Facilitating access to English for Xhosa-speaking pupils in black township primary schools around Cape Town, South Africa

Liesel Hibbert

Abstract


The paper results from a research project completed by the author in 1994 on the quality of
language-learning environments in the Cape Town area .
. Xhosa is now constitutionally enshrined as one of the eleven official languages of South
Africa, and is the dominant language in Western Cape black townships. This paper
questions the fruitfUlness of primary schools in black townships attempting to use English as
the sole medium of instruction. The paper shows that in actual classroom situations the Ll
(Xhosa) is used as an aid to L2 (English) medium instruction in the schools of Khayelitsha
and Lagunya townships around Cape Town. The paper argues for the recognition and
forther extension of such bilingual practices in primary schools to work towards more
successfUl use of the L2 as the medium of instruction. It assesses the implications of such
bilingual policy for classroom interaction and materials development.
Hierdie artikel spruit voort uit 'n navorsingsprojek wat in 1994 deur die skrywer onderneem
is in groter Kaapstad oor die kwaliteit van die omgewings waarbinne taal aange/eer word.
Xhosa is volgens die konstitusie een van die elf amptelike tale in Suid-Afrika en is die
oorheersende taal in die swart woonbuurte van die Wes-Kaap. In hierdie artikel word die
waarde bevraagteken van die poging wat in die primere skole in die swart woonbuurte
aangewend word om Engels as enigste medium van onderrig te gebruik. In die artikel word
ook daarop gewys dat skole in Khayelitsha en Lagunya, twee swart woonbuurte naby
Kaapstad, Xhosa (Tl) gebruik as hulpmiddel by die onderrig deur medium van Engels (T2).
Daar word aangevoer dat hierdie gebruik van tweetalige onderrig in primere skole
erkenning behoort te kry en verder uitgebrei behoort te word sodat daar gestrewe kan word
na 'n meer suksesvol/e gebruik van die tweede taal as onderrigmedium. 'n Waardebepaling
van die implikasies van so 'ntweetalige beleid vir k/askamerinteraksie en die ontwikkeling
van /esmateriaal word ook gedoen.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/11-2-215

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

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