Language medium in schools: PANSALB recommendations

Committee: Basic Education

Date of Meeting: 20 Feb 2001

Summary

No summary available for this committee meeting.


Minutes

EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
20 February 2001
LANGUAGE MEDIUM IN EDUCATION: BRIEFING BY PAN SOUTH AFRICAN LANGUAGE BOARD

Chairperson: Professor S M Mayatula

Documents handed out
PANSALB Presentation (see Appendix 1)
PANSALB Recommendations to Minister & Department of Education on Implementation of Language in Education Policy (see Appendix 2)

SUMMARY
The Pan South African Language Board recommended that English should not be the medium of teaching in all schools. They suggested that children learn in their mother-tongue for the first six years of schooling having English as one of their subjects. Thereafter there can be a switch from their mother-tongue to English as the teaching medium. By this time the child would be proficient enough in English to make the switch to English successfully.

The Director General and many members of the committee differed with PANSALB on its interpretation of research, claiming that poor performance was often a "class" issue where children with few resources fared poorly. Further it is the constitutional right of the school to decide its language medium.

MINUTES
The Minister of Education, Mr Kader Asmal, was present for part of the meeting. Also present were the Director General, Thami Mseleku and Deputy Director General, Nasima Badsha. Ms Kathleen Heugh and Ms Zubeida Desai made the presentation on behalf of PANSALB.

Introduction
PANSALB's policy document states that their aims include the pursuit of language policy so that learners can grow, establishing multilingualism, and the promotion and development of official languages.

They expressed concern for the fact that the language in education policy which was announced in July 1997 has still not been implemented. In 1998 PANSALB had a conference to discuss implementation and in 2000 they drew up an implementation plan which set out a five year programme. However, in the light of the goals of the policy document there has still been no implementation.

Research Findings
Recently PANSALB conducted a survey on the feelings of the South African community towards language, the degree of multilingualism in the country, and the degree of literacy in the country.

The MarkData research for PANSALB which shows that only 12% of people support a mainly English education system. Since 9% of South African people are mother tongue speakers of English, this means that only another 3% of South Africans who are not mother tongue speakers of English favour this language as the main language of education. 88% want mother-tongue education or bilingual education.


Misconceptions about Indigenous Languages
There is a public conception that African high school students do not like to learn in their own language. The truth is that these students do not like learning their language as a subject at school. This is because they are expected to spend time on archaic understanding of the basics of the language (such as sentence construction). English and Afrikaans are not taught like this. For this reason they rather take English as a subject, because it is taught in a more fun way.

Matric Pass Rates & English Medium
There is a strong relationship between matric pass rates and mother tongue teaching. A comprehensive study on reading difficulties in the USA shows that if a student cannot recognise more than 2% of vocabularly in a text, then comprehension breaks down rapidly. The UNESCO-Unicef-DoE study on literacy and numeracy of Grade 4 pupils in South Africa in 1999 shows that on average our pupils recognise only 68% of vocabulary. This means that comprehension for our students when they do not recognise 32% of vocabulary is almost impossible. This has a direct bearing on the very low overall level of literacy of 48% of Grade 4 pupils.

From an analysis of statistics, one sees that during the first phase of Bantu Education (1955-1976) on sees a steady increase of matric pass rates for African language speaking students. Dr Heugh's interpretation of this is that whilst it was not the intention of Bantu Education to provide a useful education for African language speaking students, what the architects of Bantu Education did not know at the time was that, ironically, they were providing what is now known to be the best conditions for the learning of a second language (English). Until 1975 black kids had eight years of primary schooling in the mother tongue whilst they also had good teaching of English and Afrikaans as subjects. In other words they had the right timeframe to learn enough English to switch to English medium in Form 1 (first year of high school) and also to be able to grapple successfully with the curriculum at high school. After 1976 the language policy changed to four years of mother tongue followed by a rapid switch to English - when the pupils did not have enough English to cope with the curriculum in the fifth year; and the teachers in grades 5 onwards were not trained to teach in English. Hence there is a notable decline in the matric pass rate after this point.

