From foreign to national: a review of the status of the French language in Gabon

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This article provides a review of the various statuses of the French language in Gabon, a French-speaking country in Central Africa. It reveals a process in which different generations of Gabonese people are increasingly learning, and thus conceptualising, French as a second language rather than a foreign language. Furthermore, some are also learning and conceptualising French as a mother tongue or initial language, rather than a second language. This process of reconceptualisation has somehow been encouraged by the language policy of the colonial administration and the language policy since the attainment of independence, the latter being a continuation of the former. The final stage of this process is that the language has been adopted among the local languages within the Gabonese language landscape