MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION: SUCCESS AND FAILURE OF EDUCATIONAL REFORMS (CASE STUDY: FORMER FRENCH COLONIES IN AFRICA)
The colonial period left a significant mark in the history of the development of all spheres of life of the inhabitants of African countries. The spheres of influence and status of the French language, the Arabic language, as well as the scope and degree of prevalence of the national languages of these multilingual and multicultural states are quite extensive today. One of the important areas of influence of languages is the system of education and the media, where attempts have been made to realize the main uneasy two-level goal of the language policy of most of the analyzed countries: to use the state language and to support and promote national languages. Language reforms in state and national construction in some countries lead to paradoxical phenomena. In this article, the authors have carried out the comparative analysis of the language policy in the field of education of the countries of equatorial French Africa (Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, CAR, Chad, Cameroon), western French Africa (Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, French Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo), countries of northern Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco), countries in East Africa (Djibouti) and the island state (Madagascar).
The parameters for comparative analysis include mostly qualitative data on language policy in education and mass media. The choice of these areas for the study is supported by the idea that both education and mass media are crucial for the promotion and development of the regional languages. The qualitative data analyzed includes the volume and the content of the legislative support available for the language policy as well as historical background of the language situation in the countries under study. Besides the level of using the language in the system of education (language of instruction, school subject) was taken into consideration.
As a result of the study different types of language policies in the analyzed African countries were identified: the policy of limited bilingual education, the policy of non-interference in the French language and the sectoral policy in relation to national languages. The results allow to create a contemporary sociolinguistic portrait of the analyzed countries.