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ERIC Number: EJ1218497
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
Choice of Language in Education: Do We Know What South Africans Want?
Gordon, Steven Lawrence; Harvey, Jaqueline
Language and Education, v33 n3 p226-243 2019
A key factor in providing quality education is the main language of instruction (M-LoI). This creates a challenging situation for education policymakers in post-colonial multilingual countries such as South Africa. Language-in-education policies must valorise indigenous languages and redress their exclusion in past education systems while ensuring access to any economic opportunities afforded by colonial languages. Public attitudes have a bearing on individuals' interactions with language policy as well as the education system as a whole. This article examines attitudes towards the M-LoI in education. Data from the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) for the period 2003-2016 were used. We hypothesised that preferences for M-LoI would be associated with support for other forms of societal racial transformation in South Africa. However, a majority of the general population favoured English as the M-LoI in education and M-LoI preferences were not related to the degree of support for other forms of racial transformation. The limitations of the SASAS dataset and current method are then described and possibilities for new research presented. The article concludes by discussing how post-colonial education policies and implementation can nurture multilingualism and promote the valorising of indigenous languages.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa