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PATWA, JAMAICA’S FIRST LANGUAGE.

Repeating Islands

Ruel Reid

A post by Peter Jordens:

As the Jamaica Observer reports, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, recently said that Patois must be regarded as a first language for individuals who have little exposure to the English language. The Minister argued that there should be an acceptance that the first language of Jamaica is Patois, and teachers need to always consider that reality as they do the ‘transition’ of the dialect [sic] to standard English. “The best practice is to teach standard English, for those of us who come out of a culture of Patois, as a second language,” he said. Reid was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the book, Jamaican Mi Seh Mi ABCs (Carradice Collection, April 2017), written by communicator Valrie Kemp-Davis, in August Town, St. Andrew.

The Minister said educators must be alerted to how children understand English and Patois, especially…

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