University of Cambridge > > Cambridge University Linguistic Society (LingSoc) > Living in Kriolu, Learning in Portuguese: language ideologies and language education in Cape Verde

Living in Kriolu, Learning in Portuguese: language ideologies and language education in Cape Verde

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  • UserDr Nicola Bermingham, University of Liverpool
  • ClockThursday 24 February 2022, 16:30-18:00
  • HouseOnline.

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Approaches to language learning in post-colonial Africa have been based largely on European and North American pedagogical theories inherited from the colonial period and have focused on the implementation of monolingual instruction in English, French and Portuguese – languages which continue to be highly valued symbolic commodities (Chimbutane 2012; Wolff 2017; Heugh 2021). In recent decades, however, there has been a shift towards developing transformative forms of education that reflect African cultures, values and languages and take into account sociocultural considerations as well as educational needs (Alidou et al. 2006). Nonetheless, there are still challenges around the implementation and adoption of bilingual education. This presentation draws on the case of Cape Verde and examines a grassroots bilingual initiative to introduce Kriolu alongside Portuguese as a medium of instruction in two primary schools. It looks specifically at the language ideologies that emerged among selected teachers, educational administrators, politicians and activists regarding the introduction of bilingual education and questions why there is still resistance to implementing such models in present-day Cape Verde.

References: Alidou, H., Boly, A., Brock-Utne, B., Satina Diallo, Y., Heugh, K., Wolff, E. (2006) Optimizing Learning and Education in Africa – the Language Factor: A Stock-Taking Research on Mother Tongue and Bilingual Education in Sub-Saharan Africa, Libreville, Gabon. Chimbutane, F. (2012) ‘Multilingualism in education in post-colonial contexts: a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa’, in Martin-Jones, M., Blackledge, A. and Creese, A., eds., The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism, Routledge. Heugh, K. (2021) ‘Southern multilingualisms, translanguaging and transknowledging in inclusive and sustainable education’, in Harding-Esch, P. and Coleman, H., eds., Language and the Sustainable Development Goals, British Council, 37–47. Wolff, E. (2017) ‘Language Ideologies and the Politics of Language in Post-Colonial Africa’, Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus, 51, 1–22.

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