n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - Nhasi todya rice ne chicken : Shona-English contact and the effects of code-mixing

Volume 7, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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Contact between Shona and English dates back to many decades ago during the colonial era. There are historical circumstances that influenced their contact and coexistence. Since then the English language has become dominant in most socio-cultural, historical, economic and educational contexts. Focus of the study is on the effects of code-mixing within Shona first language speaking homes. Previous researchers have tended to shy away from the fact that the community's attitude towards English and code-mixing is paving way for the use of English terms instead of the existing Shona terms, hence Shona first language learners are no longer acquiring pure Shona, but diluted with English terms. Shona, especially in urban middle to high class family homes is in decline in favour of English which is a language of wider communication. The type of Shona transmitted from generation to generation is slowly losing its originality as some Shona terms are no longer used in daily conversations as revealed by this study. Shona language is in danger of being swallowed by English as it is the language of instruction even used to teach Shona as a subject and most people take pride in using it. There is therefore need to come up with language revitalisation programmes to try and protect the Shona language. This paper is meant to make policy makers aware of the dangers of using English as a language of wider communication and gives suggestions on how to serve the local languages from losing their originality.

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