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ERIC Number: EJ899058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
Bantu Languages in Education in South Africa: An Overview. "Ongekho Akekho"!--The Absentee Owner
Webb, Vic; Lafon, Michel; Pare, Phillip
Language Learning Journal, v38 n3 p273-292 Nov 2010
The main argument of this overview article is that the Bantu languages of South Africa should have a far more significant role in education. We contend that the strong preference for English as medium of instruction among black learners is largely responsible for their inadequate educational performance, particularly since most of these learners do not have the required skills in English. This is particularly the case in rural and township schools and in what we term "lower ex-model C schools", given the socio-economic realities of the communities in which these schools are located. Were the Bantu languages used for learning and teaching purposes in an effective way, we suggest the educational outcomes of black learners would be significantly better. We accept, of course, that schools, especially secondary schools, cannot immediately implement a policy of using the Bantu languages as media of instruction. Several research and development challenges need to be addressed for this to happen. These include: transforming the socio-political meanings attached to these languages; their further corpus development as well as their status, prestige, acquisition and usage development; the development and implementation of language-in-education policies which address the basic educational and sociolinguistic realities; and the effective distribution of information to school governing bodies about the issues relevant to the selection of a medium of instruction. In our view, South Africa will not become a developed, effectively multilingual and nationally integrated country if linguistic equity and parity of esteem are not established in a meaningful way for all official languages, which includes provision for their use as media of instruction throughout. (Contains 4 tables and 23 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa