ERIC Number: ED231248
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
English Language Problems of Chinese Students in South Africa.
The status of English as learned and used by Chinese students in South Africa was investigated to provide perspective on the language policy. Language planners in South Africa require that all secondary school students be taught and tested through the medium of either English or Afrikaans, regardless of their mother tongue. The students are expected to achieve the same level in English as that of native speakers if they wish to enter the university. The important concern is whether English should be regarded as either the first or second language of the students, or even as a second dialect. A related criterion is literacy in the mother tongue. These issues were explored within the framework of a sociolinguistic analysis that defines the influence of certain societal factors on the students' learning of English. A questionnaire was administered to 75 secondary school students attending schools that cater to Chinese students and general public schools for all groups. Interviews with teachers concerning language teaching were also conducted. It is concluded that these students cannot be expected to achieve the same level of competence in English as native speakers. The current state of their English is not suitable for effective instruction and testing purposes. This conclusion implies that the same techniques as those used for native speakers cannot be employed equally well for these students. Methods that have achieved some success with the students are also discussed. A questionnaire is appended. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chinese People; South Africa
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (14th, San Francisco, CA, March, 1980). Document may not reproduce well.