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The primacy of teaching through the mother tongue in early education and the use of English and other languages as complementary languages in education

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dc.contributor.advisor Moyo, C.T.
dc.contributor.author Khuzwayo, L. M.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-11T10:03:10Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-11T10:03:10Z
dc.date.issued 2005
dc.identifier.other 304658
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/534
dc.description Submitted in partial fulfillment for the requirements of the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Zululand, 2005. en_US
dc.description.abstract In 1994 South Africa gained democracy. A new dispensation had to emerge in almost all spheres of life. The constitution that was drawn does not only guarantee, but also promotes and celebrates a South African linguistic diversity - a different approach of the apartheid years. Every educational institution in the country is expected to be engaged in rethinking policy on all aspects of learning. It is, therefore, proper to consider possibilities for and the limitations of language learning in South African schools. The main aim of this research was to look at the role the indigenous languages may play in early education and that of English as a complementary language, along with other languages in public life in South Africa. School governing bodies (SGBs) were and still are expected to know the pedagogical implications of language learning and acquisition, that is; if children are denied their first language during their formative early years and are not yet fluent enough in their home language, their second language learning and acquisition is bound to suffer and that in the long run thus rendering their cognitive development irretrievably inhibited. The development of these children's additional language/s becomes hampered and negatively affected. For young linguistically developing children the language taught and the language used daily or at home must be the same for a number of years until a firm grounding in the first language is achieved. It is after this firm grounding then that a gradual introduction of another language should take place. Since South Africa belongs to a wider family, the global technological world; it needs to accept the hegemony and usefulness of English as an international language. Access to English has to be facilitated for all learners in this country. Mastery of English in particular or any other additional language in general depends on a firm mastery of one's home language. It is therefore quite disturbing to witness that the majority of school governing bodies (SGBs) are not informed about this responsibility of ensuring that their children learn in the language that has a potential for their cognitive development. In practice very few schools have taken this language responsibility seriously. In fact one doubts whether school governing bodies (SGBs) know of this responsibility. Languages taught and learnt currently were taught and learnt during the apartheid years. This is due to the fact that the majority of schools do not have an informed democratic language policy. The findings * of the present investigation present a number of recommendations and educational implications. The major findings include: 1. Awareness campaigns about the sensitive issue of languages to be embarked upon by the state and all its departments led by the Department of Education both nationally and provincially. 2. In all schools, learners should have access to, and be required to learn, at least a minimum of three (major) languages as subjects and/or as languages of learning. One of these languages should be an African language used in that particular province (e.g. IsiZulu in KwaZulu-Natal). 3. Languages chosen by the schools to reflect the language spoken by the institutional community (staff and learners) as well as the broader community within which the institution is located. 4. Curriculum designers to seriously consider improving both the content and the methodologies of teaching languages, particularly the indigenous languages, which still suffer from marginalisation. 5. The state to provide and allocate resources to ensure the equal development of all the (major) languages of South Africa. 6. No learner to be refused admission on the basis of a lack of language proficiency. 7. Schools to draw and publicise their language polices for everyone to see in their respective premises. 8. Cultural groups, institutions of higher learning as well as non¬governmental organisations, with diversity in mind, should pursue, promote, market and uplift all major South African languages to a level where even foreign countries are interested in studying these languages. These are the crucial recommendations the present investigation came up with. It is hoped that these recommendations would go a long way in ensuring a smooth transition of our learners from their home languages to additional languages, particularly English. The adherence to these recommendations may also help the majority of South African citizens to participate fully in their society and their economy through equitable and meaningful access to education. This study concludes by stating that the primacy of the mother-tongue in early education is a base for language transfer and hence, successful education in higher education. The mastery of English in particular or any other additional language in general, depends on a firm mastery of one's home language. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Native language and education en_US
dc.subject Native language--Study and teaching en_US
dc.subject Early childhood education en_US
dc.subject Language and languages--Study and teaching en_US
dc.title The primacy of teaching through the mother tongue in early education and the use of English and other languages as complementary languages in education en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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