African Languages as Medium of Instruction in higher education: what has happened after Prah?

Bert van Pinxteren's picture
Online Digital Resources
March 27, 2023
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Languages, Linguistics, Teaching and Learning

For decades, a generation of African and Africanist scholars has been arguing the need for using African languages in domains such as education. One of the most articulate of these is Prah, who has argued that sustainable development will remain an illusion if African languages are not used in more domains. However, progress has been slow at best.

This webinar will examine some of Prah’s proposals and the advances in research and theory that have been made since then. It will discuss some of the limitations of approaches such as ‘translanguaging’ and seeing ‘language as spoken’; it will outline recent theoretical advances in seeing language as designed versus as discerned. It will show the potential of analysing the evolution of enrolment in education. This will expose the fiction that African educational systems can expand indefinitely using former colonial languages as medium of instruction.

Contact Info: 

This webinar takes place on zoom, from 4 to 5:30 pm Amsterdam time (starting time is 10 am New York time). It is part of a webinar series sponsored by the Edinburgh Circle on the Promotion of African Languages. Contact the secretary, Bert van Pinxteren, via the contact email below in case of further questions.

Contact Email: