Ten years of democracy: attitudes and identity among some South African school children

  • Charlyn Dyers


Ten years into South Africa’s democracy, how do school children feel about themselves as part of specific groups, and what is the role of language in their socio-cultural identities? This paper looks at the ways in which two groups of fourteen-year-old Xhosa-speaking and mixed-race ‘Coloured’ South African secondary school learners in a new housing area near Cape Town negotiate their identities through language in a context of rapid social change. It analyses their beliefs and attitudes about the languages and speech communities to which they are exposed.

Author Biography

Charlyn Dyers
Charlyn Dyers is an Associate Professor and the Director of IiLwimi Sentrum at the University of the Western Cape.  She specialises in the field of language attitudes in a multilingual environment.    She has published extensively in the field of language teaching and applied linguistics.  Ass Prof Dyers, Director:  IiLwimi Sentrum, UWC, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535.  Email:  cdyers@uwc.ac.za