SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
IsiXhosa is the second most spoken language in South Africa and one of its official languages. Spoken mainly in the Eastern and Western Cape regions it is fitting that much of the research focusing on children’s isiXhosa speech and language acquisition has been carried out at the University of Cape Town. We describe what is known about children’s acquisition of isiXhosa, and highlight studies which inform our knowledge of the typical development of the language in relation to the acquisition of consonants including clicks and the isiXhosa noun class system. Little is known about the specific nature of speech and language difficulties in isiXhosa, and the development of isiXhosa resources for speech and language assessment and therapy is in its infancy. Suggestions are made for advancing knowledge and practice which is needed to provide a relevant and quality service to isiXhosa speakers.