Exploring language uses and policy processes in Karat Town of Konso Woreda, Ethiopia

Woldu, Demelash (2018) Exploring language uses and policy processes in Karat Town of Konso Woreda, Ethiopia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The thesis explores language uses and the implementation of language policy processes in a Konso ethnolinguistic community in Ethiopia. Federal education policy recognises the right of every ethnic group to use their language in primary education. However, this policy has been inconsistently implemented, and many minority languages are devalued in the teaching-learning process. Specifically, the study investigates the language uses of a Konso Karat community and the students and teachers in their school, the practices and planning of language-in-education policy in this community and the relationship between language and ethnic identity.

I carried out six months ethnographic fieldwork in Karat town and interviewed officials at the Federal, Regional and Zonal levels of education system. This enabled me to explore language-ineducation policy decisions on and practices of language uses in primary education and critically interrogate language policy implementation and planning in Konso ‘Woreda’/District. The study revealed that in Karat town individuals and families predominantly used Amharic or Affa Konso or both due to their different attitudes and values attached to these languages in and outside Konso Woreda. However, in this Orthodox religion, Amharic was dominantly used in the religious preaching and ceremonies. Regarding views on identity and language, findings revealed that ethnic identity and its relationship with language were largely essentialised due to a belief embedded in the Konso socio-cultural system and Ethiopian ethnolinguistic ideology.

The study also showed that the primary school official policy ignored Affa Konso and its speakers and prioritized Amharic as the language of opportunity and power. However, there were some Affa Konso speaking teachers and students who valued the minority language and translated the official policy in their own ways. This experience in the teaching-learning process - along with a view that promotion of mother tongue education could enhance students’learning - led to a Konso local language policy initiative. This policy aimed to promote Affa Konso for official uses including education but this decision was made by officials on behalf of the community.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Users 9280 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 10:24
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2018 10:24
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/68284


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