Some Stakeholders’ Position on the Language Policy of Ghana
Patience OBENG
University of Education, Winneba, Winneba, Ajumako Campus

Google Scholar Download Pdf

African nations with theirmultilingual nature still face challenges in the language of formal education. With thecognitive and academic leveragesattachedto home language, language educationistsandlinguistic scholars believe that a child must be taught first in their mother-tongue, usually, their firstlanguage, in which theydisplay an appreciable level of competence,before any other language/s are introduced. Many studies have been conducted onthe language policy issues in Ghana but the current study adds a dimension from parents and even the learners who are key stakeholders and recipients of the policy. This study sought to find out the level of awareness of thestakeholders; teachers, parents and pupils,their position and the impactof their positionon learning outcomes. It also investigated stakeholders’position in using only English to teach at the lower primary. Using a survey descriptive research methodology, data was collectedvia both structured and unstructured interviews, andobservation. Both qualitative and quantitative methods wereused to analyze data.The research revealed that among the three stakeholders, teachers were more conversant with Ghana’s language policy. All stakeholdersendorsed the policy for teaching and learning purposes. Even though, most teachers preferred to blend English and alocal language, a fewcould speak the local language of the community, or have been trained in the use of the local language for instructional purposes. All stakeholders favoured a blend of English with the local languages.


language policy, stakeholders, lower primary, classroom, medium of instruction


1) Akalu, Tadesse 2011. Assessment of Mother Tongue Education Policy in Relation to its

2) Implementation in Gambella Administrative Town: (The Case of Agnuak Language). Unpublished. MA Thesis.

3) Ansah, Gladys N. (2014). Re-examining the fluctuations in language in-education policies inpost-independence Ghana. Multilingual Education.

4) Anyidoho, Akosua. (2018) Shifting Sands: Language Policies In Education In Ghana And Implementation Challenges. Ghana Journal of Linguistics 7.2: 225-24. Http://Dx.Doi.Org/10.4314/Gjl.V7i2.10

5) Anyidoho, Akosua. 2004. “English-only medium of instruction?” Legon Journal of Humanities XV: 81-97.

6) Anyidoho, Akosua and Mary Esther KroppDakubu. 2008. “Indigenous Languages,

7) English and an Emerging National Identity.” In Language and National Identity in Africa, edited by Andrew Simpson. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

8) Anyidoho, Akosua and Nana Akua Anyidoho. 2009. “Ideological and political considerations in the choice of school language.” In Supplement of Research Review, edited by M.E. Dakubu and A. A. Ampofo, 9: 9-34. Institute of African Studies.

9) Albaugh, Erica A. 2005. Language Policies in African Education. PhD Dissertation Bowdoin College 9800 College Station Brunswick, ME 04011.

10) Cena, Democrita A. 1958. The Local Dialects as the Medium of Instruction in the Primary

11) Philippine Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1. Pp. 115-120. Ateneo de Manila Universito Stable URL: 20-04-2016.

12) Dorvlo, Kofi. 2011. “Language use in education in Minority language areas: The case of Logba.” In Identity Meets Nationality: Voices in the Humanities, edited by Helen Lauer, Nana Aba AppiahAmfo, JeminaAsabea Anderson, 100–111. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers.

13) Dzameshie, Alex K. 1988. Language Policy and the Common Language Controversy

14) In Ghana. Research ReviewPp 16-27. MS 4.2. African e-Journals.

15) Harrison, K.M. (2013). Actors, Stakeholders, and Resources in Language Education Policy. In F. V. Tochon (Ed.), Language Education Policy Studies (online). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin—Madison. Retrieved from:

16) Matentjie, Tshepiso. 2003. Mother Tongue Instruction. Education in a Multilingual World UNESCO Education Position Paper.

17) 2010 Population and Housing Census/District Analytical Report. Ga-East Municipal. Ghana Statistical Service. July 5, 2016.

18) Muchenje, F., Goronga, P and Bondai, B. (2013). Zimbabwe’s language policy in education and the “silenced voices”: Acase study of Nyanja/Chewa speaking pupils from Porta and Kintyre primary schools in Zvimba, Zimbabwe. Academic Research International 4.2 500-511.

19) Nekvapil, Jiri and Sherman, Tamah. (2015). An introduction: Language ManagementTheory in Language Policy and Planning.

20) Owu-Ewie, Charles. 2006. The language policy of education in Ghana: A critical look at

21) The English-only language policy of education. (ed.) In John Mugane, John P. Hutchison, and Dee A. Worman. Selected proceedings of the 35thAnnual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages and Linguistics in Broad Perspectives.

22) Ramirez, J. and Merino, B. J. 1990. Classroom talk in English immersion, early-exit and late-

23) Exit transitional bilingual education programs. In Jacobson and C. Faltis (Eds.), Language Distribution Issues in Bilingual Schooling (pp.61-103). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.

24) UNESCO Guidelines on Language in Education. 2003. Education in a Multilingual World. UNESCO Education Position Paper.

25) Maseko, Busani, (2016). The Impact of Family Language Policy (FLP) on the Conservation of

26) MinorityLanguages submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Subject of Languages, Linguistics & Literature at the University of South Africa.

27) Ndamba, G. (2008). Mother Tongue Usage in Learning: An Examination of Language Preferences in Zimbabwe. The Journal of Pan African Studies. 2, (4), 171-178.

28) Spolky, Bernard. (2005). Language Policy. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposiumon Bilingualism, ed. James Cohen, Kara T. McAlister, Kellie Rolstad, and Jeff MacSwan, 2152-2164. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

29) Tambulukani, C. and Bus, A. (2012). Linguistic diversity: A contributory factor to readingproblems in Zambian schools.Applied Linguistics 33.2, 141-160.f lgu

30) Trudell, Barbara. (2016). The Impact of Language Policy and Practice on Children’s

31) Learning: Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa. Commissioned by UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), Basic Education and Gender Equality (BEGE) Section. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

32) Walls, Francesca. (2015). Successful Family Language Policy: Parents, Children andEducators in Interaction. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & LiteratureVol. 8(4), Nov-Dec 2015, 82-87.

33) Wornyo, Albert Agbesi. (2015). Language Policy Debate in Ghana: A Means of Elite ClosureSociology Study, August 2015, Vol. 5, No. 8, 643‐652.


Latest Article and Current Issue


By 1Rahmadya Putra Nugraha, 2Nor Fauziana Ibrahim,3 Tai Hen Toong

Indexed In

Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar