Language Ideology and the Colonial Legacy in Cameroon Schools: A Historical Perspective

Genevoix Nana


Cameroon prior to colonization had many languages, with none having precedence over the other. With the development of trade and the installation of missionaries along its coast, a number of local and European languages gained prominence. English became the most widely used western language. It established itself as the language of trade and of the court of equity while some local languages and Pidgin English were standardized and used in evangelization. With the triple presence in succession, and concurrently, of the German protectorate, the British and the French administrations, the ideology of ‘one nation, one language’ that developed in eighteenth century Europe was pursued, with varying degrees of effectiveness, in Cameroon by these administrations. This ideology was applied with resolve in education, mostly by the French rule, and made an impact on pre- and post-independence Cameroonian authorities who adopted English and French as official languages of the country.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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