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A Bilingual Education Project in Jamaica Creole

Country: Jamaica
Language group: Jamaica Creole
Population in Jamaica: 2,665,636


Jamaica students


SIL high level International Literacy and Education Consultants are called upon from time to time to provide consultation service for other agencies. A bilingual project in Jamaica is one example of how the consultants serve.

(Photo by Diane Morren)




External Formative Evaluation

The Jamaican Language Unit (JLU) of the Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica invited Dr. Ron Morren and Diane Morren to conduct a formative evaluation of JLU’s pilot Bilingual Education Program (BEP). Dr. Morren presented the results of that study to the Society for Caribbean Linguistics meeting in Roseau, Dominica in August, 2006 in a paper entitled “Are the Goals and Objectives of Jamaica's Bilingual Education Project Being Met?”

Dr. Morren is an SIL International Literacy and Education Consultant and Diane Morren is a specialist in Bilingual Education. During the evaluation, the Morrens had observed the activities of the pilot teachers and interviewed teachers, administrators, and parents. They visited schools and examined the curriculum materials and project goals and objectives. Based on their analysis of the observations, their final report commented on specific strengths of the program and made recommendations about language use, teacher training, student management, materials development, parental support and funding for the project.

The paper as presented at the Society for Caribbean Linguistics concluded with this:

Final Comment

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” The picture (above) demonstrates the obvious joy and enthusiasm that the students have during a lesson presented in Jamaican Creole. This kind of zeal on the part of students indicates that the BEP is doing something right. The BEP should experience success in spite of some of the difficulties it encounters if it translates, reproduces, and delivers the Jamaican Creole language material for classroom use in a timely manner, adequately trains teachers and encourages them through supervisory visits.

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