A comparative study of a minority language for teaching purposes : Kabyl Tamazight as a case study

Mouhoubi, Rabirha (1997) A comparative study of a minority language for teaching purposes : Kabyl Tamazight as a case study. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b1712388


This work deals with the comparative study of a minority language for teaching purposes with Kabyl Tamazight as a specific case study. Since teaching is a sociolinguistic behaviour, a sociolinguistic approach has been adopted to understand the present-day social setting of that vernacular in relation to the people making use of it within the multilingual Algerian society. A questionnaire was conducted in Algeria to explore the attitudes of the native speakers of Kabyl Tamazight towards their language and its teaching at primary school level. Several countries were visited to inform thinking about the education of bilingual children from minority groups and to observe classroom activities in bilingual primary schools. Accordingly, contacts were established with minority language teachers in the following locations:
Scotland (Lowlands, Highlands and Western isles) at different times. The latest visits were to the isles of Lewis (Stornoway), Harris and Skye from March 18th to 26th 1997.
The Republic of Ireland (Dublin, Ceathru Rua and Galway) in 1994 (May 28th-June 4th)
Wales (Aberystwyth) in 1996 (14-21 February)
Brittany (Rennes) in 1995 (16-23 May)
and Catalonia (Barcelona) in 1997 (8-15 March).
Personal interviews with minority language advisers, mainly Scottish Gaelic, have been made to discuss the nature of problems encountered in the teaching of that language.
It is concluded that, in the short term, research about the Tamazight language and its cultivation is needed so as to establish a standard form of the language which can then be used in Education. In the long term, objectives could be best achieved if a top-to-bottom approach is adopted, i.e., Tamazight should firstly be taught at university level then at secondary school level and finally at primary school level. The bilingual (Tamazight-Arabic) primary school education is a continuing process which started already. It is proposed that an approach to the teaching of Kabyl Tamazight should specifically consist of a communicative and mother-tongue teaching approach. More attention to reading and writing skills should be given since the majority of children in primary school (for those aged 6 to 13) in the Amazighophone regions (where the Tamazight language
originated) already know the spoken form of their language. During the first two years of primary education (P1 and P2), the language learning process should be conducted only in the children's first language. According to the results of the questionnaires given to children's parents, Latin characters are favoured to transcribe Tamazight during the early stages of its being taught at school. Later on, Tifinagh signs could be used once these are fully discovered and developed. Prior to learning Arabic (which has to be taught starting from P3, once the reading and writing skills in the mother tongue are mastered), the teaching of Islamic religion should be done orally in P1 and P2. Finally, an adequate curriculum reflecting aspects of the Amazigh culture has to be developed and used as a support to the teaching of Kabyl, one variety of the Tamazight language spoken in Higher and Lower Kabylia. These regions - divided by the deep gorge formed by the Summam wadi - are situated on east of Algiers, as shown on map 1 .2, page 4.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Grant, Professor Nigel
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Adam Swann
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-79000
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 11:38
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 11:38
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/79000

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