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Re: [M_L] "Language & Education in Mali" (dissertation)

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  • Donald Z. Osborn
    Thank you Barbara and Tope for your comments. It seems we have a terminology issue or two here. Tope brings up some more complicated considerations of
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 25, 2005
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      Thank you Barbara and 'Tope for your comments. It seems we have a terminology
      issue or two here. 'Tope brings up some more complicated considerations of
      context that we should take up, but I wanted to address the quote Barbara
      kindly supplied.

      As a non-expert in this field,* I been given to understand that there is a
      different definition of "subtractive" than the one below. What they call
      "subtractive model" I've heard called "immersion." What they call "transitional
      model(s)" I've understood to be "subtractive bilingual approach(es)" (i.e., L1
      instruction is primarily a way of getting to L2 instruction, and L1 is
      abandoned as a language of instruction or discourse in favor of L2). Another
      approach in the latter schema is "additive bilingual," in which L1 is not
      abandoned but continues to be used along with L2.

      Of course there are probably a lot of variations within each "model" or
      "approach." Even the French-only (or English-only) approach is sometimes
      tempered, so I learned in Niger, by a teacher using the L1 to clarify concepts
      to students. Not official practice, but a practical adaptation.

      In any event, the "additive" model seems little discussed. This would have L1
      used even in higher education. This happens in some cases, or at least has had
      serious consideration. For instance, there is talk of using Swahili as a
      language of instruction in Tanzania, as I recall. Also, at Obafemi Awolowo
      University in southwestern Nigeria, there are dissertations written in Yoruba.

      I'll double check on my read of all this and report back (as time permits - I'm
      under multiple deadlines). It is certainly important to get terminology and
      conceptual frameworks consistent at the outset.

      Anyway, thanks again.

      Don Osborn


      * I come to this interest in language and (multilingual) literacy from a rural
      development background, and am also active in issues of localization of
      information technology in African languages.


      Quoting barbara_trudell@...:

