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Bringing the Outside In: Merging Local Language and Literacy Practices to Enhance Classroom Learning and Achievement

How can multilingual practices be harnessed to enhance the experience of education?

Language is a key facet of heritage. The unique contribution that language makes in terms of world knowledge and self-determination has long been recognised. Language also plays a central role in access to opportunities and information. Therefore, policies which determine language use have the potential to greatly impact not only people’s sense of self and personhood but also access to resources.

This project examines ways in which multilingual practices can be harnessed to enhance experiences of education in three sub-Saharan African contexts: Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania. In these countries the presence of multilingual ecologies is widespread, yet, they all have mandated broadly monolingual approaches to education (albeit with different combinations of languages). The project explores the ways in which pedagogies that more closely reflect learners’ heritage can bridge the gap between multilingual communities and the often-monolingual classroom, thereby contributing to sustainable development, through strengthening and enhancing access to education.

Principal Investigator: Professor Nancy Kula, University of Essex

Project part of

Sustainable Development 2018 Programme

This programme funds researchers in the humanities and social sciences working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and generating evidence on the challenges and opportunities faced in developing countries.

International

We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.