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Learning and Writing in a Second Language: Challenges and solutions with special focus on policy questions, learning, teaching, and examination: the case of the Seychelle

PhD project My thesis examines the effect of having English as the medium of instruction on the academic performance of primary school learners in the Seychelles.

The Seychelles, like many other post-colonial African countries, has an education system based on the British model, an inheritance from our colonial past. One key component of that system is the choice of a language policy which makes Seychelles Creole (mother tongue) the medium of instruction for the first two years of primary schooling only and then to be replaced with English for the rest of the learners’ school years. Although the Seychelles has a trilingual language policy where Seychelles Creole, English and French are all national languages and supposedly equal in status, English remains a second language (L2) and a very powerful one indeed. Much research suggests that the use of an L2 Medium of instruction may have a negative influence on the general literacy development and the learning situation of the learners.

Head of project

Justin Zelime
Research student

Project overview

Project period:

Start date: 2014-09-01

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Language Studies, Umeå School of Education

Project description

I explore this phenomenon from four different angles: the curriculum, the teachers, the students, and the role of the local language in the Seychelles education system.

First supervisor: Mats Deutschmann
Second supervisor: Berit Lundgren