies are the most out-of-date, the research also presents concrete policy recommendations for ensuring that quality education – and therefore the entire SDG agenda - is not held back by linguistic barriers.
Akemi is Education Programme Specialist of UNESCO, currently working for the Dakar Regional Office, where she is responsible for the Learning to Live Together programme. In 2005, she organised the India Workshop on Multilingual Education with Special Focus on Tribal Education in partnership with UNICEF, NCERT, CIIL and SIL.
The Global Education Monitoring Report (the GEM Report, formerly known as the Education for All Global Monitoring Report), is an editorially independent, authoritative and evidence-based annual report published by UNESCO. Its mandate is to monitor progress towards the education targets in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework.
Alexandra Esimaje and Olarotimi Ogungbemi
Vernacular language, ideology and identity in Nigerian hip hop music
From the early 2000s, Nigerian hip hop has progressively gained scholarly recognition due to its role in establishing identity and couching ideology in varied social contexts. Scant attention is paid to how artistic language, including Nigerian hip hop, includes or excludes community members, and constructs identity among artists. This study explores the use of vernaculars by Nigeria’s hip hop artists to couch ideologies and create sub-identities. The research reveals that the use of vernaculars serves as a uniting force for Nigeria’s diverse population as it includes the minority groups and constructs their identity.
Alexandra is an Associate Professor of English and Executive Director of the Centre for Language Research and English Proficiency, Benin City, Nigeria.
Olarotimi is an associate lecturer at the General Studies Programme Unit of the University of Ibadan. He has been researching language and social issues for the past five years.
Follow Olarotimi on Twitter @DanOgungbemi
Digital literacy: how language enables online access and identity for young people under pressure
LASER is an EU-funded two-year project that aims to develop language, academic skills, and e-learning capability among Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Online learning has considerable value for refugees. It allows access to remote education and engagement in intercultural communication. It also leads to essential life skills in online networking and the knowledge-based economy.
However, there are significant obstacles. Refugees have limited basic computing skills and awareness of online safety. They also lack the practice, appropriate mental schemata, and experience of intercultural environments required for fluent online behaviour.
This workshop will challenge participants to think of the barriers to digital participation for vulnerable populations, and to come up with practical solutions. It deals with the issues of basic digital literacy, security, and access to social media communication.
Alexis has worked in English language education since 2005 in Russia, China, Mexico, and the Middle-East. He is an International Relations graduate, currently studying Sustainable Development at SOAS (Online MSc).
Follow Alexis onTwitter @AlexisEPL
Language, NGOs, and inclusion: the donor perspective
Listening to communities is valued by UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) for contributing to beneficiary empowerment and programme efficiency. NGOs in receipt of DFID funding are expected to demonstrate that their programmes incorporate meaningful, reciprocal engagement with communities. This paper is based on interviews with DFID officials to gauge their views on how they expect NGOs to engage with local languages and the role of translators/interpreters. It explores their understandings of the ways in which languages and cultural knowledge shape relationships with communities. It concludes by reflecting on the importance of language support in promoting inclusive societies.
Angela has a PhD in International Relations, and is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Portsmouth, UK. She is interested in the language policies and practices of development NGOs, NGO accountability and donor-NGO relations.
Angeline M. Barrett, Noah Mtana and Kalafunja M. O-Saki
Developing sustainable STEM for empowering learners through LSTT trials: lessons learned from a bilingual approach to science teaching in early secondary education in Tanzania
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is a key component of any school curriculum designed to transform its learners, teachers, and society from a state of technological marginalisation to a state of sustainable technological growth. Where sustainable technological development exists today, you can trace it back to an early investment in STEM education that prepared curricula and trained teachers who made learners inquisitive, innovative, and critical; acquiring knowledge and values of sustainable industrialisation, and advancement in agriculture, mining, and other areas as adults. In this presentation we share lessons learned from a four-year project where, after a baseline study of form one students, we discovered the shortcomings of rote learning, and designed and tried LSTT materials for students and teachers. We will show results of learners progress operating in a bilingual text, designed to bridge home and school science concept development, and reflect on the implication of this to environmental conservation and sustainable development.
Angeline’s main research interest is in how pedagogy and teacher professionalism in basic education contributes to sustainable development and social justice.
Noah has extensive experience as a language educator in Tanzania. For the last 12 years, his research has focused on the use of bilingual strategies across the curriculum.
Kalafunja has led several science education innovation projects and published extensively in concept development in basic science, classroom processes and interaction, curriculum and project assessment, and evaluation and environmental education.
Multilingual practice in Sierra Leonean classrooms
This presentation uses evidence from a study of how teachers use their language repertoire to try to increase student learning when the official medium of instruction (English) is not a familiar language for their students and, frequently, themselves.
