Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Fi Wi Chatn Fi Wi Raitn - Reading and Writing Jamaican

I decided to contribute to promoting literacy in Jamaican by developing an affordable, interactive transition primer for persons already exposed to the English spelling system.  (I am unsure as to the need for a primer for persons with very little exposure to the English system.) The Scribd link below is a portion of what I have done done so far.

English to Jamaican Transition Primer_Selected Portions

Monday, 25 April 2011

Jamaican (Patwa) Debate AGAIN!

In the last post, I indicated that the debate re the place of the Jamaican language (Patwa) in Jamaica has resurfaced in our local media, due to the efforts of Jamaican enthusiasts to have the Charter of Rights protect Jamaicans from discrimination on the ground of language. To save you time, I've hyper-linked most, if not all, the newspaper articles that have surfaced as a result of such and endeavour (1-21). (22-30) are articles that have been published on issues relating to language since the beginning of the year.   
  1. Undeveloped Conscience and Real Sin
  2. Argue Logically for Patois
  3. Patois is the Best Route to English
  4. Teaching Patois Undermines Poor
  5. Teach English as Foreign Language
  6. How Would the Patois Policy Work?
  7. UNESCO Guidelines and Jamaican Patois
  8. Fait a Yaad, Daans Abraad
  9. Defending Patois
  10. A Waste of Time to Teach Patois - Seaga
  11. Teaching Patois Adds to Problem
  12. Online Feedback
  13. Policy Makers Must Be Informed About Patois
  14. The Discrimination Debate
  15. Harding Warns Against Discrimination Based on Language, Sexual Orientation 
  16. Charter of Rights - A Recipe  for Discrimination 
  17. What About Freedom from Language Discrimination
  18. Guarantee Freedom from Language Discrimination
  19. The Right to Discriminate
  20. Nicholson Doubts Ja Will Resume Capital Punishment 
  21. Charter of Rights (and Wrongs)
  22. Is Jamaican Patois Inherently Vulgar and Base
  23. Abbot, Patois Bible and Language Discrimination 
  24. The Patois Industry, Rastamouse and Sandals Brand
  25. Don't Knock Rastamouse
  26. Teaching Patois in Schools Is Not Wrong
  27. Encourage English, Not Patois
  28. Cherish J'can Dialect, but Please No Patois Bible 
  29. Creole Advocates Sign Language Charter 
  30. Nationalise Caribbean Creole - Regional Officials

    The Charter of Rights Maintains Linguistic Discrimination

    The place of Jamaican (Patwa) has yet again resurfaced and the discussion is been kept in the public sphere by our leading media houses. The dialogue was sparked by proponents of Jamaican seeking to persuade the Jamaican government to make provision for the protections of Jamaican speakers against discrimination on the ground of language in the recently passed Charter of Rights.

    On 22 March, the House of Representatives passed the Charter of Rights and sent it to the Senate. If passed by the Senate, the Charter would result in an amendment of the Jamaican constitution by replacing Chapter III of the current Constitution. According to Luton, "The Charter of Rights places on the State an obligation to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms for all persons in Jamaica and affords protection to the rights and freedoms of persons as set out in those provisions." Amongst other things, the Charter protects Jamaicans from being discriminated against on ground of gender, race, place of origin, social class, colour, religion and political opinions (Devonish, 02; cf Gleaner commentary, 5 April, 11).

    No provision was made for protecting the 95% of the Jamaican population who has Jamaican as their first language against discrimination on the ground of language. This is so, even though the government had given the University of the West Indies (UWI) the opportunity do the research necessary to having an informed discussion/decision on the proposed provision. The UWI through the Jamaican Language Unit (JLU) seized the opportunity and conducted the necessary research. This included organising and implementing the Bilingual Education Project, a pilot project which sought to determine “the most effective means of encouraging full bilingualism for primary level students at the Grades 1 – 4 in Jamaican (Jamaican Creole) (JC) and Standard Jamaican English (SJE)” (BEP webpage). Unfortunately, the Charter has been passed by the House of Representative without giving consideration to the JLU’s research and its findings.

    1. Luton, Dariane (23 March, 11) Parliament Passes Charter of Rights Jamaica Gleaner
    2. Devonish, Hubert (13 Jan 02) Language rights, justice and constitution Jamaica Gleaner
    3. BEP Webpage http://www.mona.uwi.edu/dllp/jlu/projects/index.htm