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Lecture | Applied African Linguistics

Cameroon: From colonial discriminatory decrees to forging new multilingual language policies

Monday 27 November 2023
Applied African Linguistics


Cameroon is considered by many as ‘Africa in miniature’ because of its high diversity in terms of its natural landscape and geography, its human composition, and especially the many languages making up its multilingual landscape. However, the language policies borne out of a colonial agenda of division and exploitation ensure that the local languages are excluded as languages of teaching from the education system and from most of the public domains and spaces.

But how has the implementation of language policies inherited from colonial times impacted the evolution of local languages in their use in education and public communication?

After giving a brief overview of the multilingual ‘ecosystem’ of Cameroon, this presentation will provide an account of the development in language policies in Cameroon, while examining critically the challenges faced in the actual implementation of some of those policies. The presenter will also provide some information on some recent grassroots efforts, educational changes, and advocacy work that are trying to bring about some significant changes in the Cameroonian educational sectors, in a bid to bring about more linguistic justice and more empowerment of local languages so that they can better fulfill their necessary roles as tools and resources for sustainable development, and for an education system that does not perpetuate the declining intergenerational transmission of local languages and cultures.  

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

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