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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Place of Local-Language Literacy in Rural Development in Cameroon: Presentation of an Experimental Program
Author:Robinson, Clinton D.W.
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:rural development
indigenous languages
mother tongues
Education and Oral Traditions
Development and Technology
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524186
Abstract:The problem of language choice is acute in many developing countries, particularly in Africa, where a nation-State may comprise a large number of linguistically heterogeneous groups. While the merits and demerits of developing and using small languages are ardently debated, it is rare to find studies of particular situations where attempts have been made to develop and use such languages for the purpose of rural development. This paper presents such a study of Cameroon. It describes 'The Experimental Mother Tongue Literacy Programme', which was implemented from 1983 to 1987 by the Société internationale de linguistique. The programme consisted of two parts, one of which was concerned with adult literacy in rural areas. Aim of the adult literacy part was to promote adult literacy in ten selected languages in rural areas by producing the necessary publications, training local teachers, and teaching a specified number of adults to read. The results of this experimental programme are somewhat ambivalent. On the one hand, they demonstrate considerable enthusiasm on the part of the local communities; on the other hand, it is not possible to say with any conviction that local-language literacy has made a significant contribution to rural development. Bibliogr.