Towards a lexicographical intervention in the acquisition and use of English in Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.advisor Gouws, R. H. en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Nkomo, Dion en_ZA
dc.contributor.other Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Afrikaans and Dutch. en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2012-03-08T09:28:45Z en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2012-03-30T10:40:01Z
dc.date.available 2012-03-08T09:28:45Z en_ZA
dc.date.available 2012-03-30T10:40:01Z
dc.date.issued 2012-03 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20074
dc.description Thesis (PhD)-- Stellenbosch University, 2012. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study considers a lexicographical intervention in the acquisition and use of English in Zimbabwe. English is the country’s sole official language. This means that it dominates all the other languages in the country in terms of prestige and usage in the high status domains such as government, media, law, education, etc. English is learnt as a compulsory subject throughout the education system up to the General Certificate of Ordinary Level (‘O’ Level) and used as medium of instruction from the fourth grade upwards. The annual national pass rate of around 33% and less than 10% for some schools in this subject has been recorded in recent years. An ‘O’ Level certificate is considered complete if is has registered five ‘O’ Level subjects including English. This means that without an ‘O’ Level English pass, learners have no chance to proceed to the General Certificate in Education Advanced Level (‘A’ Level) or tertiary education, and their chances of getting employment in the public service are limited, if not non-existent. In the mainstream scholarship on language policy and language planning in the country, this situation has resulted in advocating that indigenous languages, particularly Shona and Ndebele, be developed and elevated to the official status currently enjoyed by English. Far from being against the development and status elevation of indigenous languages, this study proposes a lexicographical intervention in the acquisition and use of English as one of the necessary mechanisms that may mitigate some problems associated with this language. It is argued that the problem with English is not simply that it is a language of foreign origin, to be explicit, the language of the former colonial master. Rather, the problem is that the majority of Zimbabweans are not competent enough to function in this language. Of course, this may be related to the fact that many Zimbabweans have to learn it as an additional language since it is not an indigenous language and thus linguistically and culturally distant from the native languages of its learners. Dealing with the field of lexicography, this dissertation considers an intervention with respect to those problems that may be addressed by the consultation of dictionaries. The availability, use and user-friendliness of English dictionaries are investigated in view of the characteristics of Zimbabweans as additional language learners of English, their situations in which lexicographically-relevant problems occur and the subsequent information needs. In doing this, the theory of learners’ lexicography (Tarp 2004; 2004a; 2008) is used. Firstly, it is established that dictionaries are scarce commodities in Zimbabwe, with a very limited range of dictionaries being available for Zimbabweans to buy. Secondly, dictionaries are not actively used in the learning and use of English within the school system, except in the former Group A schools which are elitist in nature. Curriculum developers, teachers, assessors and learners are not very clear about the role of dictionaries within the school system. Thirdly, the dictionaries that are used are not appropriate for the learners who consult them, with advanced learners’ dictionaries dominating the limited presence even at primary schools. Notwithstanding this poor background, it is generally accepted that appropriate dictionaries, despite the fact that there is a general lack of awareness of the differences between dictionaries, may address some of the problems associated with English, especially within the education system. Should this happen, the learners will develop a dictionary culture and regard dictionaries as utility products which they may rely on later in their academic and professional careers in which English continues to be dominant. A model of lexicographical intervention in the acquisition and use of English in Zimbabwe is therefore formulated. This is done against the above background