n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Editor’s Note - editorial

Volume 52 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0259-9570


Languages afford access to epistemologies. It is in and through language that we learn and come to know. If denied the right to use our languages for learning, then what we come to know might remain superficial knowledge at best. We need a frame of reference for the acquisition of new knowledge and this is created through our own language/s. Multiple language use is common in the African educational domain where teachers and learners share the same languages. Such linguistic practices have been referred to as code-switching in the literature (Setati, 2008; Probyn, 2009; Wildsmith-Cromarty & Gordon, 2009) and were used by teachers to facilitate epistemic access to disciplines such as science and mathematics. The concept of code-switching later gave way to a more recent construction of multiple language use as translanguaging (Garcia, 2009; Garcia & Wei, 2014; Makalela, 2016). At tertiary level, an important focus is on the ways in which such practices create affordances for learning (or not), and what is ‘lost’ in translation or paraphrasing, if anything.

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