Publication Date

Summer 8-18-2016

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Chris Stalker

Second Advisor

Anthony Baker

Abstract

This campaign portfolio argues the case for a national bilingual education policy on the island of St. Lucia, where youth speak both St Lucian Creole and St. Lucian standard English. The portfolio consists of a policy paper and brief, an advocacy plan, a communications plan, monitoring and evaluation plan. The Bilingual Education Taskforce (BET), made up of teachers, parents and principals, is an advocacy organization that discovered the need for a bilingual education intervention when they observed, assessed and analyzed the written work of struggling readers at their school, the Anse la Raye Infant School on the west coast of St. Lucia. They also analyzed the issues of youth unemployment, youth drop-out rates and low tertiary education enrollment. A pattern began to emerge that illustrated a struggling reader’s path through the education system. Consistent low academic achievement in the area of English Language Arts (ELA) was found at each academic level, infant, primary, and secondary. Scores on compulsory national ELA exams upon completion of secondary school consistently showed stagnant progress among secondary youth. Youth must score at least a grade of I, II, or III to be considered for tertiary education and since many did not score well, they were not afforded an opportunity to earn a tertiary level education. The problem with low tertiary enrollments is directly linked to employment opportunities and long term economic prosperity for youth. Without at least a tertiary, associate’s education, youth are at a disadvantage, often remaining under- or unemployed. This portfolio policy plan advocates for bilingual education at the primary and secondary level as an intervention for improving learning outcomes of St. Lucian bilingual youth who need early support in language development.

Keywords: education policy, bilingualism, bilingual education, Eastern Caribbean, Creole, St. Lucia, linguistics, socio-linguistics, speech, cognition, language acquisition

Disciplines

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Caribbean Languages and Societies | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Education Economics | First and Second Language Acquisition | Latin American Studies | Linguistic Anthropology | Other International and Area Studies | Reading and Language | Social and Cultural Anthropology