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ERIC Number: EJ884569
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Shifting Language Attitudes in Linguistically Diverse Learning Environment in South Africa
Bangeni, Bongi; Kapp, Rochelle
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v28 n4 p253-269 2007
This paper draws on post-structuralist theories on language and identity to explore the shifting language attitudes of 15 "black" students over the course of their undergraduate studies at a historically "white" South African university. All the students speak an indigenous language as their first language. Those students who have been educated in racially mixed schools are relatively at ease in the environment and are able to straddle racial and linguistic boundaries. Those who have been educated in working-class, ethnically homogenous schools enter the institution with a strong desire to preserve their home languages and home identities. For them, English is equated with "whiteness". The paper describes the process through which this equation is questioned as English and institutional discourses become more dominant in students' lives, and as relationships with their home communities become strained. By the time the students enter their senior undergraduate years, a shared speech code emerges. The authors argue that this code signals students' dual affiliation to English (and the cultural capital it represents) and to their home identities. In mixing languages across boundaries of school background and across traditional ethnic barriers, the code also signals students' shared group identity as first-generation university students in post-Apartheid South Africa. (Contains 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa