Senegal experiments with bilingualism

A school in Senegal CC/Wikimedia

A school in Senegal CC/Wikimedia

The official language in Senegal is French, but there are another 21 national languages recognised. Many children arrive at school after speaking wolof, serréré or pulaar at home for years — and have to suddenly start working in French.

But research shows that you learn better in your mother tongue and about 50 classrooms in Senegal are trying to let young students do exactly that.

Emmanuelle Landais has this report from Dakar.

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