It’s Christmas Day. We are sitting at the table dishing up our food and the conversation we are having is one that every South African family has once in a while if not every day. English as a medium of instruction in South African schools and tertiary institutions, there have been several thoughts stating that comprehension is easier when the language of teaching is a language one thinks in, which in most cases would be their mother tongue. If one has any knowledge of South Africa they would know that it is a country with eleven official languages including English. This then means every single subject would have to be available in these eleven languages. The questions that arise from this are firstly, does the country possess such resources to supply textbooks and teachers in every single language? The second question is whether these languages possess enough vocabulary to produce textbooks in fields such as mathematics and science. My sisters seem to think not. Even with people such as Siyabonga Mthalane who has sought to expand the IsiZulu vocabulary, one could still ask if that is not the same as learning a foreign language. With the English language dating back since the late fifteenth century it is plausible to think that it has transformed and taken into account various organism, objects and other things that needed to be named. The other thing that makes English a viable medium of instruction is that we live in the time of globalization, this therefore means that countries do not exist in isolation. What the knowledge of English ensures for South Africans is that they can be able to interact with other countries and makes a difference not only in their country but also around the world.

BOOK NOW