Multilingualism in Ghana: A blessing or a curse?.

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2021

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This study is an attempt to answer questions about the phenomenon of diglossia (Ferguson, 1959) applied to the African country of Ghana. Diglossia, being worldwide spread no matter the languages, societies or ethnicity of the peoples that coexist within these societes, has a diverse impact depending on the countries in which it takes place. Ghana is a multiinguistic country accounting for almost eighty languages that exist together with English as an imported world language. This proposal delves on the one hand, into possible reluctancies towards English and, on the other hand into the looking upon this language from the perspective of the community. The theoretical grounds of this dissertation will be used to provide evidence as to whether the linguistic situation in Ghana is following the correct steps towards ethnic languages integration and their consideration in schools. To this respect, language policies will be presented. Questions of the kind: Is the government investing in the maintenance of a specific language, promoting it/them at schools and, disregarding others? Is there any underlying economic interest?, will inevitably arise. Other likely questions will be: Is English treated as the sole language of prestige? Are ethnic languages considered as belonging to a lower status in daily transactions? And at schools? How do families perceive the phenomenon? The ultimate goal of this dissertation will be to determine whether the education authorities have taken ownership of organising a strong form of education for bilingualism or it is not one of their priorities.

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Ghana, Triglossia, Multilingualism, Language attitude, Government policies

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