A benchmarking study of West African language policy: Focus on Ghana and Burkina Faso

James Kwaku Bukari, Purdue University


This study examined the social attitudes of Ghanaians towards the French language in order to determine whether or not they believe Ghana needs to implement a new language policy in which the French language is given a more prominent legal status and made a compulsory subject in Ghanaian schools. The study deployed a mixed methods approach in which surveys were administered to 130 Policy Makers, 25 Policy Implementers, 24 Parents, 41 Students, 19 Business Executives, and 15 Officials of Non-Governmental Organizations. A Likert scale was used to analyze participants' responses to the surveys. In addition, seventeen interviews were conducted with the foregoing participants. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Furthermore the study deployed the strategy of benchmarking to compare the language policies of Ghana and Burkina Faso and suggested ways in which the two countries can learn from one another's language policies for the improvement of their future language policy decisions. Results of the study indicate that a majority of participants believe that based on the geopolitical situation of Ghana knowledge of the French language will yield economic, politico-diplomatic, socio-cultural, and technological benefits to Ghana.




Garfinkel, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Bilingual education|Multicultural education

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