Findings from almost 60 classrooms (sampled at all levels of the system) showed in every case teachers and students shared a common language other than English and that in less than 20% teachers used only English in the classroom. Although they have received no training in multilingual teaching, their language selection language was purposeful. Understanding and demonstrating learning in English remained the target, with local languages used in specific ways to achieve this.
Ann has worked as an English teacher, teacher-trainer, and language adviser in a wide range of countries -Tuvalu to China to Moscow - mostly however in Africa: Egypt to Mozambique, Kenya to Sierra Leone.
Mixing and matching in the classroom: Innovative approaches to maintain and develop the multilingual skills of migrant children to enable social cohesion
This paper discusses the role of multilingualism in the integration of refugees into newly adopted societies, and illustrates how, through awareness-raising around multilingualism and diversity in schools, steps can be taken to create social cohesion within the classroom and therefore, later on, in the wider society. By developing a more multilingual approach in their classes, and aiming at integrating the current students with the newly arrived refugee children, teachers have given the refugees confidence to develop their language skills which in turn has strengthened their resilience.
Anne has practiced as a teacher, trainer, and Education Project Manager for over 20 years in the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, and Latin America working closely with Ministries of Education.
The introduction of Wolof in Lélo school: a case study
The ELAN program has been introduced into several schools in Africa, including in four pilot schools in Thiès, Senegal. On the IOF website it says: "In the French-speaking world, improving the quality of education in a multilingual context must take into account the child’s mother tongue, while also introducing the child to the French world. We consider ELAN as an educational choice decisive for the future”. These remarks indicate that this programme may be a lever and means of action allowing certain populations to have access to an education which undoubtedly can lead them to development.
In this presentation, we share a specific case study where the introduction of a national language was tested over the last four years to show not the point of view of an association or an international organisation, but to show how a Serer peasant village experienced the introduction of Wolof as the language of instruction and how the teachers we met perceived this new teaching.
Augustin received his doctoral thesis at the University of Tours in France. He is interested in the construction of meaning through the diversity and unity of languages. He is now interested in the description of linguistic phenomena in Noon (a Cangin language).
Paving the way for language policy reform in Pakistan
This paper problematizes the policy approach around language-in-education in Pakistan, and presents the findings from a recent conference held in Pakistan as a model for bridging the gap between research and policy. Utilizing John W. Kingdon’s framework for the open policy window, this paper argues that the current debate around language in Pakistan represents an alignment of three necessary streams for facilitating policy change i.e. the identification of the language-in-education problem, formulation of the potential policy proposal, and favourable political will to affect policy reform.
Ayesha was the project coordinator for the Language and Learning Conference, Lahore 2017, which explored issues of language-in-education research, policy, and practice in Pakistan.
Binyam Sisay Mendisu
The critical contribution of teachers to the effectiveness of mother tongue based multilingual education
The right to quality multilingual education for all must be guaranteed in order to promote sustainable development and learners must have access to education in their mother tongue especially in the first few years of their enrollment in school. Local languages, in particular minority and indigenous languages, are means of transmitting cultures, values, and traditional knowledge. Mother tongue based multilingual education is directly related to quality and it facilitates participation and leads to action that is conducive to sustainable development. It gives access to new knowledge and new cultural expressions, thus ensuring harmonious interaction between global and local issues. Educators and teachers must be trained to play their role effectively in a multilingual and multicultural environment. Teachers must not only know local languages of instruction and pupils’ socio-cultural backgrounds, but they must also be able to teach in a language that is familiar to learners and by using appropriate teaching approaches. Teacher are, therefore, crucial in the implementation of multilingual education (MLE), which is based on the first languages of learners. Indeed, MLE is closely associated with issues of increasing access to quality education, fostering inclusion in education, enhancing learning and learning outcomes. Above all, learning will happen if appropriate training is provided to prepare teachers and educators for mother tongue and multilingual education, which require radically different methods. Based on a secondary source of data from various multilingual countries, the study identifies the key roles that teachers play in the success of a multilingual education system and elaborates upon the various measures that should be taken to build the capacity of teachers so that they effectively play their indispensable role. The study looks at interventions both at pre-service and in-service levels.
Binyam received a PhD in linguistics from University of Oslo, 2008. He has 10 years of teaching experience at Addis Ababa University. He has numerous publications on issues of language and education, including a co-edited volume in 2016 entitled 'Multilingual Ethiopia: linguistic challenges and capacity building efforts'.
Policy and practice in L1-based multilingual education: what’s working and what’s slowing us down
This paper analyses current policies and practices in multilingual education (MLE) based on learners’ strongest languages (L1s), which play an essential role in improving educational quality and facilitating learning of additional languages and curricular content in general. MLE is particularly appropriate in African contexts, where proficiency in multiple languages is a natural and normal part of life.
