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Bilingual education can work in South African schools: here's how

By Robyn Tyler, Senior research fellow, University of the Western Cape
Brian Ramadiro, Deputy Director, University of Fort Hare
Carolyn McKinney, Associate Professor in Language Education, member bua-lit collective, University of Cape Town
Dr Xolisa Guzula, Lecturer, Applied Language and Literacy Studies, University of Cape Town
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From the fourth year of schooling, the majority of South African schools teach all subjects in English only. The devastating learning consequences of this for children who speak African languages at home have been compellingly captured in the documentary film Sink or Swim. These consequences include lack of conceptual understanding and little identification with the content.

In South Africa there are 12 official languages, including…The Conversation


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