Language rights versus educational realities — a South African perspective

de Wet, N.C.; Niemann, G.S.; Matsela, Z.A.
January 2001
South African Journal of African Languages;2001, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p45
Academic Journal
This article addresses the issue of home language education in the South African context against the background of the ANC-dominated government's emphasis on the language rights of the learners. Literature and empirical studies show an ambiguity with regard to indigenous African Languages (IALs) as language of learning and teaching (LOLT). Linguists, educationalists as well as staff members of teacher training institutes in the Free State Province and the Department of Education are in favour of the use of IALs as LOLT on educational grounds. Students and the majority of the learners reject the use of IALs as LOLT. Reasons for their resistance against the use of IALs as LOLT are mainly economic and political. This article also reports on recommendations made by staff members, linguists and educationalists on how to change the negative perceptions of the majority of South Africans towards the use of IALs as LOLT.


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