li [Risto Kupsala] mi tulis la > Knowledge of a major language can be learned in school as a > subject. It > doesn't have to be the medium of education since > kindergarten. In fact, > education in your native language generally leads to better learning > results than education in a foreign language. Without the immerision at a young age, a child isn't likely to gain enough fluency in another language. At a young age the child will become more proficient in that language, and then there should be no issue with teaching in it. > Therefore > elevating local > languages would not isolate Cameroon or handicap its citizens. French > and English would hardly be excluded from curriculum at any > situation. > On the contrary, giving privileged status to the foreign languages is > destructive to the local languages, because their usage is > excluded from > school, work and the media. In the case of Cameroon, English and French are being taught in place of local languages. The problem is that these children are being taught two languages at once and confusing them thus resulting in Franglais. > > Jacques mentioned Mexico. Imagine how bollixed-up Mexico > would be today if it had > > decided to reject the evil European language, Spanish, in > favor of Nahuatl and the dozens of > > other languages originally spoken there. > > > > I don't think that wider usage of Nahuatl and others would have hurt > Mexico. Switzerland and South Africa seem to be doing fine with many > official languages and even Nigeria, the most multilingual country in > Africa, is doing much better than nearly monolingual Somalia. Switzerland and S. Africa get along because there are lots of polyglots in their populations. Nigeria's "doing well" (if you call it doing well) most likely has to do with reasons having nothing to so with language, but the question is: how much better would they be with a unifying language?