and also the history of both English and Zimbabwean lexicography. English lexicography now sees English dictionaries being produced in a host of countries other than Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand, where English is a native language. This is mainly because of the dominant role that English has acquired in those countries such as South Africa. However, Zimbabwean lexicography has thus far focused on mother-tongue dictionaries in Shona and Ndebele, the main reason being the need to develop these formerly marginalised languages. Accordingly, the proposed model seeks to expand the scope of Zimbabwean lexicography. This is not just for the sake of expanding. On the contrary, in the research it is observed that the dictionaries constituting the envisaged lexicographical intervention have to be produced in Zimbabwe in order for them to effectively address the local needs regarding this language. For example, lemma selection, paraphrases of meaning, illustrative examples and data contained in the outer texts have to be linguistically and culturally relevant, taking into cognisance the native languages and cultures of the target users. It is observed that if the proposed model is to be successfully implemented, local publishers will need to play an important role, while curriculum developers, assessors, teachers and learners have to be lexicographically educated. At present, local publishers with international affiliations distribute externally-motivated dictionaries (Gouws 2005). Where dictionaries are used, no serious consideration is given regarding the appropriateness of the dictionaries. Any available dictionary is purchased regardless of its user-friendliness. Unfortunately this results in a situation where users fail to extract the best from the dictionaries and end up being disillusioned about the usefulness of dictionaries as utility tools. Some of the dictionaries found at schools are just locked in safe cabinets in headmasters’ offices while learners continue experiencing problems that could be solved by appropriate dictionaries. Accordingly, with lexicographical pedagogy, and further research on specific aspects of the model, a lexicographical intervention in the acquisition and use of English in Zimbabwe is considered a worthwhile enterprise. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie beskou 'n leksikografiese tussenkoms in die verwerwing en gebruik van Engels in Zimbabwe. Engels is die land se enigste offisiële taal. Dit beteken dat dit al die ander tale in die land oorheers wat betref prestige en gebruik in die hoërstatusterreine soos die regering, media, reg, opvoeding, ens. Engels word as 'n verpligte vak geleer dwarsdeur die opvoedingstelsel tot by die Algemene Sertifikaat van Gewone Vlak ('O'-vlak) en gebruik as onderrigmedium vanaf die vierde graad en hoër. Die jaarlikse nasionale slaagsyfer van rondom 33% en minder as 10% vir sommige skole in hierdie vak is in onlangse jare waargeneem. 'n 'O'-vlaksertifikaat word as volledig beskou indien dit vyf 'O'-vlakvakke insluitende Engels geregistreer het. Dit beteken dat sonder die slaag van Engels op 'O'-vlak leerders geen kans het om voort te gaan na die Algemene Sertifikaat in Opvoedkunde Gevorderde Vlak ('A'-vlak) of tersiêre onderwys nie, en hul kanse is beperk, indien nie niebestaande nie, om werk in die openbare diens te kry. In die hoofstroomvakkundigheid betreffende taalpolitiek en taalbeplanning in die land het hierdie situasie daartoe gelei dat bepleit word dat die inheemse tale, veral Sjona en Ndebele, ontwikkel en verhef word tot die offisiële status wat tans deur Engels geniet word. Verre van teen die ontwikkeling en statusverheffing van die inheemse tale te wees, stel hierdie studie 'n tussenkoms in die verwerwing en gebruik van Engels voor as een van die noodsaaklike meganismes wat sommige probleme wat verband hou met hierdie taal, kan versag. Daar word geredeneer dat die probleem met Engels nie eenvoudig is dat dit 'n taal van vreemde herkoms, om dit onomwonde te stel, die taal van die vroeëre koloniale baas is nie. Die probleem is eerder dat die meerderheid Zimbabwiërs nie bedrewe genoeg is om in hierdie taal te funksioneer nie. Dit kan natuurlik verwant wees aan die feit dat baie Zimbabwiërs dit as 'n bykomende taal moet leer aangesien dit nie 'n inheemse taal is nie en daarom linguisties en kultureel verwyder is van die inheemse tale van sy leerders. Omdat dit oor die gebied van die leksikografie handel, beskou hierdie verhandeling 'n tussenkoms met betrekking tot daardie probleme wat deur die raadpleging van woordeboeke benader kan word. Die beskikbaarheid, gebruik en gebruikersvriendelikheid van