(No. 2)



The Caribbean


Hubert Devonish
Department of Linguistics
University of the West Indies
Mona, Kingston 7 JAMAICA

“As part of a final year university level linguistics course in Language Planning, students produce projects using Caribbean Creole languages, mainly Jamaican Creole, in non-traditional functions. These have ranged from Creole Scrabble and crossword puzzles, through handbooks on motor vehicle spare parts terminology in Jamaican Creole, to translations into Jamaican Creole of the Constitution, the Bible, articles on fashion, etc.”



Valerie Youssef
Dept of Language and Linguistics
University of the West Indies
St Augustine, TRINIDAD

“A number of factors have militated against formalized usage of TC [Trinidad Creole] in education. In 1974 the Ministry of Education recognized the status of the creole as a language in its own right, but did not clarify for teachers how they should respond to it. Consequently, it is used informally, especially in early primary education, but SE [Standard English] is still taught as a native language. The situation is becoming more confused, because teachers themselves in many cases are not clear on which structures are creole and which are standard, and the mixing of contexts for usage, eg in school, is increasing...We have a language education problem.”



Katherine Fischer
1008 Dewey Ave
Evanston, IL 60202 USA

“I teach and direct a program for high school students grades 9-12 who are immigrants to the US from the Caribbean English Creole [CEC] speaking countries. We have a population of several hundred students in this category, of whom 40-60 are in our program at various times. We use both CEC and English in our classrooms and aim at legitimizing the use of Creole and thus empowering students for whom it is their first language. Our ultimate goal is to develop bilingual students who have both a good grasp of English and a high level of linguistic self-respect.”



Karen Ann Watson-Gegeo
(note new address)
Division of Education
University of California
Davis, CA 95616 USA

Karen reports that she and Charlene Sato “currently have two small grants to examine oral discourse strategies in Hawai’i Creole English -- specifically, narration and explanation -- towards application to public school teaching.”

(Charlene’s address is Dept of ESL, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai’i 96822 USA)



Margaret Mickan
PO Box 639
Derby, WA 6728 AUSTRALIA

“I work in Kriol (creole in the NT [Northern Territory] and Kimberley, WA [Western Australia]), being mainly involved in adult literacy in Kriol. I have also become involved in Ministry of Education in-services of teachers where I have conducted Kriol awareness sessions for teachers and Aboriginal Education Workers and begun Kriol literacy skilling with the Aboriginal Education Workers.”



Margaret Allan
PO Box 718
Katherine, NT 0851 AUSTRALIA

“I worked at Ngukurr School from 1987 to the end of 1989 as local education adviser, with an all-Aboriginal classroom teaching staff. The language of instruction in the classroom is Kriol; however, English is the language used for reading and writing. When I left, the staff were seriously considering some sort of formal bilingual program, including Kriol literacy skills.”

[Margaret also sent in an interesting unpublished paper she wrote on children’s ability to separate Kriol and English at Ngukurr School.]



Papua New Guinea


Bob Litteral
Department of Education
Box 5587
Boroko, NCD

“This program is not in operation yet but I understand that some Catholic sisters in the Highlands are developing Tok Pisin literacy for deaf students.”



Joseph Nidue
Education Faculty
PO Box 320
University, NCD

“I have designed a Bilingual Education Program in which Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu will be used as language of instruction. I have not asked to trial it yet.”



Edward Wiruk
PO Box 41
Ambunti, ESP

In the 1990 Annual Report on the Tok Pisin Prepschool Program (the “Feature Program” in PACE Newsletter 1), Edward includes the following new information :
“We are planning to open up seven new schools in 1991, as well as to maintain existing 14 schools. Huge number of books are to be printed to cater for 28 classes. Children who have attended Prep-school [in Tok Pisin] are showing well developed beginning reading skills in grade one, where the medium of instruction is English; writing skills are also developed but the quality of these skills is uneven...[T]he popularity of the preschools is mainly due to the success of their ‘graduates’ in the government schools...Therefore, the interest in preschool is growing and the demand is high.

“To meet this demand we are planning to conduct a three weeks prep-school teachers training course in January 1991...The aim of the course is to train prep-school and adult literacy class teachers and supervisors, to supervise and maintain existing schools and the proposed seven schools.”

In the 1991 Prep-school Teacher Training Course Report, Edward included the following information:

“Seventy-two participants attended the [three]-week course. Sixteen were women. The students were from three districts (of the four districts) of the East Sepik Province… Sixty different communities were represented. Currently, thirty-two communities have their prep-schools in operation.

“The entire Ambunti community was involved in the course to some extent. A good supply of garden food facilitated in feeding 72 participants for the duration of three weeks.

“The three week course began on the 7th of January and ended on the 25th of January, 1991. The first one week was spent on materials production, as the students would need materials to be used for practical teaching. Those materials consisted of listening stories, short stories and long stories...A total of 1500 copies of books were written edited and silk-screened.”



Solomon Islands


Bernie O’Donnell
Nazareth Apostolic Centre
PO Box 197

Bernie reports that the Nazareth Apostolic Centre continued its work in using Pijin to teach initial literacy (reported in PACE Newsletter 1). In May and June this year, they ran a five-week training program in Pijin for teachers of literacy. About 60-65 students attended throughout and are now working in a Literacy Program from the this centre.

Last year the Nazareth Apostolic Centre took part in the National Literacy Program celebrations, along with the Taragai Literacy Centre, in an exhibition of their work. They demonstrated teaching reading and writing in Pijin and translating customary stories and preparing books “on the spot”. They also sold many books in Pijin to the public, including Pijin Mass and prayer books which they have developed.





Terry Crowley
(note new address)
Linguistics Department
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105

Terry reports that at the University of the South Pacific Centre in Vanuatu, several university courses are being tutored using Bislama, including Communication and Language, and Basic Translation Techniques (and possibly Foundation History in the future). Privately run computer classes held at the Centre are also taught by a ni-Vanuatu in Bislama. Terry also notes that contrary to what was reported in PACE Newsletter 1, the course, Introdaksen long Stadi blong Bislama, does not have a linguistics prerequisite. [Sorry, Terry.]

[Other Vanuatu news: Two important publications have recently appeared which will help promote the use of Bislama in education:

An Illustrated Bislama-English and English-Bislama Dictionary by Terry Crowley (vii + 478 pages).

Kindabuk [a collection of educational activities for young children written in Bislama for pre-school teachers] by Claudia Brown and Terry Crowley (iv + 241 pages, many illustrations).

Both books are published by and available from the University of the South Pacific,
PO Box 12, Vila, Vanuatu.]


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