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São Paulo USP 2004.2 1ª Fase Questão: 85 Inglês Interpretação de Texto 

English is a colonial language that continued to be the official language after independence in virtually all African countries that were under British rule. In some cases it was retained to avoid ethnic tensions. But in all cases it was retained because of its prestige and association with power. In contrast, the vernaculars were viewed as backward and inferior, and so were not developed. Students were made to feel ashamed of their mother tongue and punished for speaking it. In Kenya, for example, speaking in vernacular was forbidden and sanctioned in schools. One popular method of punishment was to make pupils carry around a skull of some dead animal the whole day as a way of embarrassing the pupil who dared speak in his mother tongue. Today it is difficult to use indigenous languages because they have not developed, been codified and standardised. Hence there is a shortage of teaching materials and trained teachers in the vernaculars. And this has often been used as an excuse for not adopting the vernaculars in schools.

(The Guardian Weekly, August 2003)

Which of these statements is true according to the text?



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