Pidgin and Education

SUMMARY

A. Pidgin is a language just as English is a language.

B. All children come to school with a language, and that language should be accepted and never denigrated.

C. Some children come to school with Pidgin. The language of these children deserves as much respect as any other language.

D. No-one should be prevented from using Pidgin where it works in the learning process.

E. While teachers should teach standard forms of English, in no way should learning English replace Pidgin.

F. There’s a fundamental difference between speaking and writing: most children learn to read and write when they come to school; all children can speak before they come to school.

G. There are social advantages to being able to speak Pidgin, just as there are social advantages to being able to speak English.

H. There’s plenty of room for Pidgin and English to coexist peacefully and be mutually enriching.

I. We recommend:

  • language awareness seminars, classes or in-services for teachers, which include strategies for building on the home language, and for understanding language systems.
  • language awareness programs for students to learn about the history and social functions of both Pidgin and English, and to discover ways in which Pidgin and English are different.
  • research on the relationship between Pidgin and school success, and how to best build on the language that children come to school with in the achievement of school success.

Read the whole article…

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