An AILA Research
EAST AFRICA COORDINATORS:
Hellen Inyega (University of Nairobi) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacinta Ndambuki, (University of the
Willy Ngaka (University of KwaZulu-Natal) email@example.com
WEST AFRICA COORDINATORS:
Kate Adoo-Adeku (University of Ghana)
SOUTHERN AFRICA COORDINATORS:
Violet Lunga, (University of
The second newsletter this year presents three exciting conferences coming up next year across the globe – on educational technologies in South Africa, Applied linguistics in London, and language policy and planning in Canada.
A special issue of Professional and Academic English is inviting submissions, including reports from conferences and book reviews.
New in this edition of the newsletter is the section Competition and Prizes, where we report on All Children Reading’s invitation to students at some American universities (and Makerere, Uganda) to leverage technology to develop literacy in developing countries.
The International Literacy Association (ILA) is now generously waiving its fee for members from developing countries. And if you don’t belong to an institution with a strong library, you might want to read two articles on literacy development and genre teaching that Caroline Kerfoot kindly made available for free.
Finally we would like to invite you to tell us about your research – including reflections and research in progress – in our next newsletter (deadline is February 28, 2016). All submissions are welcome, but we would particularly like to open up for reflections or findings that may not be suitable or ready for journal articles, but that might still be of interest to our readers.
With best regards,
Africa International Conference on Educational Technologies,
Pretoria, April 2016
The South Africa International Conference on Educational Technologies (SAICET) 2016 is an international refereed conference that is dedicated to the advancement of the practices in education. SAICET 2016 aims to offer a platform for academics and researchers in educational technologies from all over the world to deliberate, network and present a wide range of perspectives, scholarship, and expertise in the pursuit of excellence in education. Theme: Empowering the 21st Century Learner. http://aa-rf.org/saicet2016/
Deadline for submissions: December
Language in Africa SIG, London, May 2016
Deadline for submissions: March 28, 2016
Dates: May 6, 2016
Venue: University of East London, UK
Approaches in Language Policy and Planning Conference,
Calgary, Sept. 2016
This international conference will be held at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. We invite papers and colloquia that approach language policy from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, and in a variety of contexts, from the local/institutional to national/global. We invite abstracts (300 words maximum) for submissions. Plenary Speakers include Ericka Albaugh (Bowdoin College), Leanne Hinton (The University of California at Berkeley), and David Cassels Johnson (The University of Iowa). www.werklund.ucalgary.ca/lpp
Deadline for submissions: February 29, 2016
Dates: September 1–3, 2016
Venue: University of Calgary, Canada
and Academic English
Deadline: November 23, 2015
The first Ibibio–English bilingual dictionary was launched on October 8 at the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) in Nigeria. The Ibibio people are a dominant ethnic group from the “lower cross” region of Akwa Ibom State in Southern Nigeria. The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) noted that it was the first time an academic event in a university was presented primarily in a vernacular – Ibibio. Officials from the state government encouraged the development of textbooks and orthography in accordance with education policy to follow. An Ibibio socio-ethnic group named Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio (MMI) declared their bid to foster the Ibibio language and culture through an Ibibio language centre in Manchester, UK and New York. MMI is also running a school that teaches Ibibio language and customs and sponsors Ibibio Writers Forum – a longstanding writing group composed of veteran literary artists. For more info, contact Kathryn Philip (firstname.lastname@example.org), academic librarian at the University of Uyo.
S. and Mills, Sara (Eds.) (2015). Gender representation in
learning materials: International perspectives. London:
and book chapters
A., & Burns, M. S. (2015). New border crossings for
the interaction hypothesis: The effects of feedback on Gonja
speakers learning English in a rural school in Ghana.
Pedagogies: An International Journal.
for Reading” competition seeks student innovators
The annual Big Ideas prize launched on September 8, once again with the "Mobiles for Reading” challenge sponsored by All Children Reading. Mobiles for Reading challenges university teams to develop novel mobile technology-based solutions or adapt existing technologies in innovative ways to enhance early grade reading scores. Pre-proposal deadline is November 12. All Children Reading will hold two webinars about the Mobiles for Reading prize. Competition details & to apply.
in Africa SIG Annual Meeting, May 22, 2015, Aston University,
The British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) LiASIG meeting this year saw a rich array of papers on the opportunities and challenges associated with the development of indigenous African languages under the heading “Developing Languages in Africa: Social and educational perspectives”. Plenary speaker Lutz Marten (SOAS) set out three contexts of language development: institution driven, community driven and ‘crowd driven’. Clement Kolawole (University of Ibadan) discussed lack of development of languages in Nigeria due to poor funding and commitment, and Willy Ngaka (Makerere University, Uganda) asked for close partnership between local government, academics, traditional/cultural institutions and NGOs to change negative attitudes.
Elvis Yevudey (Aston University) and Golden Ekpe (SOAS) investigated code-switching in Ghana (Ewe), and Nigeria (Oro), finding that it could be an affirmation of multilingual identity in Oro, while mainly catering for limited linguistic competences in Ewe. Mary Edward (University of Bergen) explained that the traditional Adomorobe Sign Language of SE Ghana is now highly endangered, partly due to the use Ghanaian Sign Language in school. Beatrice Owiti (University of Huddersfield) discussed problems of interpretation in courtrooms in Kenya through subtle changes of meaning between English and Dholuo, and interpreters’ weak competence.
Finally, on a very positive note, Andrew Caines and Paula Buttery (University of Cambridge) and Fridah Katushemererwe (Makerere University) are building Natural Language Processing tools for Ugandan Runyakitara, aiming to integrate these into CALL applications and provide a test case for revitalization of endangered languages through education and technology.
Annette Islei, Convenor
The three presentations gave different perspectives on language and education: Charlyn Dyers (U Western Cape) criticised reductive language labelling and its effect on multilingual education projects, e.g. Cape Town ‘Kaaps’. From Nigeria, Taiwo Ilori’s (Anglia Ruskin U) study of Lagos secondary students showed that English was seen as the only source of empowerment, and Rebecca Ishaku demonstrated the influence of teaching English orthography on its pronunciation in Tera.
Ross Graham, Outgoing Convenor
Literacy and Change
Introducing two new resources from SIL Africa for enhancing the effectiveness of language arts instruction in minority language communities
Community-based literature development. With the prevalence of international language-medium classrooms, African communities risk the loss of the values and local knowledge that matter most to them. SIL Africa’s Community-Based Literature Development (CBLD) program provides a range of easy-reading titles in the local language, tailored to the knowledge and learning priorities of the communities, and effectively building reading skills and habits among young readers. Attractively illustrated and printed, and authored by community parents, teachers and students, these books have proven immensely popular with children and teachers alike. The relevance of the topics for the community makes them ideal teaching resources as well.
Bridging reading skills from L1 to English. Multilingual education isn’t just about learning to read in the first language; it’s also about transferring reading skills from that language to a second language. Failure to transfer these skills can hinder learning outcomes in later grades. A new SIL Africa resource provides step-by-step assistance to L1 readers as they bridge their reading skills into English. This curriculum focuses on the biggest challenges that African L1 readers face, including English vocabulary building, and addressing the differences in writing systems and spelling conventions between their language and English. The result: stronger and more confident readers, in both their own language and in English.
For more information contact Barbara Trudell at email@example.com
membership in the International Literacy Association
free articles from Language and Education
Kerfoot, C., & Simon-Vandenbergen, A.-M. (2015). Language in epistemic access: mobilising multilingualism and literacy development for more equitable education in South Africa.
Kerfoot, C., & Van Heerden, M. (2015). Testing the waters: exploring the teaching of genres in a Cape Flats Primary School in South Africa.
Send us a short profile (one paragraph) of the research you are undertaking on language or literacy education in Africa by February 28, 2016, for inclusion in our next issue.