This also means that the English proficiency of teachers is different depending on at which stage of Bantu education they were taught. After the first set of students the results slid because the second set of students did not learn enough English to use it as a medium. If they went on to become teachers then they had a poor grasp of English. Government is discriminating against the majority of the population by using English as the teaching medium.

Link between Literacy and Numeracy
In the UNESCO-Unicef-Department of Education literacy and numeracy study of 1999 SA students performed poorly. PANSALB believes that this is because there is a strong link between literacy and numeracy (subjects like Mathematics). Children must be able to read and write before they can deal with mathematics. Mathematics vocabulary is not the same as everyday speech. When grade 4 level students were tested they scored low on word recognition. This means that their understanding of the content is bad. Word recognition, comprehension, and writing skills are all linked.

In the Western Cape, for example, literacy scores increased because the majority of children were learning in their mother tongue. Also in provinces such as the Northern Province and Mpumalanga there is a higher rate of illiteracy amongst women than amongst men. The 1996 SA census confirms this. Women, specifically African speaking women, are left behind in terms of literacy and education.

South African children took the TIMS (Third International Mathematics and Science) test. They performed poorly. This is because they did not write the test in their first language. All the children from developed countries wrote the test in their home language. Children must write in the languages that they know best.

Minister Asmal commented that in the American state of California most school children are Spanish speaking yet they write their tests in English. Thus you do not have to learn in your mother tongue.

Ms Heugh replied that this was true but the result was that minorities do suffer. The basic principle is that the first language of the majority in the country is used. In Germany for example children are schooled in German. It is inconceivable that the majority of students would be taught in a second language.

Indigenous Language and Work Performance
The Holman report shows the danger of children in the foundation phase not having access to writing text. The current practice in schools show that African children rarely write text. This goes against productive literacy.

Ms Desai gave examples of texts that grade 4 - 7 students wrote. She demonstrated that they performed better at the same task if they did it in their mother tongue.

A committee member asked what the panel was suggesting. Must there be mother tongue instruction for the first 6 - 8 years?

Ms Desai replied that it showed the extent to which learners could handle the task in English and the extent to which they could handle it in their mother tongue. They perform better when working in their own language but they are not allowed that. Opportunities must be made available for them to do this.

Ms Heugh said that they are not suggesting that there should be no access to English. The best way for students to learn as much as possible however is through being bilingual (if not multilingual) at school.

Other studies conducted show that African language speaking parents move their children to English schools because these schools have better resources. The fact that these schools are English medium is incidental. Thus it is not a rejection of the Xhosa language.

Research shows that where children are taught in their home language and a second language and both languages are sustained, they become better bilinguals. Dual medium schools are better than single medium schools. Research shows that children from dual medium schools are more tolerant.

Myths about Language
There are various myths about language. These include:
- African children are multilingual so they have no mother tongue. This is not true, all people have a mother-tongue.
- Bilingual education is too expensive. This is not true. A full costing has not been done. A mainly English education may be cheap in the short term but from a development point of view it is more costly.

A comparison was made of the Xhosa textbook for a Grade 4 English speaking student who takes Xhosa as a subject and the English textbook for a Xhosa speaking pupil in the same grade. The sentence construction of the English book was complicated while the Xhosa book had basic words. This shows that more is expected from the Xhosa speaking student than from the other student. What is expected of the Xhosa student is unfair.

Thus PANSALB proposes a dual medium system. The child is taught in the mother tongue first. The second language is gradually introduced. If the English-only method is pursued children will attain only a 30 - 40% average.

Conclusion
Immersing learners in English medium schools right from the start is not the best way to go. PANSALB drafted a definition of multilingual education. This definition includes:
- a requirement of effective bilingual education,
- that the mother tongue be given priority as the main language,
- that there be another language as a subject (alongside the home language),
- there could be more than one additional language. There could be three or even four language subjects.

