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Language policies in selected higher education institutions within South Africa : a critical review

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dc.contributor.author Rau, Kelly Lee
dc.contributor.other Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-15T13:06:10Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-15T13:06:10Z
dc.date.issued 1997
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/956
dc.description Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract This is a study of language policy in higher education within South Africa. As such, it deals with issues such as language policy, South African language policy, higher education and language education policy. In order to study these fields, the author had to take a number of things into consideration. Firstly: South Africa is a multilingual country. This is reflected in a statement made by Reagan (1990): The language situation in South Africa is characterised not only by the variety of African, Indian, Asian and European languages that co-exist, but also by developing varieties of these languages (p.179). According to Reagan (1990) it is important to emphaSise that, regardless of the nature of future political change in South Africa, it is virtually assured that linguistic diversity will remain a feature of social life for generations to come, and that bilingualism and multilingualism will remain common for many South Africans well into the next cenhlry (p. 179). The author agrees with Reagan's statement and believes that, because so many languages are spoken in South Africa, choices need to be made. It is therefore essential that definite decisions be made as far as language is concerned within South Africa as a whole, and particularly within education. Decisions such as: What language( s) should be used, for what purpose( s) it/they should be used and by whom it/they should be used? In education and, for the purpose of this study, higher education in particular, the following aspects need to be taken into consideration when these decisions are made : Firstly, the medium of instruction (MOIl) Then the language(s) to be: a) taught as subjects, b) used for purposes of evaluation, c) used for administrative purposes, d) used for correspondence and e) used for social function. These amount to what is known as 'language policy'. Therefore, what is required in education is 'language policy'. The term language policl here refers, briefly. 10 the policy of a socierylinstitution3 in the area of linguistic communication - that is the set of positions, principles and decisions reflecting that communiry 's relationships to its verbal repertoire and communicative potential (Burgarski, 1992: 18). 'Language policy' is the formal documentation of the decisions on language issues, which have been made by the policy makers of an institution and, for the purposes of this study, I 'Mo l' is the abbreviation for 'medium of instruction', in the field of education. 2 3 Emphasis by author. Addition by author. higher education institutions in particular. In view of this a survey was made of 34 institutions of higher education within South Africa. There were 26 responses to this survey, all of which provided the information which was needed to identifY: the type of policy which they hadlhave, the MOl used by them and whether they are reviewing their policy or not. The institutions included technikons and universities. After the initial survey was completed two questionnaires were sent to the 26 institutions, which had responded to the survey. These were: a) a questionnaire for institutions which have decided not to review their language policy, and b) a questionnaire for institutions which have decided to review their language policy. There were 8 responses to these questionnaires (reminders were sent to all institutions which did not respond to the survey and to the questionnaires). It was found that the institutions which currently have covert language policies should review their policies so as to make them overt. Those institutions which have overt language policies should also review their policies to ensure that they are applicable to their particular institutions. The study concludes with recommendations on how to plan language policy in higher education, within South Africa. en_US
dc.format.mimetype Application/PDF
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.subject Language and education - South Africa en_US
dc.subject Education, Higher - South Africa en_US
dc.subject Language policy South Africa en_US
dc.title Language policies in selected higher education institutions within South Africa : a critical review en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

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