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This chapter departs from a description of transformation in African language lexicography from a Eurocentric approach where dictionaries for African languages were compiled by foreigners to an Afrocentric approach in which mother-tongue speakers of African languages take responsibility for the compilation of African language dictionaries. A Eurocentric approach to dictionary compilation for African languages refers to the colonial period where dictionaries were mainly compiled by missionaries to fulfil their own lexicographic needs, that is, to spread the gospel. Afrocentric refers to dictionary compilation for African languages in Africa by Africans in a ‘postcolonial society’, that is, projects likely to thrive as compilers have sentimental attachment to it. The main focus in the chapter, however, is on the subsequent required transformation process for multilingual lexicography in Africa from a ‘postcolonial society’ to a ‘globally competitive knowledge society’, mainly in respect of a fresh start to the compilation of reference works in the electronic era. Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho) is taken as a case in point.
The importance of developing English skills early in contexts where it is to be used as medium of instruction is well documented, but there has been little systematic research in South Africa to determine whether the early introduction of English leads to balanced bilingual learners. This chapter focuses on the acquisition profiles of, and interrelationship between skills in, a sample of Northern Sotho–English bilingual children. Within this sample, one group received their schooling in Northern Sotho (their home language), with English being taught as a first additional language from Grade 1. The other group received their schooling in English from Grade 1, with Northern Sotho being taught as first additional language. Receptive vocabulary and phonological awareness were assessed in both languages. Correlational analysis of the data suggests that some linguistic skills are interrelated and transferable between Northern Sotho and English, despite the structural differences between these languages, whereas others are more dependent on instruction and not automatically transferable.