Discussion
The Director General commented that:
- He is cautious about accepting the data quoted on Bantu Education in the presentation (because it was done by the South African government). Some say the education was better before Bantu Education and some say that it was not.
- Language is only a small element which affects results. Another element is that some schools (middle class) are better resourced. One could look at Gauteng for example. There results are good but they are not necessarily a first language province. The real issue is the resource issue and not the language issue.
There is no research on the performance of middle class children. These children succeed even if they do not learn in their first language. It is a class issue.
There must be an improvement of the quality of learning and teaching (not necessarily related to the language issue).
- Schools are choosing English as a first language. They have a constitutional right to do this.
He concluded by saying that he did not agree with the assumptions PANSLAB made on the role of language. The effect of relating all the performance problems to language is that it glosses over the issues of teaching and learning which have to be addressed. This is wrong.

Mr Aucamp (AEB) said that while there could be more than one cause for a certain result, the Director General seemed to be underplaying the importance of mother-tongue language in performance. He asked exactly what weight the Director General placed on mother-tongue language.

The Chairperson objected to this question saying that he did not want to engage in a debate on this now. Mr Aucamp stated that he felt that this was a legitimate question but the Chairperson did not allow the question to be answered. A member of the ANC added that they were there to interact with the presenters and not with each other's comments.

Ms Heugh's response to Director General :
PANSALB must advise government on language policy and language development needs. The constitutional clause on language must be implemented. The school process should be meaningful for children. They should have access to the content of the curriculum in an equal way. South Africa needs a solid grounding in literacy.

Children start to hear language from the time that they are in the womb. This is why it is called the mother tongue. It is important to learn in this language. This could happen in an environment even where a second or even a third language is known. The child must establish literacy in the language with which the child comes to school. The child must then retain this language for another six years. The child must develop thinking processes in this language up to twelve years from the date of the child's birth. If the development of the first language is interrupted at six years old and a new language is added to this without the first having a proper foundation then there is a collapse in both the first and second language.

In the USA where Spanish is the majority first language in some States, the children attain an average of 40% at the end of the twelfth grade because they get taught in English. The same applies to Turks in Germany and Chileans in Sweden for example. These students fail.

In South Africa many of the teachers also do not have a proper grasp of English and therefore cannot teach in English competently. If English were to be the only medium then teachers would have to be trained across the board.

An ANC member commented that the recommendations made by PANSALB did not recognise the work done by the Department of Education in the field of literacy. He raised the issue of learners being denied access to schools on the basis that a different language is used as the medium. In his province learners are often told that a school is full until the year 2006 to deny access. In light of this problem he noted that integration of learners from different cultures is important. Further he noted that class is an important factor which affects learning, it is not just language. He criticised the fact that other factors were not considered in the presentation.

Ms Desai replied that integration cannot be the primary focus of a country like SA. The question is how they can enable previously disadvantaged to get access to services. They could have clusters of schools where, for example, in School A they would have a specific set of languages.

The Director General commented that in most SA schools the learners come from multilingual backgrounds. The SA community is very multilingual. The proposal of clusters presupposes that schools can be directed to follow the policy, for example, School A must teach in certain languages only. The reality is that the schools have a discretion to decide on language policy. It is the schools that choose English. They have rights in terms of the Constitution.

He continued by commenting on the international findings (Spanish children in the USA). He said that if they have a low average it also relates to the resources available to them. There are a number of contextual factors.

Ms Heugh replied that people who move their children to English schools are a minority (middle class and up). In SA most people are working class and from rural areas. They do not come from a reading culture. In all likelihood their parents are illiterate. Schools governing bodies switch to English to prevent middle class children from leaving the school. This is because they realise that the greater the number of students who leave, the fewer teachers they will be allowed. Often they only switch to English ''on paper'' and not in practice. It is to stop the flight of the middle class.

The Director General said that the point is that the school governing body has a legal right to make the decision. This means that PANSALB's suggestions are not implementable. How does one implement it?

Ms Desai noted that she thinks that it is very few school governing bodies who decide to switch to English as a medium.

Ms Heugh went on to say that they need to rejuvenate literature in African language. There is literature for adults but there is a serious lack of it for children. People must be trained to write for children and children must be taught to love reading.

