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Kinyafranglais as a newly created “language” in Rwanda: Will it hamper the promotion of the language of instruction at Kigali Institute of Education?

C Niyomugabo


The Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda (2003) recognizes Kinyarwanda as the National Language, and Official Languages as Kinyarwanda, French and English (Art 5). However, it does not specify exactly how these languages ought to be used in de facto practice. At Kigali Institute of Education (KIE), the use of the three languages has given birth to a new “language” often coined as “Kinyafranglais” for its combination of the three. The KIE community has however perceived this new language differently. Some perceive it as having a negative impact on the promotion of languages of instruction and on quality of teaching and learning, while others understand it from linguistic and pedagogical perspectives as a legitimate linguistic tool. The aim of the present article therefore, is to examine how members of the KIE community understand and perceive “Kinyafranglais” and its impact in the teaching learning process, whether positive or negative. It also highlights the potential contribution of Applied Linguistics in helping to understand this linguistic phenomenon and its context within KIE community‟s academic activities.

Key words: Code mixing, language interference, language community, language variety, medium of instruction

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eISSN: 2312-9239