Attitudes of Xhosa-speaking students at the University of Fort Hare towards the use of Xhosa as a language of learning and teaching (LOLT)

Dalvit, Lorenzo and De Klerk, V.A. (2005) Attitudes of Xhosa-speaking students at the University of Fort Hare towards the use of Xhosa as a language of learning and teaching (LOLT). Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 23 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1607-3614

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Abstract

This article presents and discusses the results of a survey of a sample of Xhosa-speaking students at the University of Fort Hare regarding their attitudes towards the possible introduction of Xhosa as a medium of instruction at this institution. The research takes into account, among other things, the students' attitudes towards English and Xhosa and their opinions and beliefs about the introduction of dual-mediumship and its possible consequences. The survey was conducted with questionnaires and interviews and the results were first analysed as a whole, and then split into different categories according to gender, year of study, subject studied etc. This analysis indicates that while English is recognised as the dominant language in South Africa and, more specifically, in the domain of education, some categories of respondents acknowledge the usefulness of Xhosa as an additional medium of instruction. This survey clearly shows that it would make little sense to present Xhosa-speaking students at Fort Hare with a rigid choice between the existing English-medium and a dual-medium (English and Xhosa) policy and that more nuanced options would need to be offered. For example, respondents seem to consider the use of Xhosa as a medium of instruction more appropriate in the first years of study, for selected subjects and in some domains within the academic context rather than others. This study can be fruitfully compared with similar research carried out at other South African institutions. Moreover, the results of the present research can be used to inform future decisions regarding language policy at the University of Fort Hare.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:language policy; medium of instruction; dual-medium; English-medium; language of learning and teaching; LOLT; Xhosa; Xhosa-speakers; University of Fort Hare; South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > English Language and Linguistics
ID Code:731
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:20 Jun 2007
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 08:01
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