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Title:Language Planning and Education: The Case of Namibia
Author(s):Dlamini, Joyce Bonisile Grace
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Eyamba Bokamba; Erica McClure
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:This study takes issue with the assumptions underlying the Namibian English-only language policy stated in Article 3(1) of The Constitution of the Republic of Namibia (1990). The document stipulates educational provision for Namibian learners who belong to multilingual, ethnolinguistic and socio-economic groups. Since this provision results from an interaction between central government's espoused values and their perceptions of political and economic needs; the policy decision was arguably based on a reactive rather than a proactive approach to those needs. The emergence of English as the sole official language in a country of 1.6 million inhabitants, with only 0.8% speaking English natively, was therefore not planned. The study argues that first, the policy is formulated vaguely, secondly, it is a contradiction in terms with respect to cultural pluralism on the one hand, and assimilation on the other; and thirdly, that there is an apparent neglect of the learners first languages. It characterizes and discusses the nature of language-education planning, suggesting criteria considered significantly relevant in making a research-based choice using conceptual tools appropriate for language-education planning. The study further investigates the cost-effectiveness of the language policy to assess its potential success by describing and analyzing colonial language practices and the present policy in order to determine its relevancy to the needs of primary education. An alternative 3-language-formula policy plan is suggested that permits universality in primary education by promoting the use indigenous languages as media of instruction, and the incorporation of other languages as subjects, one that gives co-official status to at least one of the indigenous languages of multilingual Namibia, alongside English.
Issue Date:2000
Description:217 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9971068
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000

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