Our project launch meeting was held in late September at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. This was our first opportunity to come together as a whole team to get to know each other better and to discuss exciting plans for the project.
On our first day we held a session open to students and staff at the University of Zambia. This was a chance for us to share details of our project with them, for us to hear about the research currently happening within the university, and generally to discuss the key issues surrounding language in education in Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, and the UK.
Mompoloki, Gastor, and Joseph provided overviews of the history and challenges relating to language-in-education policies in Botswana, Tanzania, and Zambia respectively. Tracey and Colin then ran a workshop exploring the ways in which we might use linguistic ethnography to research the educational contexts in each of the countries involved in the project. Slides from their presentations are available in the Resources page.
Our second day was an opportunity for the project team to discuss the opportunities that will arise from the project and the challenges that we might face. It also gave us a chance to explore how we will navigate the collaborative nature of a project which involves four countries and multiple field-sites.
We all left Zambia re-energised and excited to get properly started with the data collection phase of the project. We’ll be updating the website with blog posts from team members, updates on the progress of the project and resources that we develop along the way.