The challenges of implementing isiXhosa as language of learning and teaching : case study
Matiwane, Hazel Buyiswa Petula
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The South African Constitution states that every learner has a right to learn in the official language of his or her choice. This dissertation explores the challenges of implementing isiXhosa as a language of learning and teaching (LoLT) in a selected pilot school. The study aims to determine the challenges that hamper the implementation of using isiXhosa as a LoLT. The research took place at an isiXhosa speaking school where the learners and teachers are isiXhosa speaking people. The Western Cape Education Department has launched a programme, the Language Transformation Plan, and this selected pilot school comprised the site of research. The isiXhosa speaking learners achieved poorly in the systemic evaluations results, as well as in the Grade 12 results. It has become important to determine the merits of home languages as language of LoLT. The literature review provided a theoretical framework for the implementation of a home language as LoLT. Aspects such as the historical background of the use of home languages in education, home language in a multilingual context, and language as a resource in education were addressed. Using home languages as LoLT has advantages, disadvantages, and challenges. Attitudes of users about isiXhosa as home language as LoLT were also explored. This bounded case study followed a basic qualitative methodology to collect data. Interviews related to the School Governing Body, principal, School Management Team, teachers, and learners at the school. The analysis of biographical data and a qualitative content analysis resulted in various themes and three categories. The analysis provided evidence of the experiences of the stake holders during the implementing of isiXhosa as LoLT. Aspects that were identified related to the needs, advantages and challenges that the participants encountered. In general, the participants were positive that isiXhosa could be used as LoLT as long as these challenges can be addressed. Chapter five provides an overview of aspects that are important for deliberation during policy processes. Although this bounded case study was limited in terms of scope, it provides important information on the live-world experiences of how isiXhosa affects learning and teaching through a home language. Additional large scale is required to determine country wide and longitudinal data on the advantages of home languages as LoLT.
- Education