n South African Journal of Higher Education - French-speaking students' academic experiences at a private provider of higher education offering foundation programmes

Volume 28, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The academic experiences of French-speaking immigrant students involve a negotiation of the French language with the language of learning and teaching (LoLT). Utilising Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP), case study, observation, document analysis and a narrative inquiry, this research set out to explore the academic experiences of French-speaking students at a private provider of higher education offering foundation programmes as a route to mainstream degree programmes. It was found that sociocultural factors played vital roles in the survival of French-speaking students at the academic institution. South African students spoke Sotho and Zulu both within and outside of the lecture rooms, a scenario which undermined the capacity of French-speaking students to adapt academically and socio-culturally to the academic institution. Unfriendliness on the part of South African students and introversion (an inherent character trait) along with the incongruous posture of the French-speaking students in terms of their incessant use of the French language challenged their academic survival.

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