n South African Journal of Higher Education - Producing and sharing ICT-based knowledge through English and African languages at a South African university

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article describes an intervention aimed at providing increased access to the study of information and communication technology (ICT) and computer literacy in Higher Education in South Africa. Our focus group is speakers of an African language from a previously disadvantaged background in the extended studies programme at Rhodes University. Preliminary investigation suggests that such students have difficulties becoming computer literate partly because of their lack of English proficiency. This might prevent them from furthering their studies of Computer Science (CS) up to the postgraduate level. Shifting away from the dominant approach to academic support in extended studies programmes in South Africa, in our research we focus primarily on the lexical rather than the discourse level. With the help of a web-based application, students collaboratively produce and share additional material in both English and the African languages. This allows them to integrate new concepts and knowledge about computers into their existing knowledge structures. With our intervention, we hope to improve the students' participation in the production and sharing of knowledge in the field of ICT.

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