Using case studies from multilingual African countries and beyond, this presentation describes enabling policies and implementational strategies that address challenges such as overreliance on early-exit transitional models, lack of appropriate structures for teacher training and placement, impossibly high aspirations for proficiency in dominant languages, and assessment only in those languages.
Carol was a Peace Corps teacher trainer in Sierra Leone and a Spanish-English bilingual teacher in California before doing doctoral research on Kiriol-Portuguese education in Guinea-Bissau.
Follow Carol on Twitter @cbenson57
Trajectories and language profiles of primary school teachers in Senegal: their impact on bilingual education
This presentation will focus on teachers’ trajectories: the unknown context of bilingual use in the classroom (primary level) and questions raised by preliminary research (started in 2002) in the field of informal teaching in Dakar, and by more recent observations of bilingual teaching in Ziguinchor (Senegal).
We claim that most teachers tend to use the same interactional patterns for teaching, whatever the language used, because they reproduce familiar ways of teaching. Therefore, they are the vectors of a culture of school transmission that is related with their own education, their training as teachers, their relationship with the educational sphere, and the social construction of their ideologies.
Caroline has taught linguistics and sociolinguistics at University Paris Descartes-Sorbonne since 1969. Her field research in France and Senegal includes description of sociolinguistic variability and language contacts, in urban and, notably, educational environments.
The language challenge of diabetes information and education in Nigeria’s multilingual setting
Diabetes is a major health challenge in the world today with developing countries affected daily. However, there is a dearth of studies that assess the effectiveness of diabetes information and education in Nigerian Diabetes Centres taking into consideration that Nigeria is a multilingual nation. The study investigates the language challenges faced by diabetics and diabetes educators. The findings reveal that most diabetes educators use English to educate their patients, which leads to low level of diabetes knowledge and many misconceptions among the study group members. It is recommended that diabetes educators use pamphlets and materials prepared in the indigenous languages of the people for inclusiveness and their patients' good understanding.
Chinyere is a development communication and media studies scholar. She is a doctoral student and this abstract is part of her doctoral work.
Follow Chinyere onTwitter @chymbaka
The role language learning can play in helping to realise the SDGs in refugee camps
In refugee camps, where millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are located, there is a lack of cohesion about what constitutes best language learning practice. The fractured, transient nature of camps combined with a data-poor field means there are no clear answers to key questions, including the purpose of language learning in a refugee camp environment; the target language(s) and curricula; the language of instruction; what constitutes a ‘teacher’; how to offer support; and the best delivery mechanism? This presentation will present thoughts about these questions.
Chris is a freelance international education consultant and a doctoral student in education at Bath University (UK). His main focus is refugee camps, specifically the role of language in creating capital and developing resilience.
Follow Chris on Twitter @UniversityShed
Claire Ross and Isabelle Grappe
The role of home languages and cultures in foreign language learning: action research with Syrian refugee children, their parents and teachers in Lebanon
In 2016, the Lebanese Ministry of Education asked the British Council for a training programme to help teachers involve parents of Syrian refugee preschool children to better integrate them into Lebanese formal education. In Syria, kindergarten children are not taught foreign languages, and Lebanese teachers had minimal training in teaching English/French as a foreign language.
Interviews and observations revealed that many children were unwilling to speak in class for fear of being mocked. Teachers had prejudices towards the unfamiliar languages and cultures of learners and their parents, and teacher-parent communication was poor.
Action research informed the creation of a teacher/parent training pack to give legitimacy to learners’ home languages and cultures in class (pluralistic approaches: CARAP, 2007), to prevent dropout and increase motivation to learn foreign languages. Example activities which challenge stereotypes, develop linguistic security in children and parents, and link classroom and home to ensure sustainability, will be shown.
Claire researches and develops face-to-face and online training for English language teachers. She is currently leading the evaluation of a school retention project for vulnerable children in Lebanon. Her interests include pluralistic approaches, plurilingualism, and inclusion.
Follow Claire on Twitter @Clairerosselt
Isabelle spent 13 years training English/French state schoolteachers in Lebanon to integrate refugee students by giving value to their home languages/cultures to motivate them to learn a foreign language. She has recently joined Expertise France to work on an education reform project in Sudan, leading on pre-service teacher training.
Anecdote circles: Let us sit, speak, listen and so understand who we are.
The LASER project is funded by the European Union and implemented by British Council, aiming to provide English language skills to Syrian refugees and disadvantaged Jordanians in Jordan. LASER teachers deal with a number of issues in the classroom, including issues around social cohesion between learners and the need to sensitively investigate experience, expectations and motivations outside of the traditional questionnaires and needs analyses.
Using anecdote circles acknowledges the necessity of collecting this information while also taking into account the difficulty of acquiring this information by more traditional direct means.
Corinne has been an EFL professional for 17 years and worked in 8 countries including Jordan, Syria, Rwanda and Burundi. Much of her work in the last 5 years has been with those from interrupted education backgrounds.