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A defiance of language policy: seamless boundaries between languages in Botswana classrooms

Bagwasi, Mompoloki and Costley, Tracey (2022) 'A defiance of language policy: seamless boundaries between languages in Botswana classrooms.' Journal of the British Academy, 10 (s4). pp. 125-140. ISSN 2052-7217 (In Press)

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Botswana is multilingual and multicultural country with 25 to 30 languages. In contrast to this everyday lived multilingualism, the country’s language-in-education-policy (LIEP) attempts to create a homogenous population in which only two languages are used – Setswana and English. This study investigates language use in classrooms in two schools in Botswana. It explores how the LIEP is enacted in classrooms, which language(s) are used and how. The paper argues that despite a LIEP which tends to prescribe how languages are to be used within education, there is evidence that Botswanan languages are used in much more fluid ways and that the boundaries constructed through the LIEP do not necessarily play out in the day-to-day worlds of teaching and learning in schools. The paper explores the different ways in which the current LIEP meets and diverges from everyday language practices, and ends with some suggestions for future policy and practices.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language policy, multilingualism, education policy, classroom practices
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 10:50
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 10:50

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