(No. 5)



“Literacy practices in a small rural ni-Vanuatu village” by Helen Lobanga Masing (thesis of MA in TESOL, University of Technology, Sydney, 1992) contains a chapter on the language and education situation in Vanuatu. Some of the problems of lack of standardization are discussed. The thesis clearly shows the importance of the use of Bislama in all literacy activities at the village level. It recommends that the government articulate a clear language policy for Vanuatu, with special attention to Bislama and vernacular languages, and that Bislama be encouraged as the medium of instruction at the primary level. It is also recommended that the Pre-Service Teachers’ Program should have a unit on Bislama studies, as well as one on indigenous languages.”

“A survey of use and attitudes towards Melanesian Pidgin of the Wantok student population at the University of the South Pacific, Laucala campus” by Rosalyn Wale is the report on a survey of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu students, done for postgraduate study at USP. Here are some extracts from the conclusion (p.20):

…[T]he myths surrounding Pidgin languages still persist among educated speakers of Pidgin. For example, the statistics show that Pidgin is still regarded as an inferior variety of English and that it is [regarded as] unsuitable to be used as the language of instruction as well as a subject to be studied in the schools. However, we can also predict from these statistics that those who believe in Pidgin as a ;language in its own right and that it is suitable for use in education will increase in numbers in the future. I tis already evident that attitudes towards Pidgin are going to get better.

…It is encouraging to note that the majority of the subjects, 79 percent, regard Pidgin as a Melanesian language. Also, with the question of whether or not Pidgin interferes with the learning of English, the number of those who believe that Pidgin does facilitate the learning of English are unexpectedly higher. It also pleases me to note that 87 percent of the respondents said that they are proud to be Pidgin speakers.

Jeff Allen has completed two graduate theses at the Université Lyon, France:

“Sainte-Lucie: Description sociolinguistique d’une île antillaise” (Départment des Sciences du Langage, 1992)

“Sainte-Lucie: Relexification, decréolis-ation, recréolisation ou adlexification” (Centre de Recherches Linguistiques et Sémiologiques et Départment des Sciences du Langage, 1994)

(Jeff’s new address is Department of French and Italian, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 USA.)


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