Erina grew up in the Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and France, and speaks French, Japanese, English, Burmese, and Spanish. She holds an MA in Political and Moral Philosophy from the University of Paris-Sorbonne and a Diploma in American Studies from Smith College. Erina’s research interests focus on language issues in education, specifically on non-dominant language-based multilingual education in low-income contexts.
Her current dissertation research, which she will defend in Spring of 2022, examines language policy development in Senegal through the eyes of key stakeholders who are self-professed militants or advocates for the use of Senegalese national languages alongside French in the formal education system. Her in-depth interviews explore advocates’ lived experiences with African languages and education, the extent of their multi-generational work and networks, and their influence in shaping the language-in-education policy landscape. This research is timely, coming at a critical juncture at which the Ministry of Education has adopted a national bilingual education policy and is making plans to implement it.
Erina’s qualitative case study relies on historical and policy document analysis and participant observation to round out the interview data. She draws on Mignolo’s (1991) decolonial theory of “border thinking” and Senegalese decolonial authors to amplify the voices, innovations and contributions of Senegalese bilingual education researchers, practitioners, and advocates.