They must also look at how publishers produce material. In school textbooks the language level does not suit the reader. The level of the learner's language development must be equal to the language level in the textbooks (in each grade).

Adv Gaum (NNP) agreed that there is a direct link between the lack of monolingual education and the lack of achievement. It is only one element but it is an element that must be addressed. He asked what approach would be used where there was more than one language group at a school. Should there be mother tongue language for 6 - 8 years and then a switch to English or should there be mother tongue language for the whole school career?

Ms Heugh replied that in a multilingual society bilingual education for all is the best option. There should be a dual medium system. In this way too, schools cannot prevent certain language groups from coming in. Seventy percent of schools have a single language background. If there are mixed language schools then a different strategy can be used. Many schools are monolingual. The approach will depend on the particular circumstances.

Ms Gandhi (ANC) commented that Indians also have a cultural language namely Urdu. It is not only a different language but it has a different script too, yet there is no learning problem in English schools. She said that the research of PANSALB seemed to be flawed. One does not have to study in a mother-tongue to achieve. The Portuguese in South Africa also study in English while they have a different mother tongue. There are other elements which contribute to poor achievement.

Ms Desai replied that the language issue is complex and there are no simple solutions. What might work in an Indian community might not necessarily work in Khayelitsha. The level of exposure to English is different.

The Chairperson concluded by thanking the representatives from PANSALB and the meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1:
PANSALB Education Sub-committee Presentation to the Portfolio
Committee on Education in Parliament 20 February 2001

Summary of Discussion
1. Introduction: PANSALB's concerns regarding the delay in implementing the language in education policy announced on 14 July1997
2. PANSALB Proposals Regarding the Implementation of the Language in Education
Policy: Zubeida Desal
3. PANSALB and related research: Kathleen Heugh

Research Findings:
3.1 Preferred Language Medium in Education: 88% want mother tongue or mother tongue plus English i.e. bilingual education; 12% want English mainly (PANSALB-MarkData 2000)
3.2 Archaic Syllabuses in African Languages at secondary school discourage learners - compare unfavourably with those for English and Afrikaans (Barkhuizen)
3.3 There is a strong correlation between matric pass rates and mother tongue of
students: most students writing in their mother tongues pass; most students who write in their second language (English) fail
3.4 Literacy - Mathematics - Science
1. The UNESCO-Unicef-DoE literacy and numeracy study of 1999 - predicts educational outcome of students at the end of Grade 12;
2. Low L2 Literacy correlates with even lower score for mathematics
3. Countries where students used own language for this test scored much better than South Africa
4. The Third International Mathematics and Science (TIMS) test - South Africa one of the few which expected students to write this in their L2 - correlates with peer performance. (HSRC 2000)
5. The Holman Peport predicts that current low levels of reading and writing will have serious consequences for the country's future economic development
3.5 The minority of African language speaking parents moving children to English medium schools because these are better resourced; have better qualified teachers; whereas there are few resources in African languages to make the curriculum accessible in rural and township schools (Vivian de Klerk).
3.6 There are a number of unfounded myths or public perceptions regarding language in education:
1. Exaggerated claims about the support for English only
2. Deliberate claims that terminology does not exist/cannot be coined in African languages
3. The costs of bilingual education in a multilingual society vs. an English mainly system
4. Deliberate overestimation of educational value of an English mainly or only education system
5. Exaggerated claims of degree of multilingualism of South Africans

3.7 Expected Results of Students

African language % time

English % time

Matric scores %

%

African language % time

English % time

Matric scores %

 

 

 

90

 

 

 

 

X

 

80

 

 

 

 

X

 

70

 

 

 

 

X

 

60

 

 

X

 

X

 

50

X

X

X

 

X

X

40

X

X

X

 

X

X

30

X

X

X

X

X

X

20

X

X

X

X

X

X

10

X

X

X


Appendix 2:
PAN SOUTH AFRICAN LANGUAGE BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE MINISTER AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION POLICY

