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Linguistics Colloquium | Language-in-Education Policy in Ghana: Toward Multilingual Alternatives, Feb. 3


The Linguistics Colloquium series presents Edwin Dartey discussing “Re-Thinking Language-in-Education Policy in Ghana: Toward Multilingual Alternatives” on Friday, Feb. 3, from 12:55 to 1:50 p.m. via Microsoft Teams.


Dartey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Applied Linguistics at PennState University and an alumnus of the M.A. in Applied Linguistics program.


For more information, contact Dr. David Bell, Chair of Linguistics at Ohio University, at


Abstract: Some multilingual and post-colonial African communities continue to face the problem of how language policy and planning (LPP) should be structured in their communities. For example, the planning and implementation of the language-in-education policy in Ghana has generated several debates among linguists, government officials, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders (Dzameshie 1988; Adika 2012). These debates center around which language(s) to adopt and use as official language(s) and as the language(s) of instruction in schools. A major criticism of the Ghanaian language policy is the prevalence of entrenched monolingual ideologies which continues to impede the establishment of a multilingual language policy. This criticism is corroborated by research on multilingualism and language policy that questions the ingrained habit of assuming monolingualism as the norm for all individuals and societies in LPP. In this talk, I discuss the challenges of the language-in-education policy in Ghana and the implications of these challenges for policy planning and implementation. I argue that the colonial orientation of the current policy and the monolingual ideologies underpinning it render the policy impossible to serve the educational needs of the populace. I conclude with suggestions on alternative ways of re-envisioning the policy and decentering it to align with the social realities of multilingualism in Ghana. 

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