Pitfalls in Kenya's postcolonial language policy: Ambivalence in choice and development

K Kitula King'ei

Abstract


Kenya's trifocal language policy is discussed with particular reference to the challenges andopportunities that African states have to grapple with in establishing a sound and workablelanguage policy that will meet national and international needs. It is argued that fundamentalquestions have yet to be given serious attention. The focus of the discussion is on languageuse in education, but reference is also made to parliament and the media. A solution to thecomplex problems in Kenya cannot be found in the adoption of a national or officiallanguage. It is essential that particular roles and functions continue to be assigned todifferent languages, with appropriate provision made to equip citizens to use the variousindigenous languages effectively for these purposes. The role or status enjoyed by anylanguage should be complementary to those of the other languages and should also bedetermined by the prevailing socio-political needs and realities. This should make it possibleto ensure that all Kenya's languages will enjoy desirable freedom to develop and expand.

In hierdie artikel word 'n aantal probleme wat eie is aan die onderrig van Arabies in Moslem privaatskole in Suid-Afrika en Botswana bespreek. Daar word spesifiek aandag gegee aan onderrigaspekte wat instrumentee! is tot die leerders se onvermoe om 'n mate van kommunikatiewe bevoegdheid in Arabies te bereik en om die Koran met begrip te lees (ten spyte daarvan dat dU 'n belangrike doelstelling met die onderrig van Arabies is). Vit 'n ondersoek wat met behulp van vraelyste gedoen is, blyk dit dat die meerderheid Arabiese onderwysers nie vertroue het in hul eie taalvaardigheid en hul vermoe om vlot in Arabies te kommunikeer nie. Daar word ook aangedui dat onderrig hooftaaklik gebaseer is op die grammatika-vertaalmetode, die aanleer van nuwe woordeskat en die leer van grammatikareels. Dit blyk ook dat die meerderheid onderwysers van mening is dat leerders Arabies bestudeer vir religieuse doeleindes (om die Koran te kan lees) en daarom nie soseer ingestel is op die ontwikkeling van kommunikatiewe vaardighede nie, maar eerder op die nodige woordeskatuitbereiding en grammatika wat hulle in staat sal stel om die formele taalgebruik van die Koran te kan verstaan.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/17-1-134

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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