‘No vernacular’: tensions in language choice in a sexual health lesson in The Gambia

Article


Mcglynn, C. and Martin, P. 2009. ‘No vernacular’: tensions in language choice in a sexual health lesson in The Gambia. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 12 (2), pp. 137-155. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050802153145
AuthorsMcglynn, C. and Martin, P.
Abstract

The focus of this paper is the small postcolonial country of the Gambia. As in other parts of postcolonial Africa, English plays a major role in the education system. The paper reports on the conflicts and tensions which are evident when ‘vernacular’ languages are used in the classroom. Although the study is based on substantial periods of fieldwork in primary school classrooms in the Gambia, the paper focuses on one particular lesson, in an urban primary school, in which the topic was sexual health. Within this lesson the teacher occasionally breaks the ‘no vernacular’ rule with switches into Mandinka and Wolof. Through an analysis of instances of codeswitching in the lesson, several underlying tensions and conflicts are noted.

JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Journal citation12 (2), pp. 137-155
ISSN1367-0050
Year2009
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050802153145
Publication dates
Online30 Mar 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Oct 2021
Copyright holder© 2009 Taylor & Francis
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Language in Education Policy and Practice in Post-Colonial Africa: An ethnographic case-study of The Gambia
Mcglynn, C. 2013. Language in Education Policy and Practice in Post-Colonial Africa: An ethnographic case-study of The Gambia. PhD Thesis University of East London Cass School of Education and Communities https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.3968