PREAMBLE
The Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB) fully endorses the principles that underpin the Language in Education Policy of the Department of Education (DoE) as published by the Minister on 14 July 1997. PANSALB acknowledges also the very fine work that has been undertaken by the Minister and the DoE in respect to a wide range of policy and implementation documents that take cognisance of the languages of the people of South Africa. In particular we wish to highlight, in chronological sequence, the following:
· The National Conference on the Implementation of the Language-in-Education Policy 13-14 May 1998 held at the Espada Ranch in Pretoria;
· The Language-in-Education Implementation Plan of 1999 (which is a revised draft of an earlier plan circulated at the time of the National Conference referred to above);
· The Implementation Plan for Tirisano January 2000-December 2004 (which draws attention to the "Priority: We must break the back of illiteracy among adults and youth in five years");
· The research initiative reflected in the report of the NCCRD, Language in the Classroom: Towards a Framework for Intervention, published in May 2000;
· The National Colloquium on Language in Education, 9-10 June 2000;
· The Values in Education Initiative that has culminated in the Education and Democracy: Report of the Working Group on Values in Education, 2000.

PANSALB, in terms of The Pan South African Language Board Act No. 59 of 1995 as amended in 1999, has a responsibility to advise government on language issues, particularly as these concern the development and use of languages that did not enjoy official status at national level prior to 1994. Secondly, PANSALB has a responsibility to ensure that South African citizens are not discriminated against or suffer unfair treatment on the basis of their home language. To this end PANSALB is in regular dialogue with various government departments and interested or affected parties. The board has already made various overtures to both the Minister and the DoE regarding the progress of and process by which the language in education policy is being or is yet to be implemented.

This document contains an outline of the recommendations of PANSALB in regard to the implementation of the policy and it has been informed by recent research initiated by PANSALB, other relevant research conducted in South Africa as well as relevant international research, much in the way which the Deputy Director-General of Education, Dr Ihron Rensburg, endorsed at the National Conference on the Implementation of the Language-in-Education Policy, in Pretoria on 13 May 1998: "…policy will progressively be guided by the results of comparative research, both locally and internationally."

INTRODUCTION
By way of introducing PANSALB's recommendations regarding the implementation of the language in education policy, the Board states its unequivocal support of the principles that underscore the policy, namely:
· The maintenance and support of the mother tongue (also known as the home language or the first language or the language best known by the pupil upon entry to school) throughout school.
· The provision of adequate teaching of a second language which will best enhance the communicative ability of the pupil in the context of South Africa in the 21st century.

What this means, in effect, is that PANSALB fully endorses effective bilingual education for each pupil at school within the multilingual context of the broad South African society.

The Board has become aware that the use of the term multilingual education has taken on a range of meanings, some of which result in confusion amongst pupils, parents, teachers and other members of both civil society and government. Hence we would recommend that the DoE disseminate an adequate definition of this term. PANSALB understands that
multilingual education in South Africa means a national framework for languages in education where each of the official languages, including South African Sign Language, is developed for use as a language of learning (medium of instruction). It includes the development of each of these languages as a subject of learning itself. It also includes the use of other relevant languages used in the country such as the Khoe and San Languages, the languages of the Indian Sub-continent, Arabic etc. where applicable. It also includes the possibility of the teaching and learning of languages of diplomacy and trade such as French, Hausa, Portuguese and Swahili.

Definition of the term Multilingual Education in South Africa
Multilingual education means the provision for and requirement of effective bilingual education for each school pupil, where the mother tongue receives priority as the main language of learning and that a high degree of proficiency in a second language receives serious attention either as a subject only or as a second language of learning alongside the first language. It carries also provision for the learning of a third and possibly a fourth language under certain circumstances.

Multilingual Education does not mean the teaching of all official languages in each school; neither does it mean that each child needs to be more than bilingual. However, it would be advisable, given the range of language communities in the country for many people to aim for proficiency in three languages.

The Board commends the DoE for its carefully thought through Language-in-Education Implementation Plan of 1999, especially in regards to items listed under "5. Initiatives to be undertaken" and the accompanying "Activity Sheets" for these items. Arising out of research which has been commissioned by PANSALB, as well as our concern for the apparent delays regarding implementation (Activity Sheet 1 - completion date 1999; Activity Sheets 2, 3, 5 and 6 having a completion date of 2000) we hereby wish to submit to you a set of recommendations regarding implementation and which take cognisance of documents and reports which emanate from your department.

