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South African teachers switch languages in class: why policy should follow

Mis à jour : 25 Sep 2019

The Conversation, 8th September 2019

If you step into a classroom in South Africa’s Limpopo province during a lesson, you’re very likely to hear the teacher speaking more than one language. She might begin a sentence in English, and then switch to Sepedi – the African language most commonly spoken as a mother tongue in the province.

This is a practice known as code switching or code mixing, which can form part of a translanguaging process. And it is not actually allowed in most South African classrooms. According to the country’s official language policies, schools must choose a language or languages of learning and teaching. Most choose English or Afrikaans and not the African language spoken in the area. African languages are then only taught as subjects and are rarely used as a medium of instruction. Read more... >>>>>