n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Every teacher a language teacher? Developing awareness of multingualism in teacher education

Volume 45, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



Given the multilingual nature of South African communities, schools are usually linguistically diverse. These contexts create a challenging environment for teaching effectiveness given the fact that learners are required to use high status languages for academic purposes. It is therefore important that teacher education programmes recognise and respond effectively to this challenge. We argue that the demand for every teacher to be a language teacher is a useful way of framing how we view teaching in multilingual environments. We report on a course called Multilingual Education, a module on a Post-graduate Certificate in Education at Stellenbosch University. In the article the focus is on materials design as one important aspect of bilingual practice as well as evidence of increased language awareness. We discuss student perceptions of the course in the form of qualitative data collected by the lecturers responsible for the module and quantitative data in the shape of formal student feedback collected by the university. We conclude by highlighting the value of such courses as well as the awareness of multilingualism that it raised with students who were preparing to teach in these linguistically diverse contexts.

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