n International Journal of Educational Development - The narrative of dual medium in a multilingual context of a black urban area in Grade R

Volume 2 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2312-3540



This article is a critical analysis of how a black urban primary school in South Africa used dual medium in two Grade R (Reception year or kindergarten) classes. An ethnographic inquiry was conducted in a township primary school, informed by sociocultural theory. The sample comprised children, teachers and parents of classes divided by the school according to the learners' home languages. Data collection included interviews, observations, artifacts and a reflective journal, analysed using Atlas.ti software and Brewer's steps of analysis. Language code-switching and translation were mainly employed by teachers to address language complexity emanating from internal and external factors affecting the school. Having to learn in a dual medium of one African language or home language and English highlighted the need to revisit the crucial area of language development and acquisition in early childhood development and foundation phase learners.

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