Languages in Education in Mauritius
Language Centre, MIE, 1975-6
1.1 This paper attempts to provide guidelines for the planning of language
teaching within the school curriculum.
2. Summary of main reasons for a review of the present language policy
2.1 Too many languages competing for the child’s attention in the early years of
the Primary school resulting in cross-language interferences, and future
illiteracy among those who cannot cope with the situation.
Education failure at the Primary level due in part to insufficient attention being
paid to the problems of the medium of instruction.
Impossibility of planning a new lasting curriculum or of working out
syllabuses, particularly at Primary level, until the language problems are
3. Aims of language and teaching in Mauritius
3.1 No clearly defined Mauritian Government aims have been discovered.
Nevertheless the majority of Mauritians would seem to share the following
? The effective learning of English as a medium of communication with
other countries for purposes of trade, information, politics, professions,
? The effective learning of English as an official language for government
and business purposes.
? The effective learning of English as a medium of instruction at school and
as a means of studying after school.
? The effective learning of French as a medium of communication with
France and other Francophone countries for various purposes.
? The effective learning of French since it is a language widely used in
3.4 Oriental Languages
? The effective learning of Oriental Languages by all who wish to, in order
to maintain communicative and cultural links with their countries of
? The effective learning of Oriental Languages by all who wish to, because
they are used in Mauritius.
? There is at present no government specified aim for Creole, but there is
considerable pressure and aspiration for the acceptance and development
of Creole as the only truly national language. At all levels, including
Government, its use is becoming more and more common. The necessary
consequence of such an aspiration is to ensure through education that
children can express themselves effectively through this their mother
3.6 Implications of these aims for the education system
? English, French and Oriental Language must find a place within the
educational system. It does not necessarily follow that all three languages
should be started at the same time, or taught to everybody.
? The ever-increasing role of Creole in the national life of Mauritius should
be recognized, and educational provision made for this language and for
6. Diagrams of possible solutions (see charts)