[lg policy] dissertation: Accommodating and Promoting Multilingualism Through Blended Learning

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 29 14:42:23 UTC 2011

Accommodating and Promoting Multilingualism Through Blended Learning

Institution: North-West University
Program: English
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Jako Olivier

Dissertation Title: Accommodating and Promoting Multilingualism
Through Blended Learning

Dissertation URL: http://www.jako.nom.za/JAKOlivier-PhD.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Dissertation Director:
Kobus Lombard

Dissertation Abstract:

Multilingualism is a reality in South African classrooms. The Constitution
of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) and the national language policy
recognize language rights and aims at supporting, promoting and developing
the official languages. However, despite the advantages of mother tongue
education, English is often chosen as language of learning and teaching at
the cost of the African official languages. This study proposes the
accommodation and promotion of multilingualism through blended learning.

Blended learning refers to the blending of traditional instruction methods,
such as face-to-face instruction, with other forms of instruction such as
online learning and teaching. Through a discussion of asynchronous and
synchronous learning tools it was established that Wikis would be used for
this study. In terms of blended learning and learning theories the main
emphasis in this study is on socio-constructivism as well as communal

The empirical research in this study focused on the establishment and
testing of a conceptual model for the accommodation and promotion of
multilingualism through blended learning in the subject IT. The research
took the form of a sequential embedded mixed methods design. Both
quantitative and qualitative approaches were used. A questionnaire was used
with IT teachers to investigate the language and blended learning context.
This was followed up with qualitative research in the form of interviews
aimed at provincial and national experts in terms of the subject IT and
e-learning. Based on the literature and these two investigations, a
conceptual model was developed. The conceptual model's effectiveness was
tested through a quasi-experimental study. A questionnaire was also
completed by the respondents at the schools after the completion of the
study. Through the testing of the effectiveness of the conceptual model it
was found that multilingualism could successfully be accommodated and
promoted through this conceptual model.


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