Engelse woordeboeke word ondersoek met betrekking tot die kenmerke van Zimbabwiërs as leerders van Engels as 'n bykomende taal, hul omstandighede waarin leksikografies relevante probleme voorkom en die gevolglike inligtingsbehoeftes. Om dit te doen, word die teorie van aanleerdersleksikografie (Tarp 2004; 2004a; 2008) gebruik. Eerstens is vasgestel dat woordeboeke skaars artikels in Zimbabwe is, met 'n baie beperkte reeks woordeboeke vir Zimbabwiërs om te koop. Tweedens word woordeboeke nie daadwerklik aangewend by die leer en gebruik van Engels binne die skoolstelsel nie, behalwe in die vroeëre Groep A-skole wat elitisties van aard is. Leerplanontwikkelaars, onderwysers, assessore en leerders het nie baie groot duidelikheid oor die rol van woordeboeke binne die skoolstelsel nie. Derdens, die woordeboeke wat gebruik word, is nie geskik vir die leerders wat hulle raadpleeg nie, met gevorderde aanleerderswoordeboeke wat selfs in primêre skole die beperkte aanwesigheid oorheers. Nieteenstaande hierdie swak agtergrond, word dit algemeen aanvaar dat geskikte woordeboeke, ten spyte van die feit dat daar 'n algemene gebrek aan 'n bewustheid van die verskille tussen woordeboeke is, sommige van die probleme wat met Engels verband hou, veral in die onderwysstelsel, kan oplos. Sou dit gebeur, sal leerders 'n woordeboekkultuur ontwikkel en woordeboeke as nutsartikels beskou waarop hulle later kan steun in hul akademiese en professionele loopbane waarin Engels voortgaan om oorheersend te wees. 'n Model van leksikografiese tussenkoms in die verwerwing en gebruik van Engels in Zimbabwe word gevolglik geformuleer. Dit word gedoen teen die voorafgaande agtergrond en ook die geskiedenis van sowel Engelse as Zimbabwiese leksikografie. Engelse leksikografie toon tans dat Engelse woordeboeke voortgebring word in 'n menigte ander lande as Brittanje, Amerika, Australië en Nieu-Seeland waar Engels 'n inheemse taal is. Dit is hoofsaaklik as gevolg van die oorheersende rol wat Engels in daardie lande soos Suid- Afrika verkry het. Zimbabwiese leksikografie het egter tot sover gefokus op moedertaalwoordeboeke in Sjona en Ndebele, met as hoofrede die behoefte om hierdie voorheen gemarginaliseerde tale te ontwikkel. Gevolglik probeer die voorgestelde model om die omvang van Zimbabwiese leksikografie uit te brei. Dit is nie net ter wille van uitbreiding nie. Inteendeel. In die navorsing word dit waargeneem dat die woordeboeke wat die beoogde leksikografiese tussenkoms uitmaak, in Zimbabwe voortgebring moet word vir hulle om die plaaslike behoeftes met betrekking tot hierdie taal doeltreffend te benader. Byvoorbeeld, lemmakeuse, betekenisparafrases, toeligtende voorbeelde en data bevat in die buitetekste moet linguisties en kultureel toepaslik wees om die inheemse tale en kulture van die teikengebruikers in aanmerking te neem. Daar word opgemerk dat, om die voorgestelde model suksesvol deur te voer, plaaslike uitgewers 'n belangrike rol sal moet speel, terwyl leerplanontwikkelaars, assessore, onderwysers en leerders leksikografies opgevoed sal moet word. Op die oomblik versprei plaaslike uitgewers met internasionale verbintenisse ekstern-gemotiveerde woordeboeke (Gouws 2005). Waar woordeboeke gebruik word, word geen ernstige oorwegings geskenk aan die geskiktheid van woordeboeke nie. Enige beskikbare woordeboek word gekoop ongeag sy bruikbaarheid. Ongelukkig lei dit tot 'n situasie waar gebruikers in gebreke bly om die beste uit die woordeboeke te haal en ontnugter eindig oor die nuttigheid van woordeboeke as gebruiksgereedskap Sommige van die woordeboeke wat in skole aangetref is, word net in veilige kaste in skoolhoofde se kantore weggesluit, terwyl leerders voortgaan om probleme te ondervind wat opgelos kan word deur geskikte woordeboeke. Met leksikografiese opvoeding, en verdere navorsing oor bepaalde aspekte van die model, word 'n leksikografiese tussenkoms in die verwerwing en gebruik van Engels in Zimbabwe gevolglik as 'n verdienstelike onderneming beskou. af_ZA
dc.format.extent 318 p. : ill. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en_ZA en_ZA
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University en_ZA
dc.subject English language -- Study and teaching -- Zimbabwe en_ZA
dc.subject Lexicographical intervention en_ZA
dc.subject Second language acquisition -- Zimbabwe en_ZA
dc.subject Dissertations -- Afrikaans and Dutch en_ZA
dc.subject Theses -- Afrikaans and Dutch en_ZA
dc.title Towards a lexicographical intervention in the acquisition and use of English in Zimbabwe en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.rights.holder Stellenbosch University en_ZA


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