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Title: Social and educational issues in Jamaica : with reference to the use of Creole and Standard English in secondary schools
Author: Wright, Lena Lee McCourtie
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1990
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As the argument of this thesis deals with the polarities of language usage in Jamaica, Part One presents the historical context in which a language 'continuum' came to exist in the society. Then it analyses the systemic contrasts between Jamaican Creole (JC) and Standard English (SE), and the language varieties between these two polar lects. A case history of Elementary/Primary schools in the late nineteenth and early twentieth._ centuries drew attention to the Creole-Standard debate. Educational administrators misunderstood the nature of the linguistic configuration - denying pupils' Creole the right to exist - while teachers were singularly ill-equipped to help boys and girls acquire English. Part Two deals with the empirical investigation which centres on a substantially representative sample of 530 Secondary pupils. The study seeks to determine the extent to which the Secondary sector, which is designed for the masses, can achieve two divergent linguistic goals laid down by the Ministry of Education - 'appreciation of Creole' and 'a high level of competence in English'. The study probes in some depth the concept of 'linguistic focusing' as it seeks to assess pupils' access to English through the printed word and the media. Then it closely analyses their perspectives on language use and attitudes to both languages. Finally, the assessment of two written tasks provides evidence of pupils' productive abilities in English. The data clearly reveal that they have not acquired English, even after eight years of exposure to formal teaching. Indeed, the majority leave school with negative attitudes to JC and a legacy of linguistic insecurities. The thesis concludes on a hopeful note, however, as it suggests how a new political will, the insights of linguistic scholarship and new vistas in teacher education could combine to resolve the Creole-Standard debate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available