oa Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus - Vocational language learning and teaching at a South African university : preparing professionals for multilingual contexts

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1726-541X
  • E-ISSN: 2224-3380



This paper highlights the methodology that has been used at Rhodes University and other South African universities in implementing vocation-specific African language learning programmes. Essentially, the paper links the curriculum design to the theoretical paradigm of intercultural communication. Intercultural theory is used as a basis to develop vocation-specific courses where language and culture are taught, for example, to second language learners of isiXhosa at Rhodes University. These courses include courses for Pharmacy and Law students. This paper offers a new theoretical paradigm for intercultural language teaching. Furthermore, examples from specific courses are provided in order to illustrate how this theoretical paradigm can be implemented in a practical way. The impact of multilingualism and intercultural communication in the wider legal and healthcare work environment in South Africa is also discussed.

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