"MIT and Haiti sign agreement to promote Kreyòl-language STEM education", MIT News Office 4/17/2013:
MIT and Haiti signed a new joint initiative today to promote Kreyòl-language education in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, part of an effort to help Haitians learn in the language most of them speak at home. [...]
The idea that more Haitian education should occur in Kreyòl is a longtime belief of MIT linguistics professor Michel DeGraff, a native of Haiti, who has contended that Kreyòl has been improperly marginalized in the Haitian classroom. DeGraff’s extensive research on public perceptions of Kreyòl, and on the language itself, has led him to assert that its perception as a kind of exceptionally simplified hybrid tongue, in comparison to English or French, unfairly diminishes the language.
The initiative is meant not to replace French, DeGraff added, but to help Kreyòl-speaking students “build a solid foundation in their own language.”
The technology-based open education resources, he noted, are meant to promote “active learning,” as opposed to drill-based rote learning techniques.
The initiative is being funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and by MIT.
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