Multilingual students’ attitudes towards their own and other languages at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of the Western Cape

Schlettwein, Sabine (2015-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis reports on research into the attitudes of multilingual students at the Universities of Stellenbosch and the Western Cape towards their mother tongues and other languages. With specific focus on attitudes towards English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa, the study aimed to establish in which domains these language attitudes are manifested, and to identify reasons for the attitudes observed. Upon completion of these components of the research, a comparison was drawn between the language attitudes reported by students of the two universities. In order to gain insight into the themes mentioned above, an online language attitude questionnaire was administered to 140 students from the two universities. Detailed analysis of this data indicates that the participants of this study display the most favourable attitudes towards English, followed by Afrikaans. Participants displayed the least favourable attitudes towards the indigenous languages, although none of the eleven official languages of South Africa were ranked unfavourably by a large percentage of the participants. The data further indicates that English is the preferred language in formal domains while the mother tongues of the participants are preferred in informal domains. Finally, despite the implementation of different language policies that appear to appeal to different linguistic loyalties, no significant differences were found when comparing the language attitudes of the students from the two universities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis doen verslag van ʼn ondersoek na multitalige studente aan die Universiteite van Stellenbosch en die Wes-Kaap se houdings teenoor hulle moedertale en ander tale. Met die spesifieke fokus op houdings teenoor Afrikaans, Engels en Xhosa het die studie probeer vasstel in watter domeine dié taalhoudings manifesteer en wat die redes vir die waargenome houdings is. Na die afhandeling van hierdie komponente van die navorsing is ʼn vergelyking getref tussen die taalhoudings wat deur die studente aan die twee universiteite gerapporteer is. Ten einde insig in die bogenoemde temas te bekom, is ʼn aanlyn taalhoudingsvraelys deur 140 studente aan die twee universiteite voltooi. In diepte ontleding van die data toon dat die respondente die gunstigste houdings teenoor Engels openbaar, gevolg deur Afrikaans. Respondente het die minste gunstig teenoor die inheemse tale reageer, hoewel geeneen van die elf amptelike tale van Suid-Afrika deur ʼn groot persentasie van die respondente ongunstig geplaas is nie. Die data dui verder daarop dat Engels die taal van voorkeur is in formele domeine terwyl die respondente hulle moedertale in informele domeine verkies. Uiteindelik is bevind dat ten spyte van die implementering van verskillende taalbeleide wat oënskynlik tot verskillende taallojaliteite spreek, daar geen beduidende verskille geblyk het toe die taalhoudings van die twee universiteite se studente vergelyk is nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97104
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