JOPOL 3(2020)

Indigenizing Early Childhood Education (ECE) Language Pedagogy in the Midst of Eurocentric Linguistic and Cultural Hegemony: Narratives of Mauritian Teachers’ Experiences

This paper examines the way in which pre-primary teachers forge their pedagogy in Mauritius, a multilingual and multi-cultural island where English and French languages are deemed superior to local vernaculars and indigenous mores, despite being second or foreign languages for the majority of Mauritians. The narrative inquiry methodology is used to explore the indigenization of language pedagogy of five participants in a context where, fifty-two years after independence, the stronghold of linguistic imperialism persists and where language policies are guided by geopolitical educational pointers and assessed in relation to global development frameworks. Classroom observations and artifacts revealed how formal and informal biographical language experiences provided the teachers with the basis to contest established policy.One notable point of convergence where all teachers met was in the use of the children’s first language, irrespective of the dictates of policy.

Keywords: postcolonial multi-lingual context, small island state, indigenizing language pedagogy, narrative inquiry