Full Bilingual Education in a Creole Language Situation: The Jamaican Bilingual Primary Education Project

DEVONISH, Hubert and Karen CARPENTER (OP No.35, Feb 2007)

Abstract: The present paper examines the incremental advances that have been made in the recognition of vernacular languages and attempts to address the rights of the speakers of these language varieties within the mainstream education system. In particular, the paper describes the Ministry of Education Youth and Culture (MOEYC) approved Bilingual Education Project (BEP) currently being piloted in Jamaica. The BEP challenges accepted notions of language attitudes toward speakers of vernacular languages and the learning and teaching of literacy skills at the primary school level.

About the Authors

HUBERT DEVONISH is Professor of Linguistics and Coordinator for the Jamaican Language Unit at The University of the West Indies, Mona . Professor Devonish works in the area of creole vernacular languages and language rights. He is also the Chief Researcher of the Bilingual Education Project , Jamaica. His publications include: Talking Rhythm, Stressing Tone: Prominence in Anglo-West African Creole Languages , Talking in Tones: A Study of Tone in Afro-European Creole Languages , and Language and Liberation: Creole Language Politics in the Caribbean . Professor Devonish is a former president of the SCL.

KAREN CARPENTER is a Psychologist and Researcher at The University of the West Indies, Mona in the Jamaican Language Unit . She lectures in Research Methods and Psychology and has worked at all levels of the education system, both locally and internationally, for close to 30 years. Her areas of interest include phenomenological studies of children's language learning, children's conceptions of success, language awareness, the internationalisation of higher education and mixed methods studies in HIV/AIDS research. Dr. Carpenter is an active researcher in the bilingual education of primary school children.

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