The Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary Faced with Demands from a New User Category

  • M Nabirye
  • G-M de Schryver


In this article, a case is presented of an existing dictionary that is aimed at users with a minimum of primary 7 education, now faced with demands from users in primary 1–3. The reason for this demand is the result of the fact that Lusoga is currently being implemented as a medium of instruction in Uganda, in an environment where there is hardly any literature to serve the intended purpose. A review of the existing literature in and on Lusoga shows that the monolingual Lusoga dictionary — Eiwanika ly'Olusoga (WSG) — is the only reference work with essential information, in Lusoga, that can initiate the teaching of Lusoga at the elementary level. Although the information in the WSG may fit the purpose at hand, that information is mainly presented as a summary, with statements of conclusions only. Explanations to ease its access to the new user are thus missing. Findings from a pilot study conducted by the National Curriculum Development Centre on the implementation of the teaching of Lusoga reveal that the new user is not only the primary 1–3 pupil, but also the teacher who will need to instruct that pupil. Since children's literature requires additional consideration beyond what can be presently availed, and since the WSG was actually compiled for an advanced user, the focus is shifted from the primary 1–3 pupil to the primary teacher. For that teacher, it is suggested to compile an additional Guide, expanding on the various extra-matter texts and especially the Language Portrait found in the WSG. This is done on the assumption that once the information is expanded and re-represented, a teacher will be able to combine the information in the Guide with that in the WSG, in order to make a Lusoga syllabus from which to draft Lusoga lessons. Although the ideal would of course be to be able to produce fully-fledged customised primers from scratch, this article's main argument is that in the absence of both human and financial resources to do so, one can reuse and expand on the data found in an existing higher-level dictionary Keywords: Language Policy, Mother-Tongue Education, Lusoga, Uganda, Primer, Syllabus, Guide, Elementary User, Primary Teacher, Teacher Training, Orthography, Grammar, Linguistic Information, Monolingual Dictionary, Extra-Matter Texts, Language Portrait, Pictorial Illustrations

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904