The Impact of Mother Tongue Illiteracy on Second Language Acquisition: The Case of French and Wolof in Senegal, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Impact of Mother Tongue Illiteracy on Second Language Acquisition

The Case of French and Wolof in Senegal, 1st Edition

By Moustapha Fall


192 pages

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Hardback: 9780367419752
pub: 2020-02-04
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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


About the Author

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.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Language Education

The Routledge Research in Language Education series provides a platform for established and emerging scholars to present their latest research and discuss key issues in Language Education. This series welcomes books on all areas of language teaching and learning, including but not limited to language education policy and politics, multilingualism, literacy, L1, L2 or foreign language acquisition, curriculum, classroom practice, pedagogy, teaching materials, and language teacher education and development. Books in the series are not limited to the discussion of the teaching and learning of English only.


Please send inquiries or proposals for this series to one of the following:

Will Bateman: [email protected] – Editor, UK and Rest of World

Elsbeth Wright: [email protected] – Editor, North & South America

Vilija Stephens: [email protected] – Editor, Australia & New Zealand

Katie Peace: [email protected] – Publisher, Asia

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Language Arts