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?
Project status

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

Sign up to our email newsletters