oa Alternation - Additive bilingualism in the South African Language-in-Education Policy: is there proof of the pudding?

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



After the transition to full democracy in 1994 a new South African language-in-education policy was formulated to meet the needs of a society in transformation (Department of Education 1997). The policy was designed to allow freedom of choice, while adhering to the underlying principles of equity, practicability, and the need to redress the results of the past discriminatory laws and practices. The new policy has been descriptionbed as one of the most progressive in the world (Probyn et al. 2002:29). Critics, however, believe that the implementation of the policy leaves much to be desired. In order to appraise the policy, it is necessary to understand the sociohistorical factors that have impacted on the formation of current policies and approaches to multilingualism in South Africa (Bekker 1999:99; St. Clair 1982:164). This paper will therefore begin with a brief sketch of the historical background against which the current language-in-education policy can be analysed and evaluated.

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