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Lecture | Applied African Linguistics

African Languages as Medium of Instruction - the case of Nigeria

Monday 28 August 2023
Applied African Linguistics


The sociolinguistic profile of most African nations is both multiglossic, a precolonial legacy, and diglossic, a colonial legacy that has proved enduring. However, individual African societies have navigated the ensuing sociolinguistic conflict in different ways. This webinar examines the situation in Nigeria, the duels among the indigenous languages, and between them and the dominant colonial language, English.

Congruent with these duels is the mother tongue as medium issue, and the related triadic contest between desirability, necessity and viability.

The webinar identifies two strategic indices in this sociolinguistic duel – the development index and the affective index – and five related questions:

  • Development – is the current diglossic situation truly enabling or disabling?
  • Agency – who are the proponents and opponents, beneficiaries and victims?
  • Policy – is this proactive/reactive, radical/conservative, enabling or disabling?
  • Practicality and Contingency – what are the optimality conditions and the challenges?
  • Prognosis - what prospects exist in the immediate and in the long run for the duelling languages?

This lecture will be held on Zoom
Meeting ID: 638 6323 9013
Passcode: pAkt*fW1

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