To summarise: the Board recognises the need for the regular monitoring, evaluation and review of policy. However, it wishes to indicate that the principles underpinning the policy should remain intact. Secondly, the Board is anxious that the language in education implementation plan is put into effect.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION
PANSALB's approach is that language policy and language planning is an ongoing process with achievable time frames and scope for regular monitoring, evaluation and revision. Having said this we agree in principle with the broad time frame for the implementation of Curriculum 2005 and we recommend that a similar strategy be adopted for the language in education policy.

1. Development of Equivalent Language Syllabuses in each of the Official Languages
The implementation plan needs to begin with the development of equivalent syllabuses across each of the official languages to facilitate the establishment of early literacy in the Foundation Phase, the systematic development of reading and writing expertise in the Intermediate Phase, and the development of academic and literary language skills in the Senior and FET phases.
We wish to highlight the need to establish equivalent language syllabuses for each of the official languages of education at L1 and L2 levels as well as equivalent approaches to the teaching and learning of these languages. (See the research of Barkhuizen 2000 undertaken on behalf of PANSALB.)

2. Foundation Phase
The focus of the Foundation Phase must lie with the development of literacy in the first language. By this we mean particular attention to the systematic development of reading and writing in the language (or languages) that the child knows best. PANSALB views the Tirisano priority, literacy, as extremely important in this regard. Our strong recommendation is that the DoE make a strong link between this priority and the language in education policy at school by initiating a National Family Literacy Campaign where child, youth and adult literacy are intimately connected. A campaign aimed at the development of reading and writing proficiency from the start of school and which brings out of school youth, and adult members of the community into the schools in afternoons and over the weekend for the extension of literacy across families will have a number of positive benefits.
· Parental involvement in the education of one's children and the regular presence of parents in the school environment has been found to be one of four key features of successful education of school pupils. One of the current difficulties in South African schools has been finding ways to involve parents. A Family Literacy Campaign may provide a solution. ( See for example Ramirez 1998.)
· Literate adults are likely to play a more active role in the education of their children.
· Adult literacy programmes conducted by each school may contribute positively to the quality of parental involvement in School Governing Bodies.

What is required in Practice:
1. Materials Development
· Reading materials, especially storybooks for children in each of the official written languages need to be generated. The production of storybooks in other South African languages such as the Khoe and San languages should also be facilitated.
· Textbooks and all other teaching materials (including games, charts, audio tapes etc) need to be available in each of the official languages of learning.

This can be accomplished by:
· Training of materials developers and writers of children's stories (together with publishers and NGOs) in each of the languages mentioned above.
· Training of text-editors and layout specialists in each of the official languages.
· Training of translators specialising in language levels at Foundation Phase in each of the appropriate languages (with DACST and PANSALB).

2. Terminology Development
(in consultation and collaboration with DACST and PANSALB)
Equivalent terminology across the learning areas for each of the official languages of education needs to be developed.

This can be accomplished by:
· Identification of terms that require equivalence across the curriculum, in the official languages.
· Collection and evaluation of existing terminology in use across the country. (With the co-operation of DACST, PANSALB and the Provincial Language Committees.)
· Translation of and development of terms where necessary. (DACST.)
· Test the validity of current terminology amongst different groups of language communities (e.g. Xhosa terminology used in the Western Cape should be tested in the Eastern and Northern Cape to assess the extent of its validity.)
· Trial new terminology developed or translated.

3. Teacher Training - Pre-service and In-service
· Initiate a revision of programmes for teachers regarding the teaching of reading and writing, focussing on systematic and developmental approaches to building L1 literacy.
· Training of and upgrading of the language skills of teachers who teach L2s as subjects.
· Training of all teachers to accommodate children with existing bilingual or multilingual proficiencies, and to build on these.

3. Intermediate Phase: Grades 4-6
3.1. Materials Development
· Consolidation of L1 skills for concept development
· Systematic development of reading and writing in L1
I
· ntroduction of L2 for reading and writing purposes. In other words, most of the materials at this stage should be in the L1 of the pupils.
· Gradual introduction of material in L2 as an additional language of learning.

This can be accomplished by:
· Training of materials developers and writers of children's stories (together with publishers and NGOs) in each of the languages mentioned above.
· Training of text-editors and layout specialists in each of the official languages.
· Training of translators specialising in language levels at Intermediate Phase in each of the appropriate languages (with DACST and PANSALB).
· Writing of textbooks for each learning area, in each of the official languages.
· Provision of glossaries in all official languages (Lexicography Units and DACST).

3.2. Terminology Development
(in consultation and collaboration with DACST and PANSALB)
Equivalent terminology across the learning areas for each of the official languages of education needs to be developed.

This can be accomplished by:
· Identification of terms that require equivalence across the curriculum, in the official languages.
· Collection and evaluation of existing terminology in use across the country. (With the co-operation of DACST, PANSALB and the Provincial Language Committees.)
· Translation of and development of terms where necessary. (DACST.)
· Test the validity of current terminology amongst different groups of language communities (e.g. Xhosa terminology used in the Western Cape should be tested in the Eastern and Northern Cape to assess the extent of its validity.)
· Trial new terminology developed or translated.

3.3 Teacher Training - Pre-service and In-service
· All teachers need to have explicit training in the role of language/s in learning, and language across the curriculum.
· Teachers need to be trained to teach through two languages simultaneously..
· The proficiency of teachers' own second language proficiency needs to be assessed and upgraded where necessary.
· Teachers need to be encouraged to support a national Family Literacy Campaign.

4. Senior Phase: Grades 7-9
4.1 Materials Development
Textbooks in all official languages need to be provided across all learning areas. Bilingual combinations of these textbooks also need to be published - the specific combination of languages would be determined in each province and in relation to the language environment in each school district. The most complex arrangement will occur in Gauteng. The PANSALB Sociolinguistic Survey of 2000 shows that the language situation in each of the other provinces is clearly demarcated.
This can be accomplished by:
· Training of materials developers and writers of age appropriate literature (together with publishers and NGOs) in each of the languages mentioned above.
· Training of text-editors and layout specialists in each of the official languages.
· Training of translators specialising in language levels at Senior Phase in each of the appropriate languages (with DACST and PANSALB).
· Writing of textbooks for each learning area, in each of the official languages.
· Provision of dictionaries in all official languages (Lexicography Units).

4..2. Terminology Development
(in consultation and collaboration with DACST and PANSALB)
Equivalent terminology across the learning areas for each of the official languages of education needs to be developed.

This can be accomplished by:
· Identification of terms that require equivalence across the curriculum, in the official languages.
· Collection and evaluation of existing terminology in use across the country. (With the co-operation of DACST, PANSALB and the Provincial Language Committees.)
· Translation of and development of terms where necessary. (DACST.)
· Test the validity of current terminology amongst different groups of language communities (as before).
· Trial new terminology developed or translated.

4.3 Teacher Training: Pre-service and In-service
· Explicit training in the teaching through two languages simultaneously in order to make possible the dual medium approach wherever it is needed.
· The proficiency of all teachers in their L1 for academic purposes needs to be upgraded. (It needs to be recognised that it may not be practically possible for each teacher to teach through two languages. Rather schools may need to be encouraged to develop their own practical implementation of the language policy. For example, the teaching of mathematics and physical science should ideally be taught through the L1, whereas teaching through the second language may advance the teaching of history and geography.
· Many teachers who teach a second language as a subject and who teach through a second language need to have their second language proficiency upgraded.
· Teachers need to be trained to offer support to the National Family Literacy Campaign.

5 . Teacher Training for the Family Literacy Campaign
· Training of teachers for participation in the extension of Family Literacy programmes to out of school youth and adults.
· Family literacy teachers could include out of school youth and high school pupils. (The Cuban Literacy Campaign; recent developments in adult literacy in Mozambique; and the work of Paolo Freire provide useful case studies in this regard.)

