Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An African Market




The market in Bali is a fascinating place. People come from their small farms to sell all kinds of things, including strange looking fruit, strange looking tomatoes, ginger, innumerable spices whose names are unknown to me, together with ... second hand clothes, clearly from Europe. There was a huge pile of sports socks which had clearly not been washed. People at the market were very friendly, and didn’t mind having their photos taken.

On Tuesday evening, thanks to a chance meeting, I was invited to dinner with an American family a couple of miles from Bamenda. The husband works for an educational and linguistic organisation called SIL. I remember it as the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Chris told me about the Kom Education Pilot Project, KEP, in which there is strong evidence that teaching through the mother tongue (Kom in this case) gives much better results than teaching in English. There is some information on http://pnglanguages.org/africa/cameroun/news/index_e.html

The following results are very interesting for the Welsh context:
• The top two schools were mother tongue schools
• 6 of the top 7 schools were mother tongue schools
• 5 of the lowest 6 performing schools were English medium
• Mother tongue schools outperformed English-medium schools by 23.3 points.
From the same report: “These differences are statistically significant, supporting the hypothesis that mother tongue education does indeed have long-term educational benefits”.

2 comments:

lucy said...

Love the top photo- such beautiful vibrant colours!

Elinor Chapman said...

About Kom and Welsh.

Are Kom speakers exposed English on a regualr rate.

In Wales. Native Welsh speakers are constantly have bombarded by English, from TV, shops, newspapers, (that aren't papur bro!!), and of course tourists.

I imagine Kom speakers have less TV and tourists....tell me if I'm wrong. Doesn't this make the situation wholey different.

Unless you live in the Llyn and never ever go shopping to Llandudno - say!