[lg policy] South Africa: Dual-medium teaching not yet fully possible - Stellenbosch University

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 15:01:07 UTC 2015

 Dual-medium teaching not yet fully possible - Stellenbosch University

Thomas Hartleb, News24
[image: Stellenbosch University. (Photo: Stellenbosch University)]

Stellenbosch University. (Photo: Stellenbosch University)

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Johannesburg – It was practically not possible for Stellenbosch University
to offer parallel English and Afrikaans teaching in all lectures from
January next year.

The constraints of lecturer availability, classrooms, and timetables, meant
that only the most popular modules would be considered for conversion to
parallel-medium teaching in 2016, Professor Arnold Schoonwinkel,
vice-rector: learning and teaching, said in a statement on Monday.

He was commenting following the release of the report by the university’s
language policy task team to the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and
Open Stellenbosch (OS). The team’s role had been to make recommendations on
the university’s language policy and the implementation of its language

The SRC and OS had largely focused their demands on parallel-medium

Before 2020, the multilingual offering had to be increased.

"It should be made explicit that Afrikaans may not be used or experienced
as a mechanism to exclude anyone from this university," was one factor the
task team had to consider, Schoonwinkel said.

The team recommended that iXhosa should continue to be developed as an
academic language. This was in response to the claims that the university's
investment in this language was merely a front for multilingualism.

Students had to stop thinking of lectures as a place where knowledge was
transferred, but rather as a means to help them learn.

According to this new model, it was possible to offer "learning
facilitation" in each student’s language of choice, without teaching them
every concept in either Afrikaans or English.

This was meant to address students’ fears that they would lose out if not
all lectures were in their preferred language.

A total of 74% of students who used the interpreting service agreed that it
helped their understanding of the work, according to a survey. The team
recommended an investigation into improving this service.


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