      > Don - according to a stock-taking document on research in MT education and
      > B.E. in Africa currently being put together by the UN, subtractive and
      > transitional models are not the same. I quote:
      > "The language policy of teaching through the medium of French from
      >
      > the beginning of primary school (the subtractive model) implemented
      >
      > in the schools in Francophone Africa, is bound to produce negative
      >
      > results. In fact, this policy ignores the basic findings of second
      >
      > language and foreign language acquisition and bilingual education in
      >
      > multilingual settings, as shown by Cummins (1984), Alidou and Jung
      >
      > (2002). From a pedagogical standpoint, it is far better to teach
      >
      > children in their mother tongue or in a language they already know
      >
      > upon entering school."
      >
      >
      >
      > Transitional models have as their goal the eventual move of medium of
      >
      > instruction from L1 to L2 - early exit being in grades 1-3, late-exit
      >
      > being at the end of primary or even later.
      >
      >
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      > Barbara
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > "Donald Z.
      > Osborn"
      > <dzo@... To
      > > Multilingual_Literacy@yahoogroups.c
      > om, barbara_trudell@...
      > 11/25/2005 12:05 cc
      > PM maggie_canvin@...,
      > penelopebender@...
      > Subject
      > Re: [M_L] "Language & Education in
      > Mali" (dissertation)
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Thanks, Barbara. My understanding may be simplistic, or simply erroneous,
      > but I
      > thought that "transitional" was pretty much the same as "subtractive" in
      > that
      > education in L1 is used primarily as a way to get students into an L2
      > system.
      > Which as you know is not to say that L2 (a "language of wider
      > communication" or
      > LWC, in this case, French) is not important, but that the de-emphasis on
      > L1s
      > after a certain point relegates them to a temporary role in learning.
      >
      > Is it more accurate to say that "transitional" is somewhere between
      > "subtactive"
      > and "additive" bilingual, and if so what are the defining differences
      > between
      > transitional and subtractive bilingual approaches?
      >
      > Thanks again and for cc'ing other experts on this.
      >
      > Don Osborn
      >
      >
      >
      > Quoting barbara_trudell@...:
      >
      > > Don,
      > >
      > > That is not what I understood from my reading of "pedagogie convergente"
      > as
      > > practiced in Mali. It is a transition model, probably early-exit, but not
      > > the same as subtractive at all. Dr. Canvin or Penelope Bender (World Bank
      > > researcher) would have more knowledge on this than I, however.
      > >
      > > Barbara Trudell
      > > Nairobi, Kenya
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      > > "Don Osborn"
      >
      > > <dzo@...
      >
      > > >
      > To
      > > Sent by:
      > Multilingual_Literacy@yahoogroups.c
      > > Multilingual_Lite om
      >
      > > racy@yahoogroups.
      > cc
      > > com
      >
      > >
      > Subject
      > > [M_L] "Language & Education in
      >
      > > 11/24/2005 08:18 Mali" (dissertation)
      >
      > > PM
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
      > > Please respond to
      >
      > > Multilingual_Lite
      >
      > > racy@yahoogroups.
      >
      > > com
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > FYI. My understanding of "Pédagogie Convergente" is that it is a
      > > "subtractive bilingual" approach, but still a lot better than the old
      > > monolingual French immersion approach. (Fwd from the Linguist list)...
      > > DZO
      > >
      > >
      > > Date: 25-Oct-2005
      > > From: Maggie Canvin <maggie_canvin@...>
      > > Subject: Language and Education in Mali: A consideration of two
      > approaches
      > >
      > > Institution: University of Reading
      > > Program: Institute of Education
      > > Dissertation Status: Completed
      > > Degree Date: 2003
      > >
      > > Author: Maggie Canvin
      > >
      > > Dissertation Title: Language and Education in Mali: A consideration of
      > > two approaches
      > >
      > > Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
      > > Sociolinguistics
      > >
      > > Dissertation Director:
      > > Naz Rassool
      > > Keith Watson
      > >
      > > Dissertation Abstract:
      > >
      > > Issues surrounding the decision of which language/s to use in formal
      > > education are of great importance to education policy makers in
      > > developing countries. However, this area is often ignored in studies
      > > of education systems. This study explores issues surrounding
      > > linguistic diversity and its implications for education, together with
      > > political concerns about language and resultant government language
      > > policies. Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Mali, are
      > > linguistically complex and have low literacy rates. These countries
      > > are concerned about the high levels of drop-outs and retakes in their
      > > school systems. In order to alleviate this, many have tried the
      > > introduction of indigenous languages in a variety of bilingual
      > > education programmes. One such programme, Pédagogie Convergente,
      > > combines the use of indigenous languages with an innovative pedagogy.
      > > This study contributes to the debate on linguistic diversity and
      > > language and education in Mali in Mali by researching the Pédagogie
      > > Convergente approach, and contrasting this with the Traditional French
      > > approach still being used in most Malian schools. It does this by
      > > focussing on the realities of everyday school life in one school
      > > complex. Data was collected using a variety of ethnographic research
      > > methods, including classroom observations, interviews, questionnaires
      > > and various recording techniques.
      > >
      > > The study concludes that Pédagogie Convergente appears to deliver a
      > > better education for Mali because students pass through the system
      > > more quickly, fewer drop out and students receive a better educational
      > > experience. But it argues that there are factors other than language
      > > and that the new pedagogy needs to be taken into account when
      > > evaluating the true benefit of the innovative approach.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Don Osborn
      Hi Maggie, and thanks for this information and clarification. I m glad you have researched this area, and hope that your dissertation will be published. Before
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 25, 2005
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        Hi Maggie, and thanks for this information and clarification. I'm glad
        you have researched this area, and hope that your dissertation will be
        published.

        Before your posting, Penelope Bender wrote offline with the following
        table, with info similar to what you offer (I post it as it may be of
        interest also to others on the list):

        "... pédagogie convergente calls for the introduction of oral L2 in
        grade 2, and then a gradual increase in the amount of L2 over the
        course of the primary curriculum. L1 remains a language of
        instruction through sixth grade.

        Year of schooling L1 L2
        First grade 100%
        Second grade 75% 25%
        Third grade 25% 75%
        Fourth grade 25% 75%
        Fifth grade 100% combination L1 and L2 (both are used in all
        subject areas)
        Sixth grade 100% combination L1 and L2 (both are used in all
        subject areas; L2 is primary LOI)
        (Wambach, 2001)

        Of course, this is not always how it happens in practice."
        [end of quote]

        Don Osborn

        --- In Multilingual_Literacy@yahoogroups.com, "Maggie"
        <maggie_canvin@s...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello to all,
        > I don't believe pedagogie convergente to be a subtractive model but
        > a form of transition which continues until the end of the 6th year,
        > therefore qualifying as 'late-exit'. The aim is functional
        > bilingualism in both the known language (I hesitate to say mother
        > tongue as this is not always true) and French. It is true that there
        > is little language maintenance after year 6 at present. The pattern
        > of language use is - year 1 teaching in MT, year 2 teaching in MT
        > with introduction of oral French, year 3 a greater emphasis on
        > French including written French, but still using the MT 50% of time,
        > year 4 25-50% MT teaching 50-75% French, year 5 50% MT teaching 50%
        > French, year 6 50% MT 50% French. All subjects are taught in both
        > languages (where materials are available). The languages are not
        > used in class at the same time (apart from giving clarification in
        > MT on French days) but on a day by day basis - one day French, one
        > day MT.
        >
        > There have been various mutterings about continuing the use of
        > Malian languages into the second cycle but so far nothing has been
        > done. There has been a lot of work in the last few years on
        > curriculum change, particularly on year achievement goals and the
        > teaching of French. In recent classroom visits I noted Year 1 French
        > materials (posters) appearing although not used, so I believe they
        > are going to introduce oral French earlier than year 2.
        >
        > The achievement rates (in French) at the end of year 6 exams remains
        > about 20% higher than the traditional French-only system throughout
        > Mali, with a few exceptions. There continue to be problems with Bozo
        > and Dogon (language variations) and with linguistic diversity issues
        > in the Mopti region, with the distribution of materials, with scarce
        > teacher resources, and with a lack of teachers for some languages.
        > The training issue appears to be resolving with the expansion of
        > the 'new curriculum' and I have heard many reports of increased
        > teacher training this year, some of which continued into the start
        > of the new school year. The new textbooks have finally begun to
        > arrive from France, some of them after an inexplicable wait of over
        > 5 years. I have now seen years 1-4 in Bamanankan, and I have heard
        > that materials are now more available in some of the other
        > languages. There are also some new teacher resource materials
        > appearing, such as the pedagogical grammar of Songhay by Youssouf
        > Haidara.
        > Regards,
        > Maggie
        >
        > --- In Multilingual_Literacy@yahoogroups.com, barbara_trudell@s...
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Don - according to a stock-taking document on research in MT
        > education and
        > > B.E. in Africa currently being put together by the UN, subtractive
        > and
        > > transitional models are not the same. I quote:
        > > "The language policy of teaching through the medium of
        > French from
        > >
        > > the beginning of primary school (the subtractive model)
        > implemented
        > >
        > > in the schools in Francophone Africa, is bound to produce
        > negative
        > >
        > > results. In fact, this policy ignores the basic findings of
        > second
        > >
        > > language and foreign language acquisition and bilingual
        > education in
        > >
        > > multilingual settings, as shown by Cummins (1984), Alidou
        > and Jung
        > >
        > > (2002). From a pedagogical standpoint, it is far better to
        > teach
        > >
        > > children in their mother tongue or in a language they
        > already know
        > >
        > > upon entering school."
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Transitional models have as their goal the eventual move of
        > medium of
        > >
        > > instruction from L1 to L2 - early exit being in grades 1-3,
        > late-exit
        > >
        > > being at the end of primary or even later.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > >
        > > Barbara
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        > > "Donald
        > Z.
        > >
        > Osborn"
        > > <dzo@b... To
        > > > Multilingual_Literacy@y...
        > > om,
        > barbara_trudell@s...
        > > 11/25/2005
        > 12:05 cc
        > > PM
        > maggie_canvin@s...,
        > >
        > penelopebender@h...
        > >
        > Subject
        > > Re: [M_L] "Language &
        > Education in
        > > Mali"
        > (dissertation)
        > >
        >
        > >
        >
        > >
        >
        > >
        >
        > >
        >
        > >
        >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Thanks, Barbara. My understanding may be simplistic, or simply
        > erroneous,
        > > but I
        > > thought that "transitional" was pretty much the same
        > as "subtractive" in
        > > that
        > > education in L1 is used primarily as a way to get students into an
        > L2
        > > system.
        > > Which as you know is not to say that L2 (a "language of wider
        > > communication" or
        > > LWC, in this case, French) is not important, but that the de-
        > emphasis on
        > > L1s
        > > after a certain point relegates them to a temporary role in
        > learning.
        > >
        > > Is it more accurate to say that "transitional" is somewhere between
        > > "subtactive"
        > > and "additive" bilingual, and if so what are the defining
        > differences
        > > between
        > > transitional and subtractive bilingual approaches?
        > >
        > > Thanks again and for cc'ing other experts on this.
        > >
        > > Don Osborn
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Quoting barbara_trudell@s...:
        > >
        > > > Don,
        > > >
        > > > That is not what I understood from my reading of "pedagogie
        > convergente"
        > > as
        > > > practiced in Mali. It is a transition model, probably early-
        > exit, but not
        > > > the same as subtractive at all. Dr. Canvin or Penelope Bender
        > (World Bank
        > > > researcher) would have more knowledge on this than I, however.
        > > >
        > > > Barbara Trudell
        > > > Nairobi, Kenya
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > "Don Osborn"
        > >
        > > > <dzo@b...
        > >
        > > > >
        > > To
        > > > Sent by:
        > > Multilingual_Literacy@y...
        > > > Multilingual_Lite om
        > >
        > > > racy@yahoogroups.
        > > cc
        > > > com
        > >
        > > >
        > > Subject
        > > > [M_L] "Language &
        > Education in
        > >
        > > > 11/24/2005 08:18 Mali" (dissertation)
        > >
        > > > PM
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Please respond to
        > >
        > > > Multilingual_Lite
        > >
        > > > racy@yahoogroups.
        > >
        > > > com
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > FYI. My understanding of "Pédagogie Convergente" is that it is a
        > > > "subtractive bilingual" approach, but still a lot better than
        > the old
        > > > monolingual French immersion approach. (Fwd from the Linguist
        > list)...
        > > > DZO
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Date: 25-Oct-2005
        > > > From: Maggie Canvin <maggie_canvin@s...>
        > > > Subject: Language and Education in Mali: A consideration of two
        > > approaches
        > > >
        > > > Institution: University of Reading
        > > > Program: Institute of Education
        > > > Dissertation Status: Completed
        > > > Degree Date: 2003
        > > >
        > > > Author: Maggie Canvin
        > > >
        > > > Dissertation Title: Language and Education in Mali: A
        > consideration of
        > > > two approaches
        > > >
        > > > Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
        > > > Sociolinguistics
        > > >
        > > > Dissertation Director:
        > > > Naz Rassool
        > > > Keith Watson
        > > >
        > > > Dissertation Abstract:
        > > >
        > > > Issues surrounding the decision of which language/s to use in
        > formal
        > > > education are of great importance to education policy makers in
        > > > developing countries. However, this area is often ignored in
        > studies
        > > > of education systems. This study explores issues surrounding
        > > > linguistic diversity and its implications for education,
        > together with
        > > > political concerns about language and resultant government
        > language
        > > > policies. Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Mali, are
        > > > linguistically complex and have low literacy rates. These
        > countries
        > > > are concerned about the high levels of drop-outs and retakes in
        > their
        > > > school systems. In order to alleviate this, many have tried the
        > > > introduction of indigenous languages in a variety of bilingual
        > > > education programmes. One such programme, Pédagogie Convergente,
        > > > combines the use of indigenous languages with an innovative
        > pedagogy.
        > > > This study contributes to the debate on linguistic diversity and
        > > > language and education in Mali in Mali by researching the
        > Pédagogie
        > > > Convergente approach, and contrasting this with the Traditional
        > French
        > > > approach still being used in most Malian schools. It does this by
        > > > focussing on the realities of everyday school life in one school
        > > > complex. Data was collected using a variety of ethnographic
        > research
        > > > methods, including classroom observations, interviews,
        > questionnaires
        > > > and various recording techniques.
        > > >
        > > > The study concludes that Pédagogie Convergente appears to
        > deliver a
        > > > better education for Mali because students pass through the
        > system
        > > > more quickly, fewer drop out and students receive a better
        > educational
        > > > experience. But it argues that there are factors other than
        > language
        > > > and that the new pedagogy needs to be taken into account when
        > > > evaluating the true benefit of the innovative approach.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • Don Osborn
        Just a quick follow up. I passed the question on to the MultiEd-L list and had a very helpful reply from Jill Kerper Mora, which I copy below. First I would
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 3, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Just a quick follow up. I passed the question on to the MultiEd-L list
          and had a very helpful reply from Jill Kerper Mora, which I copy
          below. First I would mention that there was a passage in a UNESCO
          report that I posted on this list a while back in message #79 that
          gives an ambiguous impression of what they mean by "subtractive." I
          read it to mean bilingual ed. that is used mainly or only to "move
          students on" to literacy in an LWC, with no plan for
          bilingual/multilingual proficiency or literacy.

