Language use and language attitudes in Malawian universities

Reilly, Colin (2016) Language use and language attitudes in Malawian universities. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study aims to investigate patterns of language use and language attitudes amongst students in
Malawian universities. This will highlight whether language issues affect Malawians’ ability to engage
with tertiary education. It has been claimed that ineffective language policies in developing countries
restrict people’s ability to access systems such as education. As a result, this has a negative impact on
their own, and their country's, development. Specifically, Malawi frequently has the lowest rates of
university enrolment worldwide and is consistently ranked amongst the world’s poorest countries.
Recent language policy changes within Malawi have brought the issue of language use within
education to the fore, with increased debate over whether English or indigenous languages are suitable
for use in education. Through targeting university students across Malawi’s universities using semistructured
interviews, data was collected to illustrate aspects of the sociolinguistic situation within
Malawian universities. The results reveal that both English and indigenous languages are used within
the university environment, while also suggesting that issues do arise from language use within
university. While students recognise both positive and negative aspects of using each language, they
are generally more favourable towards the use of English as a medium of instruction within university

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Support given by the Historical Thesaurus Scholarship Committee.
Keywords: Language policy, Language planning, Sociolinguistics, Higher education, Malawi
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Anderson, Dr. Wendy and Smith, Professor Jennifer
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Mr Colin Reilly
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7420
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2016 15:45
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 07:54

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