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ERIC Number: EJ855768
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1931-3152
Harmonizing South African Sotho Language Varieties: Lessons from Reading Proficiency Assessment
Makalela, Leketi
International Multilingual Research Journal, v3 n2 p120-133 2009
This study investigated degrees of mutual intelligibility among 3 structurally related languages in South Africa: Sepedi, Sesotho, and Setswana. To compare reading proficiency of mother-tongue speakers who enrolled for freshman courses at the University of Limpopo, 4 reading experimental conditions, in the 3 languages and 1 in a harmonized text, were conducted. Using one-way analyses of variance to explore differential performance of the participants across 4 texts, the results show high degrees of mutual intelligibility across all the language groups. In this connection, the author tentatively projects the possibility of harmonizing the orthographic representations and spelling systems as one of language planning activities toward a standard Sotho--a controversial proposition in the South African language policy and planning debates. In the end, useful recommendations for teaching and learning these languages as a cluster and second additional languages are offered. (Contains 3 tables and 4 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A