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"Literacy through indigenous languages a must" (excerpt of column)

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  • Don Osborn
    Here is a section of a longer column in the Sudan Tribune written by a Sudanese, Mading de Ngor Akec de Kuai, and entitled Literacy through indigenous
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 11, 2006
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      Here is a section of a longer column in the Sudan Tribune written by a
      Sudanese, Mading de Ngor Akec de Kuai, and entitled "Literacy through
      indigenous languages a must." In this paragraph he discusses how it is
      to be schooled in a second language. The whole article can be read at
      http://www.sudantribune.com/article.php3?id_article=16121 or
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AfricanLanguages/message/583 DZO


      ...

      A WORLD EXTERNAL TO ME

      Consider this: When I was a child in my village in Bor I was taught
      1.2.3.4 and A.B.C.D in English. It wasn't until much later where I
      would learn to recite Dinka alphabets. I noticed that the teaching of
      my language was a church matter: a woeful comparison to English (a
      foreign language) that has always enjoyed its own separate and
      independent space in our land. With exception of Bung Mariar, there
      are no major Dinka language publications available unlike English that
      came from England (a distant land then) that I had to learn as a
      child. In this case, [Kenyan author] Ngugi [wa Thiong'o] articulate it
      so well that "the language of my education was no longer the language
      of my 'real life', the language of my culture: I was now being exposed
      exclusively to a culture that is a product of a world external to me.
      I was being made to stand outside of myself to look at myself." Here,
      it is pristine how the African child is taught a worldview that is
      alien to him. He is caught up in a sort of bubble where he looks back
      to see if where he is, is where he was. He mirrors his world from
      another angle and finds himself in a vague state where he compares his
      former to the later. This kind of confusion that arise may be
      terminated by promoting our languages at schools. I hope our
      generation sees that we are multi-tasked and developing our languages
      and literatures are one of those challenges we have to surpass.

      ...
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