1st Edition

The Impact of Mother Tongue Illiteracy on Second Language Acquisition
The Case of French and Wolof in Senegal

ISBN 9780367419752
Published February 3, 2020 by Routledge
186 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This text illustrates the crucial role of the mother tongue literacy in second language acquisition by presenting findings from a comparative study conducted in primary schools in Senegal. In addition, the volume provides an in-depth look at the linguistic history of Senegal before, during, and after French colonialism.

The Impact of Mother Tongue Illiteracy on Second Language Acquisition discusses the socio-linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic composition of Senegal and its effect on the second language acquisition. An in-depth analysis of children’s phonological awareness, decoding, and reading comprehension in French reveals significant disparities in the literacy skills of Wolof children who have been exposed to Arabic and Qur’anic texts prior to schooling, and those who have not. In doing so, the text explores the impacts of post-colonial language policies in Africa, highlights the pedagogical consequences of mother tongue illiteracy, and questions the use of French as the only language of instruction in Senegalese schools.

This detailed research text will of great interest and use to graduate and postgraduate students, researchers, academics, professionals and policy makers in the field of Second Language Acquisition, Multicultural Education, Applied Linguistics, French language education and, Language Policy and Planning.

Table of Contents

Lists of figures

List of tables


List of abbreviations

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Demographic and Socio-linguistic Profiles of Senegal

Chapter 3: France’s Language Policy and Planning in Senegal during Colonialism

Chapter 4: Children’s Literacy Experiences in Africa

Chapter 5: Researching with Arabic and Non-Arabic Populations

Chapter 6: Mother Tongue Literacy and Second Language Learning

Chapter 7: Phonological Awareness, Decoding Skills, and Reading Comprehension

Chapter 8: Conculsion and Pedagogical Implications


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Moustapha Fall is Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of French at the University of Victoria, Canada. He holds a PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

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Author - Moustapha  Fall

Moustapha Fall

Assistant-Teaching Professor, University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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