Optimising learning, education and publishing in Africa: the language factor: a review and analysis of theory and practice in mother-tongue and bilingual education in sub-Saharan Africa

Author(s): Ouane, Adama; Glanz, Christine

Organisation(s): UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

Publisher(s): UNESCO-UIL

Date: 2011

Pages: 380 p.


This publication presents the results of comprehensive research that assesses the experiences of mother-tongue and bilingual education programmes in 25 sub-Saharan African countries in recent years. The role of language for education and learning in the African context is addressed with regard to policy and development; costing and financing; educational reform and governance; education models; classroom interaction; formal and non-formal education settings; literacy and publishing.The review consists of three sections. In the first, two central comprehensive themes are set out: language politics and planning in the context of development; and theories of bi- and multilingual education models and their implementation in Africa. The second section shifts the focus to the key aspects of teaching, learning and assessment practices; the use of African languages in literacy and non-formal education; and costing and financing mother-tongue and strong bilingual education. In the final section two African publishers explore the experience and potential of locally-based multilingual publishing with regard to supporting and promoting African languages and developing language industries and the creative sector.

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