Pilot phase

LILIEMA developed out of a research practice which our team collectively developed into something bigger. This necessitated intensive brainstorming and development phases (see workshops), but also rigorous testing of teaching techniques and materials and of course taking feedback from our course participants into account. Course participants were inspired by LILIEMA and enthusiastically learned how to read and write their repertoires while helping us to improve our project. We are really grateful for all the support in this essential phase!

LILIEMA was piloted in Djibonker and Agnack Grand, two villages in the Lower Casamance area of Senegal in 2017. Both villages are characterised by intense multilingualism involving small, regional and national languages, and great mobility, including cross-border mobility spanning Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia.

Teachers in both sites participated in a training workshop in Orango organised by Friederike Lüpke, with the participation of the Crossroads transcribers and research assistants Alpha Naby Mané and Jérémi Sagna, Crossroads Project intern Ekaterina Golovko, and Crossroads former PhD student Miriam Weidl. During this workshop, we created the initial syllabus, teaching materials and teacher guidelines.

Below you can find some documentation of the pilot phase in Agnack Grand, Brin and Djibonker. All classes were developed and taught by community members familiar with the multilingual environments of their villages.

Agnack Grand

In Agnack, we taught two weekly classes to primary school children as part of the supplementary curriculum coordinated by local school teachers, and we taught two weekly classes to adults between 15 and 65 years of age. These courses reached about 40 people, a huge success considering that the village only has approximately 100 inhabitants. One of our participants was the ‘chef the village’ who also brought along his wife who both support LILIEMA up to today. In 2020, they expressed interest in another LILIEMA course which we are happy to teach as soon as the situation allows it again.

Brin – Djibonker



The course in the villages Brin/Djibonker (mainly held in Brin with participants from both villages) west of Ziguinchor had nearly 50 participants. Some of the participants attended with their families and it was wonderful to see young and old working together with the languages in their repertoires! A follow up course is planned in Djibonker in 2020 or 2021.

Additionally in Djibonker, weekly pilot classes were integrated into the primary school curriculum on the request of local teachers.

LILIEMA class in Djibonker taught by Blandine Sagna

Statement of the local coordinator and supervisor Jeremi Fahed Sagna after our first piloting phase: