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Schools as fertile ground for the promotion of multilingualism in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Moyo, C.T.
dc.contributor.author Mncwango, Elliot Mthembeni
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-26T08:56:53Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-26T08:56:53Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/570
dc.description Submitted to the Faculty ofArts in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of General Linguistics, at the University of Zululand, 2007. en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis reviewed the South African Constitution, the Language-in Education Policy (2004) and the National Language Policy Framework (2002), with the intention to compare certain promulgations on the issue of language use in South Africa. The constitution is unequivocal about the promotion of multilingual ism and use of indigenous languages. The study focused on the role which schools can play to achieve this objective. Schools are viewed as the most fertile ground toward the promotion of multilingualism, as stipulated by the South African Constitution (1996), particularly urban schools which are multiracial, with learners from different linguistic background. Data were solicited from schools in urban areas (English medium and Afrikaans medium), and those in rural areas (English and isiZulu medium). Comparisons were made between the two. The status of indigenous languages prior to and post 1994, is discussed. The study observed that while the South African government is committed to promote multilingualism, the documents (the constitution and the Language-in-Education Policy, 2004) are very good, but implementation of the stipulations of such documents is lacking. It was established that a considerable number of former Model C schools still offer the languages which were offered prior to the first democratic era, in 1994. Therefore, unless the government sanctions the language policies, schools cannot change what they have decided between the school principal and the School Governing Body (SGB), and which they have already implemented. The study concluded that besides the freer and wide speakership of indigenous languages their dignity and restoration also ought to be restored. This could be achieved easier if these languages were documented, and adequate material available in them in order to enable future generations to access information in their mother tongue if they choose to. Furthermore, if multilingualism is to bear fruit, indigenous African languages ought to be tied to employment, e.g. journalism, medical practice and nursing, revenue collectors, traffic officers, etc. In the case of medical doctors, for instance, they should know at least one indigenous language that is widely spoken in the area where they practice, regardless of their racial background. The idea here is that unless learners see the functional value in learning indigenous African languages, they might not be as strongly motivated to learn these languages as when they learn English. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Multilingualism--South Africa--Cross-cultural studies. en_US
dc.subject School improvement programs--South Africa--Case studies. en_US
dc.subject Educational change--South Africa--Case studies. en_US
dc.subject Language in education en_US
dc.title Schools as fertile ground for the promotion of multilingualism in South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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