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ERIC Number: EJ1045367
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8507
On Not Taking Language Inequality for Granted: Hymesian Traces in Ethnographic Monitoring of South Africa's Multilingual Language Policy
Hornberger, Nancy H.
Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v33 n5-6 p623-645 Sep 2014
South African higher education is at a critical juncture in the implementation of South Africa's multilingual language policy promoting institutional status for nine African languages, English, and Afrikaans. South African scholars, not content merely to comment from the sidelines on the policy, its promise, and challenges, have also engaged in implementation efforts. This article explores two such initiatives, both focusing on the use of African languages in higher education institutions where English is already established as the medium of instruction, and both undertaken with explicit goals of righting South Africa's longstanding social injustices. I collaborated with colleagues at the University of Limpopo and the University of KwaZulu-Natal to assess current implementation and identify next steps and strategies for achieving truly multilingual teaching, learning, and research at their institutions. Taking up Hymes' (1980) call for ethnographic monitoring of bilingual education, I sought in each case to jointly describe and analyze current communicative conduct, uncover emergent patterns and meanings in program implementation, and evaluate program and policy in terms of social meanings. I argue that ethnographic monitoring in education offers one means toward "not" taking language inequality for granted.
De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter. P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960. Tel: 800-208-8144; Tel: 703-661-1589; Fax: 703-661-1501; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa