Language Development for Literacy: The Case of Shiyeyi in Botswana.

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Since independence, the government of Botswana has allowed only the use of English in government circles, excluding the other 26 languages represented in the country and allowing only limited use of the national language, Setswana. Since 1995, however, restrictions have been relaxed and non-government organizations are developing the use of other languages. One such organization, the Kamanakao Association, is working to revive Shiyeyi, the language and culture of the Wayeyi people of northwestern and north central Botswana, the third-largest tribe in the country. To accomplish this goal, the association is implementing activities in language and literacy development, cultural development, and training in translation, cultural studies, and development of literacy materials. The association has found great support among the Wayeyi people for learning Shiyeyi, especially because most of them do not read or write the language. By February 1998, the association had completed the orthography; produced a small hymn booklet and a booklet with stories, songs and poems; and conducted three training and research workshops. Ongoing projects include grammatical descriptions, development of a dictionary, and literacy classes for youth. Future projects will include rural literacy classes; a grammar booklet; a Jesus film; and training workshops in literacy material development. (Author/KC) Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made from the original document. Language Development for Literacy: The Case of Shiyeyi in Botswana Lydia Nyati-Ramahobo U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Educational Research and Improvement EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION CENTER (ERIC) tt…This document has been reproduced as received from the person or organization originating it. Minor changes have been made to improve reproduction quality. Points of view or opinions stated in this document do not necessarily represent official OERI position or policy. 1 PERMISSION TO REPRODUCE AND DISSEMINATE THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN GRANTED BY kihi 44-1 -1(414(.4.4,, TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION CENTER (ERIC) 2 BESTCOPY AVAILABLE LITERACY ONLINE_ ^1. Abstract Language Development for Literacy: The Case of Shiyeyi in BotswanaLanguage Development for Literacy: The Case of Shiyeyi in Botswana Lydia Nyati-Ramahobo Since independence, the government of Botswana has practiced an exclusive language policy in which only English has been used in government circles at the exclusion of all the 26 languages represented in the country, with a limited use of the national language, Setswana. However, in recent years more positive statements have been heard in Parliament, opening up to recognize the use of other languages in education and society. These statements have provided a conducive environment for Non-governmental organizations to develop other languages for use in education and out-of-school literacy. This paper focuses on the work of one such organization. It reports on a project this organization is undertaking to revive the language and culture of the Wayeyi people in North Western, and Central Botswana. It gives findings on attitudes towards Shiyeyi as a language of instruction for literacy and shows how the preference expressed for Shiyeyi has great potential for a literacy program.