In the 1970s, the newly independent Seychelles government took the landmark decision to make Seychellois Creole (SC) an official language. The Seychelles thus became the first Creole-speaking country worldwide to give its Creole the status of a national language and to use it as a medium of instruction. The decision to use SC in the school system has resulted in many positive developments such as increasing rates in public literacy. Despite these advances, there are many critics who contend that formal instruction in SC interferes with the speedy and necessary acquisition of English and French, which are internationally associated with socio-economic power and prestige.
This book assesses the attitudes of SC speakers towards their mother tongue, in relation to the colonial history of the country. Its objectives are twofold: firstly to shed light upon the attitudes which modern Seychellois hold towards their mother tongue and its use in the education system; and secondly to demonstrate how these attitudes may affect the achievement of the government’s educational agenda.
The findings of this book are directly relevant for other investigators interested in globalization, multilingual education, pluriliteracy, minority language maintenance, language policy, and teacher training. Moreover, the implications of this research are applicable to other post-colonial settings throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas where the pursuit of sensitive yet effective multilingual educational policies remains acute.
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 250 pp.
Contents: Background Information on the Islands of the Indian Ocean Region – The Mascarenes: Réunion, Mauritius Rodriguez
– The Seychelles: Geography, History, Population and Speech Situation – Sociohistorical Conditions of the Early IOR Colonial
Societies – The Origin of the Seychellois Creole – The «Bourbonnais» versus the «Isle de France» Theory – The Genesis of the
Seychellois Creole – Minority Languages – Language Planning – The Seychelles Education System – Language Attitudes towards
the Seychellois Creole: A Case Study – Research Tools: Questionnaires, Interviews, Documentary Analysis – Attitudes Towards
the Promotion and Learning of Creole – The Status of Creole as a Formal Language – Value Differences Between English, Creole
and French – The Role and Status of Creole in the Seychelles School System – Improvement of the Seychelles School System through
Creole – Attitudes of Teachers and Policy-Makers Towards Creole in Schools – Recommendations – Summary and Outlook.