African Journal of Gender and Women Studies

African Journal of Gender and Women Studies ISSN 2736-1578 Vol. 6 (3), pp. 001-007, March, 2021. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Examining multiliteracies through bilingual education in Burkina Faso

Constance Lavoie

ABD Second Language Education,McGill University. E-mail:

Accepted 07 November, 2020


Being literate involves being able to move from the ability to read and write to include different forms of knowledge and modes of communication of the milieu (drumming, dancing, story-telling, etc.). This article examines the new literacy allowed through the existence of two types of schools (bilingual and monolingual) in Burkina Faso, in West Africa, and how the two affect the development of literacy and cultural sustainability of their graduates. Since 1994, this country has moved from a French only educational system inherited from colonization to a bilingual one. In this context, bilingual education means the learning of two languages (African language and French) and the indigenous knowledge and ways of learning. The data is based on a qualitative study conducted during 2006 and 2007 in this country. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from bilingual schools and from monolingual schools. They analyze the impact of their schooling path on their literacy development and cultural identity by looking at the language spoken and written, and the information they use and produce.

Key words: Multiliteracies, postcolonial education, Africa.