The Language of Learning and Teaching in South Africa: A Case Study on Selected Public Primary Schools in Limpopo Province
Shumani Eric Madima
The study investigated the choice of language of learning and teaching (LoLT) in selected public primary schools of Vhembe District in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The South Africa’s Language-in-Education Policy of 1997 stipulates that the school will promote multilingualism through using more than one language of learning and teaching. Moreover, the South African Schools Act of 1996, mandates the School Governing Bodies (SGBs) to determine the language of learning and teaching in public primary schools in rural areas. Against this backdrop, English remains the most preferred language of learning and teaching in public primary schools of Vhembe district in Limpopo province. A descriptive research design was employed in this study and qualitative method was used for the purpose of data collection and analysis. From selected public primary schools, twelve (12) participants participated in the study with six (6) SGBs chairpersons and six (6) school principals. Data was analyzed under themes developed from the collected data using thematic content analysis technique. The study revealed that English is the most preferred language of learning and teaching in public primary schools in Limpopo province, South Africa.
Keywords: Colonial language, Language of learning and teaching, Language policy, Mother tongue education, Public primary school, School governing body