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- Volume 36, Issue 2, 2005
Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Volume 36, Issue 2, 2005
Volume 36, Issue 2, 2005
Source: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 123 –124 (2005)More Less
Extracted from text ... EDITORIAL Studies in the languages of Africa A century ago, at the end of the Anglo-Boer (South African) War, two groups of disgruntled Boers who did not want to come under the yoke of a British government left South Africa. One group emigrated to Angola, another to Argentina. Some 70 years later interesting studies were conducted on the language shift that had taken place in the Argentinian community. At the end of the twentieth century another Afrikaner diaspora took place, somewhat ironically, mainly to anglophone countries such as Australia and New Zealand. The first article in this issue of Language ..
Source: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 125 –147 (2005)More Less
`The study of language maintenance and shift is concerned with the relationship between change and stability in habitual use, on the one hand and ongoing psychological, social or cultural processes, on the other hand, when populations differing in language are in contact with each other' (Fishman et al. 1966, 424). This article reports on the initial stages of language shift on a micro level, in a study carried out on 15 Afrikaans speakers, all of whom were in the final stages of preparing to emigrate to New Zealand. The study explores the linguistic attitudes of the emigrants, both to their mother tongue (Afrikaans) and to English and their vision of what lies ahead, linguistically and offers a view on possible long-term linguistic outcomes for these families.
Author Pascale Van de WouwerSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 148 –161 (2005)More Less
This article examines the impact of language on HIV / AIDS, and how stereotypical discourse reveals people's perceptions, attitudes and behaviour towards AIDS at a community level. The speech community in the survey is composed of residents of Bairro UrbanizaÃ§Ã£o, one of the poorest suburbs of Maputo City in Mozambique. The researcher examines in particular the stigmatising process correlating gender stereotypes and female discrimination. Informants' perceptions are ordered on an abstract-concrete continuum, demonstrating that language is not neutral in its use but intentionally marked. This provides evidence for the hypothesis that the numerous HIV / AIDS misconceptions encountered in gender stereotypes considerably influence people's stigmatising attitudes and discriminatory behaviour towards infected women in particular and generate a stigmatising process that underlies people's stereotypical reasoning about women in general.
Starting at the beginning : early childhood literacy intervention as a strategy for reducing adult illiteracyAuthor Ingrid WillenbergSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 162 –175 (2005)More Less
It is estimated that approximately one third or 8.7 million adults over 20 years of age in South Africa may be functionally illiterate. As a signatory to the Framework for Action for achieving Education for All by 2015, South Africa committed to the goal of achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015. The goal of reducing illiteracy is thwarted by problems in delivery of adult basic education and training (ABET) programmes as well as challenges faced by learners participating in programmes. In addition, the existing pool of adult illiterates is likely to increase over time as the children currently unable to access schooling, or receiving minimal or inadequate schooling reach adulthood. This article proposes a multi-faceted approach that includes a focus on curtailing illiteracy in children by improving the quality of early literacy instruction, and introducing intervention in families and communities to promote early literacy development.
Readability and language complexity in old and new law study guides : a corpus-based account of a stylistic shiftAuthor Hilton HubbardSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 176 –192 (2005)More Less
This article explores linguistic reflexes of a move in South African university distance education towards more learner-orientated study material. In what ways might such material be said to be more accessible? Two aspects of accessibility, namely readability and complexity features, are focused on and these are compared by way of corpus analyses of an earlier, more content-orientated study guide introducing the theory of law and a later, more learner-orientated guide. The findings provide an account of some key linguistic characteristics that appear to underpin the enhanced accessibility of the latter guide.
Author Cathy PienaarSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 193 –204 (2005)More Less
The article discusses the shared assessment process that has been implemented in <i>English for academic purposes</i> ENN103-F, a module that focuses on improving the students' reading and writing skills. Its purpose is to improve the students' linguistic competence, and to develop their ability to write logically and effectively. As writing is a process, students are taught to structure ideas into coherent arguments, write an initial draft that is revised and edited before submitting the final product. The shared assessment process used in this module attempts to empower the students to take greater responsibility for their writing and gain an understanding of how to improve their academic literacy skills. The article also discusses the way markers respond to student writing as well as the way students respond to feedback.
Responding to student writing : a taxonomy of response styles; when language (accuracy) matters too muchAuthor Brenda SpencerSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 205 –223 (2005)More Less
This article describes a taxonomy, which was developed as an analytical instrument to classify tutorial commentary written in response to student writing. It includes categories taken from the research of Connors and Lundsford (1993), Greenhalgh (1992), Newkirk (1984b), Perry (1970), Straub (1996) and Warnock (1989) and is descriptive rather than evaluative in nature. It is a consciousness-raising tool designed to identify responses to student writing in terms of the axiological assumptions on which they are based. The students in the empirical study were registered at the University of South Africa (Unisa), a distance-teaching institution, for an entry-level, <i>English for specific purposes</i> module. The task was a narrative paragraph that required a student to describe a specific childhood incident and reflect on its significance. The experiment involved analysis of the global comments given by tutors at the end of 50 randomly selected `marked' assignments.
Source: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 224 –242 (2005)More Less
The aim of the article is to describe a pilot study designed to determine the extent to which contact interventions improve the academic proficiency of tertiary-level students in a distance education institution. A group of `at risk' students, identified by the University of South Africa Unisa Mercantile Law Department, served as the pilot target group for the interventions described. <i>Writing intervention:</i> this involved the active teaching of coherence, cohesion, and the academic essay as a discourse type. <i>Reading intervention:</i> Explicit instruction in the answering of multiple-choice questions was given as this form of evaluation accounts for an increasingly high percentage of testing critical reading at Unisa Reading and <i>writing centre intervention:</i> Essay structuring and argumentation were workshopped. Particular attention was paid to cohesion and coherence. <i>Pre- and post-testing</i> was used to determine the effectiveness of the interventions.
English as a global language : an African perspective
English as a global language, David Crystal : review articleSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 36, pp 243 –265 (2005)More Less
In English as a global language, the author, David Crystal, tells the story of the spread of English around the world. He attempts to explain how English achieved its current status as a global language and he speculates on the possible future of English as a world language. He considers the possibility of English being superseded by another world language or of it evolving into a family of languages. This essay considers some of the issues raised in this book, which have implications for the linguistic ecology of Africa. The educational, political and social implications of the current and future status and use of English in Africa are reviewed, as well as the impact of the language on local languages.