Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Teach English using the Jamaican Creole

Published:Thursday | August 11, 2022 | 12:08 AM


It is a reality that the Jamaican Creole is the first language for most Jamaicans. Not first as in importance, but in order – the language they first come to know, and identify with in their homes and neighbourhoods.

Patois is therefore a language of communal interaction, of survival, and forms a general way of living. It is inseparable from one’s national identity and thus, when someone speaks Jamaican, he is speaking from the heart – from the pit of his being with genuine fire.

It is his mother tongue, and so, for him, his words are not banal or flat.

With that in mind, and since Patois words are not meaningless, but are analogous to several English words and expressions, the Jamaican Creole could be used as a transitional bridge to generate greater interest in English.

Students could see that the same words that they have come to love and appreciate have their counterparts in formal English.

It could also play a role in separating the two while dispelling the view of the one colonising or corrupting the other.


Mount Vernon, New York