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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X

Abstract

MADLALA, Nolwandle MaDumisa  and  MKHIZE, Nhlanhla. The influence of ideology on black African students' perceptions of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's bilingual policy. Journal of Education [online]. 2019, n.76, pp.89-107. ISSN 2520-9868.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2520-9868/i76a05.

The authors' chosen theoretical framework posits that how black students perceive bilingual instruction in higher education is largely influenced by the various ideological perspectives they have been socialised into in different contexts where African languages are used, and continue to be diminished, for different objectives. Through individual interviews, the study explored which ideological frameworks participants drew on when discussing their general perspectives on, as well as perceived benefits and challenges of, bilingual instruction at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. They were also asked what their recommendations for the policy's implementation process were. The students who had experienced bilingual instruction explained how they started better understanding the content of their studies as well as the meaning of previously difficult English concepts. Students who had not experienced bilingual instruction mainly discussed how they thought the use of isiZulu could facilitate better understanding primarily for students who struggle to understand English. However, they warned that an extended use of isiZulu would hinder upward socioeconomic mobility for graduates who struggle to communicate in English. In light of the study's findings and the conflicting ideologies shared in South Africa, the authors recommend that when planning their respective implementation processes for bi/multilingual instruction for higher education, national and institutional policymakers should consider students' various ways of perceiving languages' differential levels of use and esteem and how this could influence their conceptions of academic objectives.

Keywords : higher education; transformation; conflict; ideologies; value; mobility.

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