Additional details about the other talks in this series are available on our project website: https://multilingual-learning.com/webinar-series/
The 6th talk, scheduled for September 25, is not going to happen?
Hi Joy, sorry me being a bit unclear. This is our final individual talk. But the session on the 25th is still going ahead - but it's more of a general discussion.
Thank you, Colin!
I'm not seeing the slides properly
Hasn’t the policy in Rwanda changed again? https://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/govt-makes-u-turn-kinyarwanda-medium-instruction-schools
Yes, quite recently; EME from P1 (again)
Hello, is there any chance of receiving these presentations post-seminar please?
Hi Rosemary! A recording of the session will be available on our website after the session. And, if Leon gives his permission, we can also share the PPT.
Many thanks Colin :)
thinking policy and convincing governments, do you have a comparative element to your project: i.e. evidencing more efficient learning?
The English textbook you showed. What grade was that? Are there similar early-grade textbooks in the L1? I would love to see one.
Q: Language supportive pedagogy makes enormous sense, but what applications do we know of, in SSA or other low resource contexts?
What is the role of teacher training colleges in changing practice in classrooms? Can teacher training colleges take the initiative in introducing new practices or are they totally restricted by government policy?
That was really interesting and I was reflecting on how things may have changed since the earlier research. How do you think informal learning, the increasing engagement with English language outside school, eg social media, might have changed/influenced the situation inside classrooms?
In Malawi English as medium is often mainly used by many primary teachers do not often speak the languiage of the children in the rural areas which is another major disadvantage to already disadvantaged groups.
Great presentation. I also found that coursebooks are a relatively inacessible and underused resource, at best mediated by the teacher. Are you assuming though, that teaching and learning is happening in English, rather than English as part of a multilingual repertoire, something more like translanguaging? In this context where the teacher and learners speak the same or similar languages.
The text is in English. Are there texts in the L1?
What are the language backgrounds of the teachers you are working with?
Re comparative evidence (in SSA) for more efficient learning, there's good data from Ethiopia (Heugh et al, 2006) and South Africa which supports this
In Mozambique, there was a push for L1 >> Portuguese bilingual education programs. As you point out, the readibility of the L2 materials is so difficult for grade level that by translating those to L1, it was very difficult for teachers who are not used to reading in L1. I think much of the material has not been used effectively as a result. It leads communites to mistrust bilingual curriculum and prefer the Portuguese traditional curriculum. Teacher training institutions NOW teach "Bantu linguistics" as part of the first year. I find this promising as ALL new teachers will have some background in reading local language materials.
Small scale research undertaken with Ugandan colleagues in Western Uganda has shown that the local language policy is having a positive effect on parental attitudes to the use of LL in ECD schools and some exemplary teachers were using bilingual and translanguaging approaches that reflected learners' home language use, helped by having sufficient numbers of textbooks in LLs but LL was NOT taught after P4... Longer placements of trainee teachers with such exemplary teachers may help, now seen in Tanzania and Uganda.
How can you ensure that visuals are accessible to all students, whether urban or rural? An aid funded language textbook currently being developed with local writers and designers shows classrooms that the majority of Grade 1 pupils have never seen in Malawi. The writers and designers’ visuals are evaluated by the aid funder who hold sway. Do you have experience of where writers and designers are permitted to design and develop without international intervention?
In addition to teacher training in collages, also inservice training within schools about good practices in reading and scaffolding materials such that students access it.
Arguably the politcal economy - sometimes underesearced in language policy and practice - is an important influencing factor in decisions taken about language(s) in education - national economic development plans and strategies
What about the readability of texts in the African languages themselves? There are morphological and syntactic differences between languages that are non-cognate so any texts that appear in the L1s (whichever they may be) they would also need to be simplified. Very low results in reading in L1 in South Africa
The urban - rural divide continues to be a challenge to basic education in Rwanda, with a very recent study showing significantly more urban students (58%) than rural ones (21%) reporting that they’re studying English at home during school closure - in contrast to the nearly equal proportions of urban and rural students who say they’re studying Kinyarwanda at home.
Excellent series. Thank you.
Thanks for coming everyone!