EdQual Working Paper No. 11. Language and Literacy Project. A three-tier citizenship: can the state in Tanzania guarantee linguistic human rights?

Abstract

This paper explores how the concept of linguistic citizenship can be applied to the Tanzanian situation in terms of the delivery of bilingual education and addressing issues of equity, quality education and tackling the problem of poverty. It starts by a brief overview of how the concepts \"linguistic human rights\" and \"linguistic citizenship\" are theorized. It then goes on to show that in the Tanzanian context the \"linguistic human rights\" paradigm cannot adequately address the concerns of speakers of marginalized languages. The paper argues that all efforts to guarantee linguistic human rights in Tanzania have so far been top-down and have to a large extent failed. The paper further argues that it is the people who can empower themselves by giving value to their marginalized languages. This valorization will make education meaningful in people's struggle towards socio-economic development. Finally it is shown how the on-going RPC Language and Literacy Project is an attempt to empower rural communities through a linguistic citizenship based innovation of literacy programmes.

Citation

A Paper Presented at a Workshop on: The Multilingual Citizen: Towards a Politics of Language for Agency and Change, Cape Town, South Africa, 23-24 February, 2007. 13 pp.

EdQual Working Paper No. 11. Language and Literacy Project. A three-tier citizenship: can the state in Tanzania guarantee linguistic human rights?

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