Promotion of National Languages: returning to the source

News Actualité  Dschang, Ouest, Cameroun
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The staff and students of the University of Dschang were enlightened on the Challenges of language promotion in a multilingual context with specific reference from experience from NACALCO by Prof Emmanuel NFORBI during an expose at the University auditorium, Campus A on the 22nd of June 2015. This enriching session was a build up to the presentation of a scientific conference, by Prof John MUGANE, Director of programmes for African language at the Department of African and Afro-American studies of the University of Harvard and Dr Boubacar DIAKITE a tutor of the said programme. The ceremony that was presided over by the Vice Rector in charge of Cooperation, Prof CHAMENI Celestin who represented the Rector.

Prof. Emmanuel Nforbi presents his Expose

Prof NFORBI in his eloquent presentation acknowledged the late Prof Maurice Tadajeu and stated some of the challenges of teaching the Cameroon languages in the country. He highlighted the shortage of staff to teach the over 300
existing languages, allocation of teachers and programmes, insufficient didactic materials, and lack of publications as some of the challenges. He emphasized the need for the development of the existing language committees such as BASAL (Basic Standardisation of All unwritten African Languages), National Association of Cameroon language Committee (NACALCO) for an effective promotion of national languages. He cited some difficulties faced by linguist in the field such as vast nature of villages,lack of language informant,aggressive nature of villagers need for recording materials, difficulties in transcribing certain words, transportation, religious and cross border differences which makes coordination difficult among others.

Prof NFORBI enumerated some solutions to these challenges like, proper training of language committees, valorise NACALCO, decentralizing the system, language communication development, capitalizing on long term interest by autobiography, preserve existing published materials, encourage women participation ,create research committees to help promote language communication,identify literacy needs,and adequate participatory training among others.

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