From a Semi-Lingual to a Bilingual Jamaica

Talking Tongue(s)


The Honorable Minister of Education is reported in the Daily Gleaner of 22nd August, 2012, as lamenting the fact that in the CSEC English A Examination of June, 2012, Jamaican students fell woefully short in critically assessing a passage.  He suggests that too much emphasis has been placed in the education system on memorisation.. Correspondingly, he feels, too little attention has been given to the higher forms of intellectual activity, analysis and critical thinking. When one has difficulty understanding and processing information, one memorises it. In the Jamaican situation, what stands in the way of understanding and processing knowledge and information presented in English is the language barrier.  Most Jamaicans, be they adults or children, are native speakers of Jamaican, a Creole language with a grammatical structure which is quite distinct from English.


In recent day, a wide range of voices, from the Principal of Campion…

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