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This paper presents a sociolinguistic survey of French language proficiency in the Tuki language community of Cameroon. The survey was designed to help SIL Cameroon and CABTAL administrators determine the level of priority participation in Tuki language development.
Through the administration of the Sentence Repetition Test (SRT), we evaluated Tuki speakers' level of French language proficiency. Testing was done in three villages spread throughout the Tuki language community. In each village, we took a census to understand the demographic make up of the community. The population was divided into different categories according to their sex, age, and level of education since these factors could possibly influence French proficiency.
In this paper, we give the SRT results for each of the above-mentioned categories and explain factors that influence French proficiency. In general, the test results show that education is the most important factor in determining French proficiency. Tuki speakers who have completed at least one year of secondary education have a mean RPE level of 2. We can extrapolate from our census and demographic information that 70 percent of the Tuki community has less than one year of secondary education and therefore an RPE level of 2. According to SIL policies, an RPE level 2 proficiency is not a sufficiently high level to be able to read and understand the French Bible.
We would like to thank Cameron Hamm, Ferdinand Assako, and Dr. Domché for their effort and help in data collection during this survey.