n French Studies in Southern Africa - La politique linguistique éducative du Lesotho : le cas de l'introduction officielle du français dans les écoles secondaires : positionnements régionaux autour du français

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



This paper critically analyses the implications of Lesotho's move in 2009 to review its language in education policy and introduce changes such as the introduction of minority African languages as teaching subjects and languages of instruction at junior primary level and that of foreign languages, beginning with French, as teaching subjects at secondary level. Lesotho's deliberate and overt review of its language in education policy warrants academic scrutiny for two reasons. First it implies changes in the perception of national socio-economic needs. Secondly, Lesotho's new language in education policy represents, to all intents and purposes, a revision of the bilingual language policy enshrined in the country's Constitution so as to officially turn Lesotho into a multilingual country thus democratising Lesotho's linguistic landscape. Lesotho therefore seems intent on abandoning an inward-looking language policy inspired by post-colonial nationalistic ideological tendencies, bolstered by a landlocked mentality and excessive dependence on the South African economy, for one that recognises minority rights and points to the need to look beyond South Africa for economic solutions.

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