Integrating local languages and cultures into the education system of French Guiana

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In this paper we present and critically assess three programs that are currently running in French Guiana. They aim to integrate some local languages and cultures into the local education system that is otherwise identical to that of Metropolitan France. We discuss and compare their emergence, development and the premises, assumptions and approaches on which they are based. The paper argues that while all three initiatives make an important contribution towards questioning the educational monopoly of French and towards adapting the education system to the local context, their impact currently remains limited. This is in large part due to a lack of a concerted will on the part of the education system to undertake far-reaching change and program-inherent problems. <b>Keywords:</b> French Guiana; local languages; bilingual education; language awareness; educational programs; evaluation


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