To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Language in the professions: law, media, science and language technology
Wanga Gambushe, PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London.,
Dion Nkomo, lectures in the School of Languages and Literatures, African Language Studies, at Rhodes University.,
Pamela Maseko, associate professor in African Language Studies at Rhodes University and holds a doctorate in the field of African language intellectualisation.
Although access to higher education (HE) in South Africa has widened since 1994 to reflect the country's linguistic and cultural diversity, patterns of high failure and repetition rates, underperformance and low throughput rates remain typically linked to race and language (see Statistics on Post-School Education and Training in South Africa: 2011 [DHET 2013]; Review of Higher Education in South Africa: Selected Themes [CHE 2007]; Higher Education Monitor: The State of Higher Education in South Africa [CHE 2009]). Multilingualism is now a norm in South African HE, as it is an acknowledged societal norm in the country at large. However, it is a norm only as far as the linguistic composition of students and (to a lesser extent) staff is concerned. Teaching in most institutions is monolingual in the medium of English, which is a second language to most South African HE students. The choice for English as a language of learning and teaching (LoLT), especially for speakers of languages other than English, may be considered a historical legacy. On the one hand, English is historically the language of academia in South Africa, given the marginalisation of African languages in HE during the pre-1994 period. On the other hand, it is a global language and is seen as presenting opportunities for economic and social mobility. African languages are not regarded as well-developed enough for use as languages of academia (Jokweni 2004). Research on bi- and multilingual teaching and learning that embraces African languages in HE (Bamgbose 1991; Obanya 2004) is also not considered advanced enough to provide models that can be used to support cognition, and therefore success and throughput for English second language (ESL) students (Mesthrie 2008). Yet this research confirms the important relationship between language and cognition in the learning process, and illustrates that the mother tongue of a learner is critical in contributing to quality education.
The relationship between language and learning is motivated by the fact that students enter a learning process in possession of their mother tongue with its set of linguistic and conceptual knowledge. Cummins (1981), one of the proponents of mother-tongue-based bilingual learning, argues that bilingual learners should be encouraged to draw on their mother tongue to acquire new knowledge, and opportunities should be presented for the newly acquired knowledge to be contextualised within the pre-existing knowledge, and new knowledge to emerge in this process.
To date, there has been no published textbook which takes into account changing sociolinguistic dynamics that have influenced South African society. Multilingualism and Intercultural Communication breaks new ground in this arena. The scope of this book ranges from macro-sociolinguistic questions pertaining to language policies and their implementation (or non-implementation) to micro-sociolinguistic observations of actual language-use in verbal interaction, mainly in multilingual contexts of Higher Education (HE). There is a gradual move for the study of language and culture to be taught in the context of (professional) disciplines in which they would be used, for example, Journalism and African languages, Education and African languages, etc. The book caters for this growing market. Because of its multilingual nature, it caters to English and Afrikaans language speakers, as well as the Sotho and Nguni language groups – the largest languages in South Africa [and also increasingly used in the context of South African Higher Education]. It brings together various inter-linked disciplines such as Sociolinguistics and Applied Language Studies, Media Studies and Journalism, History and Education, Social and Natural Sciences, Law, Human Language Technology, Music, Intercultural Communication and Literary Studies. The unique cross-cutting disciplinary features of the book will make it a must-have for twenty-first century South African students and scholars and those interested in applied language issues.