n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Problems in implementing instructional languages : why the language-in-education policy will fail

Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



This article presents reasons for the primacy of initial education in mother-tongues at the lower primary school level. It also argues for the use of an L2 since there are many learners world-wide who are successfully receiving an education via a second language. The article further argues that for the benefit of the Black majority learners, there is need for educationists and language planners to have a clear and realistic understanding of the educational outcomes of instruction in second a language such as English, as such a knowledge is important where realistic expectations can inform language planners in educational contexts.</br> The latter part of the article argues that the language-in-education policy is doomed to fail. The reasons for this include factors such as lack of trained teachers in mother-tongues and in the powerful second language, English ; lack of curriculum materials, poor infrastructure from books to buildings, and the total lack of the political will to effectively implement the promulgated language-in-education policy. If this is to be saved, there is a need for rekindled willpower on the part of the ministry's efforts and those involved.

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