English lingua franca in the South African tertiary classroom: recognising the value of diversity

Scott, Linda (2015-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Globalisation has led to the use of English lingua franca (ELF) in many international classrooms and in the majority of the South African tertiary education institutions. The South African situation and use of ELF is grounded in the historic developments of the country and an understanding that it is an international requirement for individuals to have access to English language skills to enable them to realise their potential and participate fully within South African society (CHE, 2002:4). While the development of the previously neglected field of African languages as scientific and academic languages remains a priority, examining the use of ELF in the South African tertiary classroom is essential; therefore, this study explores the use of ELF in the South African tertiary education classroom to understand the role of linguistic diversity in the learning environment. Particular attention is directed to the linguistic repertoires of students, their codeswitching behaviour and instances of miscommunication. The study was conducted at a university of technology and participants were observed during group work sessions, which culminated in a formal assessment. Questionnaires were also utilised to gain further data for analysis. Findings indicate that the role of English as a global economic language should not be underestimated. However, the promotion of multilingualism is advocated and attention should be given to not only the promulgation of language policies, but also their implementation. Furthermore, flexibility in language should be encouraged, with a move away from the traditional use of one language for teaching and learning to a translanguaging classroom and an assessment environment, which brings to the forefront the benefits of translanguaging, where one language is used to reinforce and increase understanding in the other languages (Garcia & Wei, 2014:64). This will assist students to reach their full potential in the tertiary education environment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Globalisasie het gelei tot die gebruik van Engelse lingua franca (ELF) in baie internasionale klaskamers, sowel as in die meerderheid van Suid-Afrika se tersiêre onderwysinsitute. Die Suid-Afrikaanse situasie en die gebruik van ELF is gegrond op die historiese ontwikkelings in die land. Elke student moet, om sy volle potensiaal te ontwikkel en volkome deel te wees van die Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap, Engels taalvaardig wees, wat in elk geval 'n internasionale vereiste is (CHE, 2002:4). Terwyl die ontwikkeling van Afrika-tale (wat voorheen nie so baie aandag gekry het nie) as 'n wetenskap- en akademiese taal steeds die voorkeur geniet, moet die ondersoek in die gebruik van ELF in die Suid Afrikaanse klaskamers gesien word as ʼn uiters belangrike onderwerp. Hierdie navorsing ondersoek die gebruik van ELF in die Suid-Afrikaanse tersiêre klaskamer. Die doel is dan om die rol van linguistieke diversiteit in die leeromgewing, naamlik die klaskamer, na te vors. Spesifieke aandag is gegee aan die studente se linguistieke vaardighede, kodewisseling en kommunikasiebreuke. Hierdie navorsing is gedoen by 'n universiteit van tegnologie en deelnemers is waargeneem tydens groepwerksessies. Die waarnemings is ten slotte saamgevat in 'n formele assessering. Vraelyste is ook gebruik om inligting te verkry vir verdere ontleding. Bevindings het bewys dat die rol van Engels as ʼn globale ekonomiese taal nie onderskat moet word nie. Alhoewel die bevordering van veeltaligheid bepleit word, moet aandag nie net gegee word aan die teorie van taalbeleide nie, maar ook aan die uitvoering hiervan. Buigsaamheid moet verder in taalonderrig aangemoedig word deur weg te beweeg van die tradisionele gebruik van slegs een taal vir onderrig en leer. Daar behoort dus meer as een taal in die klaskamer en op assesseringsgebiede gebruik te word; dit sal lei tot die versterking en beter verstandhouding tussen tale (Garcia & Wei, 2014:64). Dit sal leerders ondersteun om hulle volle potensiaal te bereik in ʼn tersiêre onderwys-omgewing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98075
This item appears in the following collections: