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This EMiLe project (Education Multi-Langue) aims to raise learning outcomes by developing and implementing a multilingual education (MLE) transfer curriculum which first enables children to acquire reading, writing and math skills in a familiar language. The curriculum then teaches the children to apply those learning skills, concepts, and attitudes to learning and functioning in the official language, French. This innovation currently functions on the micro level (complimented by comparative data) and is disruptive in that no such curriculum currently exists in Senegal, or in many countries of West Africa. (EMiLe could also be understood as incremental in that MLE in east Africa is the policy norm, though rarely implemented.)
The EMiLe project is a longitudinal study that intends to continue for several years and will provide much needed data for action research in West Africa. EMiLe is rich in best practices. Its regular monitoring and end of year assessment show that superior learning occurs using the language common to both the children and the teacher, and that pupil learning attitudes are much more positive than in control classes which used only French. Possible ‘spaces’ into which this project could scale are quantitative, functional, political, and organizational. The regranting mechanism used for the project has also worked well. However, the immediate continuation of the EMiLe project is unlikely due to lack of finances. And neither SIL nor ONECS, the project partners, have sufficient capacity to manage an expansion of the initiative. Either a new partner will have to be found or the ONECS bureau will have to be significantly reinforced for sustained effectiveness of the project.