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Caribbean Journal of Education

The Experience of Teaching and Learning in Jamaican (Creole): A Phenomenological Account

Publication Date: 
September 2007

In this paper the 'subjective consciousness' of 'Bettina' (who begins from a place of self-conscious obedience to the edict that teachers should always 'speak proper English' and battles cognitive dissonance as she attempts to use the students' home language, Jamaican Creole as the medium of instruction) is interwoven with the subjective consciousness of students participating in her JC/SJE bilingual project. This dialogue of perspectives exposes some of the complexities of the classroom as sociolinguistic and emotional psychological space. Research procedures include in-depth interviews, live observation of lessons, audio recording of lessons observed, as well as examination of transcripts of recorded lessons and interviews. These are supplemented by analytic memoing, focused free writing by the participants and a focus group discussion. Finally, the paper examines the implications of the findings for current thrusts towards structured use of students' home language to facilitate learning across the curriculum.'

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