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Book Release: A Bilingual Revolution for Africa

Exciting news for language and education enthusiasts! A Bilingual Revolution for Africa, a new book examining the potential of multilingual education across Africa, has just been released. This book, edited by Ayé Clarisse Hager-M’Boua and myself, brings together educators, researchers, and actors on the ground to explore the benefits of dual-language education in various sectors and countries of Africa.

The book’s preface is written by Yao Ydo, Director of UNESCO International Bureau of Education, while the introduction is written by Ayé Clarisse and I. The book is divided into four parts, each containing essays on various topics related to bilingual education in Africa.

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Part one, titled “Language and Cultural Identity,” includes four essays that focus on creating space for students’ linguistic and cultural heritage in the classroom, the assets and advantages of bilingualism, the particularities and limits of bilingual education in sub-Saharan Africa, and the importance and possibility of decolonial multilingual education through African mother tongues.

Part two, “Bi-Culturalism: African Culture and European Culture,” includes four essays on the place of heritage languages in the Cameroonian and Ontario school systems, visions for multilingual education in Côte d’Ivoire, translanguaging in indigenous Kenyan languages, and improving the quality of education in Africa using African languages for teaching.

Part three, “Multilingualism / Language Equity,” includes four essays on the urgent need for reorientation with regards to multilingual education advocacy in Africa, multilingual teachers for the multilingual classroom, multilingual glossaries for teaching and learning, and multilingual education for improved foreign language acquisition.

Part four, “Bilingual Education: Mother Tongue / French; Mother Tongue / English,” includes five essays on the need for bilingual education for the promotion of regional integration of communities in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bilingual schools as a social project, the power of multiliteracy in The Gambia and Ghana, the challenges and relevance of tone didactics, and Fulfulde-French bilingual education.

The book has received praise from various scholars and educators, including Zahra Kamil Ali, Permanent Representative of the International Organization of La Francophonie for the Americas, who notes the strength of the book’s approach in different linguistic contexts. Maya Angela Smith, Associate Professor at the University of Washington, praises the book for prioritizing the lived experiences of multilingual students and providing valuable models for the rest of the world. Teboho Moja, Professor at New York University and the University of the Western Cape, highlights the book’s evidence that children underperform in schools not because they lack the ability to learn, but because they struggle with the languages used in school.

A Bilingual Revolution for Africa provides a positive and constructive vision for the future of bilingual education in Africa. It challenges the myths and obstacles that have retarded the development of dual-language education and offers a means to achieve economic growth and develop human capital within Africa’s multilingual environments. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the power of language and its impact on human development.

Congratulations to the authors: Agnès Ndiaye Tounkara, Ayé C. Hager-M’Boua, Ama E. Flora M’Baye & Pascaline A. Kouamé, Mbacké Diagne, Djeneba D. Bagayoko, Carole Fleuret & Julia E. Ndibnu-Messina, Michelle L. Solorio, Brenda A. Wawire, Maria J. Aaron, Daniel N. Obah, Pierre de Galbert & Cornelius Wambi Gulere, Feziwe Shoba & Koliswa Moropa, Tony V. Muzau, Félicien M. Maisha, Thomas Bearth et al., Ari Sherris & Joy K. Peyton, Venance Tokpa, and Djibrila Tetereou.

Order it here:

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