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Introducing Jamaican Creole into the Jamaican Educational Curriculum

Keywords: Jamaica , Jamaican Creole , Standard Jamaican English , bilingual education

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Abstract:

This paper argues that the low social status of Jamaican Creole is significantly influenced by its position in Jamaican education, and that the mandatory use of Jamaican Standard English in education shows a tendency to fossilize class divisions. The paper starts by providing a short overview of the impact of colonialism on language policy and education. It will then analyze in what ways Jamaican class relations and the languages of instruction are connected. Selected examples will demonstrate the benefits of using Jamaican Creole in education. It will further discuss possible consequences of introducing Jamaican Creole into the school curriculum for its socio-cultural and political position in Jamaica.

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