          It says:
          "In regions where the language of the learner is not the official or
          national language of the country, bilingual and multilingual education
          can make mother tongue instruction possible while providing at the
          same time the acquisition of languages used in larger areas of the
          country and the world. This additive approach to bilingualism is
          different from the so called subtractive bilingualism which aims to
          move children on to a second language as a language of instruction."
          (UNESCO, "Education in a multilingual world, "
          http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001297/129728e.pdf , pp. 17-18)

          Another related issue is whether the late-exit strategy of L1 (or
          other dominant local language) instruction, as opposed to early exit,
          makes it less "subtractive." At this point I'm not arguing either way,
          but do want to suggest that the use of "subtractive" - a term with
          obvious negative connotations - is contested and and in any event may
          be misleading to use to describe the old monolingual French-only (or
          English-only) models. I used "immersion" in my earlier comments to
          describe the latter, but as Dr. Mora points out, that use is also
          contested. (Some have, only half-jokingly, suggested "submersion" for
          monolingual L2 instruction models.)

          From Jill Kerper Mora on MultiEd-L :
          "What determines whether or not a program is considered to be based on
          an additive or subtractive approach is determined by its goals and
          objectives in regard to bilingualism. Subtractive programs see L2
          learning as the major and ultimate goal of instruction. These programs
          are not concerned with building and or/preserving L1 abilities and
          skills because of their inate value to the learner, but may employ L1
          as a tool for learning L2. Therefore, transitional bilingual education
          programs are often considered subtractive because L1 is used
          temporarily as a tool for learning L2 and eventually phased out.
          Bilingualism and/or biliteracy per se are not the objective of such
          programs, even though they may be an artifact of bilingual
          instruction. The two program models considered to be additive are
          maintenance (also called developmental bilingual programs) and dual
          immersion (two-way bilingual education). In actuality, the term
          "immersion" was used by second-language and foreign language educators
          to describe additive programs that serve a homogeneous group of L1
          speakers of a particular language or mixed groups with two different
          L1s taught by fully proficient bilingual teachers with the goal of
          adding proficiency in the L2 while maintaining skills in L1. The term
          has been so successfully co-opted by proponents of English-only
          instruction that it has limited use now among bilingual educators. So,
          yes, this term can and usually does refer to subtractive programs.

          "I hope this helps. See my web page on this topic at this URL:
          http://coe.sdsu.edu/people/jmora/Pages/SEIvCanadian.htm "

          Don Osborn

          --- In Multilingual_Literacy@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Z. Osborn"
          <dzo@b...> wrote:
          >
          > Thank you Barbara and 'Tope for your comments. It seems we have a
          terminology
          > issue or two here. 'Tope brings up some more complicated
          considerations of
          > context that we should take up, but I wanted to address the quote
          Barbara
          > kindly supplied.
          >
          > As a non-expert in this field,* I been given to understand that
          there is a
          > different definition of "subtractive" than the one below. What they call
          > "subtractive model" I've heard called "immersion." What they call
          "transitional
          > model(s)" I've understood to be "subtractive bilingual approach(es)"
          (i.e., L1
          > instruction is primarily a way of getting to L2 instruction, and L1 is
          > abandoned as a language of instruction or discourse in favor of L2).
          Another
          > approach in the latter schema is "additive bilingual," in which L1
          is not
          > abandoned but continues to be used along with L2.
          >
          ... [rest deleted]
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