Vol 35, No 2 (2019): Special Edition

The acceleration of globalisation in recent years has evidently resulted in migration as people seek job opportunities in countries with stable economies. As a result, children from diverse cultures and languages need to be accommodated in schools where the classes have become more diverse, and thus the language of learning and teaching may be learners’ second or third language. Hence, learners are expected to cope with the language of learning and teaching as well as the sociocultural factors which impact the teaching and learning of the curriculum.

The articles in this special issue reflect the importance of the role language plays in education in different countries and make a call for continued research in the different areas of language teaching and learning in the education fraternity throughout the world.

The guest editor for this issue is Prof Norma Nel.


Vol 32, No 1 (2016)

This special edition of Per Linguam has its origins at a workshop in November 2013 at Zhejiang International Studies University in Hangzhou, where Chinese and South African academics exchanged ideas on the literacy challenges facing early childhood education in the two countries.  As a result of this workshop, it was decided to follow up on further research and the exchange of information regarding reading practices in primary school classrooms in China and South Africa. This special edition brings you a selection of articles that follow from this initiative. The seven articles that make up this edition fall into three themes, namely Reading (Pretorius & Klapwijk; Van Staden; Wang & Wang), Teacher Training in relation to literacy (Zheng, Gao and Wang) and Early literacy development (Mohangi, Krog, Stephens & Nel; Zhou and Yang; Nel, Krog, Mohangi, Muller & Stephens). The Chinese articles provide overviews of changes in policy and practices regarding literacy instruction in China over the past two or so decades, while the South African articles report on specific aspects of reading literacy that have recently been researched. Much theoretical, methodological and pedagogical value can be gained from reflecting on and comparing literacy policies and practices across countries. This enables us to better understand variations of a global phenomenon like reading literacy and the ways in which it is viewed, valued and explicitly taught within the unique multilingual, multicultural, socioeconomic and historical contexts in which literacy development takes place.

This Special Edition was guest edited by Profs Norma Nel and Lilli Pretorius.


Vol 31, No 1 (2015): Special Edition

This special issue deals with aspects of language politics in relation to multilingualism and education in Africa. It presents case studies that highlight strategies for enhancing the status and role of African languages in education and the judiciary in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ghana. Some of the broad questions that are discussed in this issue are:  Why should all higher education students learn at least one African language? How should multiple languages be taught in multilingual classes? What is the current sociolinguistic status and role of African languages at universities? What is the impact of language choice in the administration of justice in courts?


Vol 30, No 3 (2014): Special Edition

This issue deals with aspects of literacy in the widest sense of the word. Barton & Hamilton (2000: 8) note that “Literacy is best understood as a set of social practices: these can be inferred from events which are mediated by written texts”. However, the term is used increasingly to refer to specific kinds of interpretive knowledge that may have little to do with reading or writing in the conventional sense; for example media literacy, financial literacy, scientific literacy, cultural literacy, workplace literacy, to name a few. Is there a shared understanding of what we mean by these uses of the term ‘literacy’? What do they have in common and what, if anything, do they have to do with literacy as a ‘set of social practices mediated by written texts’?

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