ETHIOLING: Vernaculars in Ethiopian Schools (completed)
ETHIOLING aims at studying the use of four local languages (mother tongues) in primary schools in three Ethiopian regions with specific reference to the linguistic difficulties that learners face, and at developing a general framework in light of which the linguistic situation in other regions within and beyond the country could be studied for a more global understanding of challenges in language learning.
Learning about the Ethiopian linguistic situation in the initial workshop of Ethio-ling (NUFU PRO 21/02) in February 2002: From the left: Rolf Theil, Abebe Gebre Tsadiq, Elizabeth Lanza, and Kjell Magne Yri.
Presentation of the research area
Ethioling is a Joint Research Project on the New Ethiopian Educational Policy and its Implementation with Specific Reference to the Use of Local Languages in Schools.
Since 1991 the new political structure of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia has recognized the right of nations, nationalities, and peoples to develop their languages for primary education and other functions. Consequently, 20 out of the 80 languages are now used in schools as a medium of instruction. However, except for Amharic, the rest have mainly been spoken languages, not written. Therefore, there are problems of implementation related to attitudes, standardization, curriculum, teaching material, and manpower.
This project aims at studying the use of four local languages (mother tongues) in primary schools of three regions with specific reference to the linguistic difficulties that learners face, and developing a general framework in light of which the situation in other regions within and beyond the country could be studied for a more global understanding of the phenomena.
The project has research and training components, the former focusing on ethnographic and linguistic descriptions of the languages of instructions, and the latter developing the competence of the personnel in the Department of Linguistics and in the regions under study. The research is based on empirical data collected through questionnaires, interviews, and classroom observations in addition to surveying available documents.
Duration of project: 2001-2006
Addis Ababe University:
Baye Yimam, co-administrator