n South African Journal of Higher Education - The challenge of multilingualism : in response to the language policy for higher education : perspectives on higher education

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article investigates the requirements of the newly released Language policy for higher education and provides guidelines for an educational approach that would support multilingual higher education. In a nutshell, this policy challenges higher education institutions to provide in the linguistic needs of the new, more diverse and potentially larger student population brought about by greater equity of access, while maintaining quality in education and creating an environment where multilingualism can flourish. This article argues that the policy is necessary, but does not go far enough and that although one can support its existence up to a point, it does not provide enough concrete proposals to steer implementation. Despite its laudable goals, the policy, therefore, cannot support the development of additive multilingualism. In an effort to provide more concrete goals to attain multilingualism, this article discusses the concept of biliteracy as a medium term goal on the road to multilingual higher education.

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