oa Alternation - Language and identity: the case of African languages in S.A. Higher Education

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



This article explores, among other things, the relationship between language and identity. It focuses particularly on the role of the indigenous African languages in higher education. The findings discussed here are based on an empirical study that investigated the status of isiZulu at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville campus. This paper explores the problem of the existing stigma attached to indigenous African languages by their own speakers, particularly the isiZulu and isiXhosa speakers. Firstly, an attempt is made to understand the reasons why these speakers look down upon their languages. Secondly, the article outlines how these speakers construct their identities through language usage. Finally, in view of the expected transformation in higher education and the draft language policy of the said institution, recommendations are made on ways to promote the use of the indigenous African languages in higher education.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error