Decolonization without a disconnection? Teaching the vernaculars in New Caledonia today

Abstract : The use of the notion of ‘decolonization’, applied to indigenous people's schooling, is somehow misleading. It refers to a certain period, namely the colonial period, which officially ended in New Caledonia in 1946, then a French colony and now a French overseas territory. It also refers to contemporary efforts to address the colonial legacy. It thus minimizes the fact that post-coloniality shaped a radically different education from its colonial counterparts. The paper aims to question this ‘problematic temporality’: though the recognition of indigenous languages and culture is an important aspect of ‘decolonization’, it might not encompass it. The paper addresses some ongoing reforms, which witness the implementation of Kanak languages in formal education and ipso facto recognize linguistic diversity as a key element for the decolonization of the New Caledonian school system: do they actually lead to a recovery of sovereignty, and what kind of sovereignty are we then talking about? The announced purposes of what constitutes a radical shift in the former French monolingual dogma are threefold: it is intended to facilitate, together with the efforts made by families, the transmission of the linguistic and cultural heritage; it is expected to improve the academic performance of those whose mother tongue is the vernacular language, by promoting their emotional and intellectual development and strengthening their linguistic skills; it is expected to favor the emergence of a renewed social bond between communities. In the light of the persistent local resistances to the recognition of Kanak languages as languages of education, the paper demonstrates that instead of being congruent, these official goals assigned to the reforms are contradictory, revealing what is really at stake when the notion of ‘decolonization’ is taken seriously.
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Article dans une revue
Current Issues in Language Planning, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2013, 14 (2), pp.217-230. 〈http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14664208.2013.819564〉. 〈10.1080/14664208.2013.819564〉
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01222575
Contributeur : François Texier <>
Soumis le : vendredi 30 octobre 2015 - 11:16:19
Dernière modification le : mercredi 27 juin 2018 - 16:10:01

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Marie Salaun. Decolonization without a disconnection? Teaching the vernaculars in New Caledonia today. Current Issues in Language Planning, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2013, 14 (2), pp.217-230. 〈http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14664208.2013.819564〉. 〈10.1080/14664208.2013.819564〉. 〈hal-01222575〉

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