6. Establishing Family Literacy Centres
These could be located in schools after school hours. (DoE).

7. Key Research to be noted by the DoE
7.1 PANSALB Initiated Research
· The PANSALB Sociolinguistic Survey has demonstrated that many of the assumptions about parental choice in regard to languages of learning have been mistaken. By far the majority of people in the country want the first language to be used extensively throughout school. Secondly the survey has shown the degree to which Zulu is fast gaining ground as a lingua franca and this has implications for the language in education policy.
· The research of Gary Barkhuizen shows the degree to which the outdated and irrelevant syllabuses and approaches to the teaching and learning of African languages act as a disincentive to speakers of these languages. (Vivian de Klerk's research which is independent of PANSALB but relates to it, shows that unless the syllabuses are revised swiftly and the use of African languages is adequately resourced, there will be a shift away from African languages which will lead to language death.) Hence the urgent need to revise the syllabuses.

7.2 PEI Research
We attach an earlier response of ours to the report on this research. We have very serious concerns regarding the invalid conclusions drawn by the editors of the report in relation to language in education matters.

7.3 The NCCRD Research
Whilst we commend the department for undertaking this research, we feel that there are problems with the way the research was conceptualised and with some of the recommendations. With regard to the LiEP (July 1997) a suggestion is made that the policy be reviewed. PANSALB, on the other hand, feels that a review is premature at this stage. Instead, what is needed is an implementation plan. In addition, a greater focus on schools which are situated in townships and rural areas would have been more appropriate. Schools situated in the ex-HoR and HoD and the ex-Model C schools are not the norm. In fact they form less than 12% of the school-going population.

8. Priority Languages for South Africa
Education in this country needs to keep abreast of international developments whilst also satisfying the needs of domestic concerns. Priority languages for domestic use need to be identified. The PANSALB survey has revealed significant trends in the emergence of four languages which are increasingly being used as lingua francas and the DoE may feel it important to encourage speakers of other languages to focus on these languages,
In addition, we need to look to the language needs for diplomacy and trade. Specifically we need to draw up a list of priority languages for these purposes. In the opinion of PANSALB, we should be beginning to introduce Portuguese, French, German, Swahili and Hausa as languages for these purposes.

9. List of References
2000 Barkhuizen, G Learners Perceptions of the Teaching and Learning of Xhosa First Language in Eastern and Western Cape High Schools. (Report obtainable from PANSALB office).
2000 de Klerk, V Language Shift in Grahamstown: A case study of selected Xhosa-speakers. International Journal of the Sociology of Languages. (forthcoming)
1997 Department of Education. The Language in Education Policy. Pretoria: DoE.
1999 Department of Education. Language-in-Education Implementation Plan. Pretoria: DoE.
2000 Department of Education. Implementation Plan for Tirisano. Pretoria: DoE.
2000 Department of Education. Values, Education and Democracy: Report of the Working Group on Values in Education. Pretoria: DoE.
1999 Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. The Pan South African Language Board Act No. 59 0f 1995 as amended in 1999. Government Printers.
2000 NCCRD Language in the Classroom: Towards a Framework for Intervention. Pretoria: DoE.
2000 PANSALB. The Strategic Plan of the PANSALB Education Sub-committee. Pretoria: Pretoria.
2000 PANSALB Language Use and Language Interaction in South Africa: A National Sociolinguistic Survey conducted by MarkData on behalf of PANSALB. Pretoria: PANSALB.
1998 Ramirez, D. A paper on Family Literacy delivered at the WCCES conference in Cape Town in July 1998. Unpublished.
1998 Rensburg, I Opening Address at the National Conference on the Implementation of the Language-in-Education Policy. Pretoria.
1999 Taylor N & Vinjevold P Getting Learning Right. Report of the President's Education Initiative. Johannesburg: Joint Education Trust.

10. Appendixes:

10.1 PANSALB comments on the PEI Report
10.2 Copies of earlier correspondence with the Minister of Education


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