A first-language-first multilingual model to meet the quality imperative in formal basic education in three ‘francophone’ West African countries

Author(s): Nikièma, Norbert

Date: 2011

Pages: p. 599-616

This paper documents the new trend towards a first-language-first multilingual model in formal education in three former French colonies of West Africa, namely Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. It compares the sociolinguistic situations, the conditions of the development of multilingual education and the achievements of mother-tongue-medium education in all three countries. The evidence is that, contrary to common discourse in francophonie, a strong first-language-first model in formal education is the best guarantee of a good mastery of French and, more generally, of quality education in francophone countries.

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