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Sparking the conversation on mother-tongue and bilingual learning in Africa

by | Aug 28, 2015 | Uncategorized

1On Friday 4 September, Oxford University Press hosts a plenary panel discussion on the research by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning on mother tongue and bilingual education, as well as experiences from panelists working in the field, at the 9th Pan-African Literacy for All and 10th Reading Association of South Africa (RASA) National Literacy Conference.

Dr Christine Glanz, co-editor of the UNESCO report Optimising Learning, Education and Publishing in Africa: The Language Factor, will open with a presentation on the key findings of the report (with a specific focus on how mother tongue and bilingual learning affects creativity and imagination), as well as a brief update on the progress made since the report’s publication in 2011, and the role that mother tongue learning will play post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2016 onward.

Two additional panelists, Dr Kathleen Heugh and Mr Godfrey Sentumbwe, will then share their practical experiences and the crucial work they do in the field.

About the panelists:

Christine Glanz

Dr. Christine Glanz works as a Programme Specialist at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) since 2003. She has particularly worked on the quality of education in the African region with a focus on the multilingual context, literacy, youth and adult education. She is one of the editors of the UNESCO/ADEA publication entitled Optimising Learning, Education and Publishing in Africa: The Language Factor.

Dr Kathleen Heugh

Kathleen Heugh is a socio-applied linguist who co-ordinates the English Additional Language major in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. She is also Extraordinary Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of the Western Cape and Honorary Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa. She has designed and taught MA and Post-graduate Diploma programs and courses on language policy and planning, bilingual and multilingual education and language acquisition at the Universities of Cape Town and Antwerp. During the 1980s and the 1990s she played a leading role in post-apartheid language policy development and was appointed to the first Pan South African Language Board (1996-2001). As a language education policy specialist and field researcher she has, since 2004, undertaken large-scale evaluation and assessment studies on languages and literacy in education in sub-Saharan Africa for UNDP, UNESCO and various international development agencies and governments. She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

Godfrey Sentumbwe

Godfrey Sentumbwe previously worked as a teacher in Ugandan secondary schools and an as an adult literacy instructor in refugee communities in South Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently based in Uganda, he has supported the Ugandan government and several international NGOs to design and implement formal and non-formal basic education programmes in marginalised communities since 2001. He is currently the Head of Programmes at Ugandan NGO Literacy and Adult Basic Education.

For further information about the conference and to register, go to www.rasa2015.co.za.

Download the conference programme

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