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The position of English globally and nationally: A comparison of Cameroon and Vanuatu

Abongdia, Jane-Francis and Willans, Fiona (2014) The position of English globally and nationally: A comparison of Cameroon and Vanuatu. Current Issues in Language Planning, 15 (1). pp. 57-74. ISSN 1466-4208

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This paper investigates language ideologies relevant to medium of instruction policy within two postcolonial countries: Cameroon and Vanuatu. Each country experienced British and French rule, and has retained both English and French as official languages and media of instruction. However, since Independence, there has been a difference in the way the two languages are perceived in each country, due to the numerical imbalance between those who are considered ‘Anglophone’ and ‘Francophone’. In Cameroon, the majority language has been French. In Vanuatu, it has been English. Drawing on data collected during two independent studies, this paper examines the extent to which the global spread of English affects this situation, given the dominant ideology in which English is considered the language of opportunity. In Cameroon, while French still dominates, there is some evidence of a shift towards English, as this language is afforded increasing value. In Vanuatu, English continues to be the language of power at both national and global levels, and yet there appears to be a resurgence of support for the maintenance of French. The desire to know both ‘international languages’ reaffirms the privileging of the former colonial languages in both contexts, although it appears that the hegemony of English itself is tempered to a certain extent.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: postcolonial, language ideologies, English, French, Cameroon, Vanuatu, language planning, medium of instruction
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Fiona Willans
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 00:10
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2017 00:10

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