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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:South African education and the dilemmas of multilingualism
Author:Foley, Andrew
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:educational policy
language policy
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10131750285310061
Abstract:Education in South Africa is facing some central and complex dilemmas. These dilemmas arise from two contradictions of an essentially linguistic nature which lie at the heart of the country's current educational policies and practices. The first contradiction is that the South African education system purports to be bilingual, and yet most educational institutions do not use the learners' mother tongues as languages of learning and teaching. The second contradiction is that the majority of parents expressly prefer their children to be taught through the medium of English, and yet most teachers have been inadequately prepared to teach in English. This paper explores ways of resolving these dilemmas which are both practical and democratically acceptable, but which may also involve some honest policy reappraisal and some forthright decisionmaking. There are, essentially, two main ways of resolving these dilemmas. The first involves the implementation of a truly multilingual education system; the second prioritizes a campaign to provide access to, and improve the quality of, English across the education system. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]