'I often get that anxious feeling': language shift in English schools

Yusef De Klerk

Abstract


This article reports on the experiences and attitudes of Alrikaans-speaking parents who have recently chosen to send their children to English-medium schools in Grahamstown (Eastern Cape, South Africa). The research was carried out during 1998, and the project was a multi-faceted quantitative and qualitative longitudinal stuc(v involving responses to a postal questionnaire sent to all non-English parents at English-medium schools in the town, and/allow-up interviews with 26 parents. The aim of the project as a whole was to observe whether there is any evidence of a process of language shift taking place from Afrikaans to English, both on an individual level and on a hroader societal basis, to assess (from the parents' perspective) the linguistic and psycho- social effects on individuals who move to English-medium schools, and to monitor changing perceptions, language loyalty and attitudes over this period.

In hierdie artikel word verslag gelewer oar navorsing wat in 1998 gedoen is oor die ondervindings en houdings van Afrikaanssprekende ouers wat hulle kinders redelik onlang na Engelsmediumskole in Grahamstad (Oos-Kaap, Suid-Afrika) oorgeplaas het. Die projek was 'n veelfasettige kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe longitudinale studie. As deel van die projek is vraelyste per pos aan al die nie-Engelsprekende ouers van kinders in Engelsmediumskole in die stad gestuur en is dit opgevolg deur onderhoude met 26 ouers te voer. Die doel van die projek was om vas te stel c)ldaar hewyse is dat 'n taalverskuiwing van Afrikaans na Engels plaasgevind het op die vlak van so weI die individu as die hreer samelewing am te hepaal (vanuit die ouers se per.lpektie/J wat die linguistiese en psigo-sosiale uitwerking is op die indidue wat na Englesmediumskole verskuifword en IJIIl veranderende persepsies, taallojaliteit en houdings gedurende the betrokke tydperk te monitor.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/14-1-179

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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