Towards the Intellectualisation of African Languages Through University Language Policies


Authors: Liqhwa Siziba, Raphael Nhongo (North-West University, South Africa)
Speaker: Raphael Nhongo
Topic: Pedagogical Anthropology
The GLOCAL AFALA 2023 General Session


Abstract

The use of African languages as languages of teaching and learning (LoTL) at
various academic levels up to university in various fields of knowledge has not yet been effectively implemented at institutions of learning in South Africa. Failure to implement the use of African languages as LoTL has mainly been attributed to lack of intellectualisation of these languages. The central argument is that higher learning institutions need to have language policies that give credence to the intellectualisation of African languages. The paper uses language as a resource theory to analyse the language policies of North-West University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal with the aim of establishing how they are enabling the intellectualisation of African languages. The content analysis of NWU and UKZN language policies was used in discussing issues of intellectualisation of official African languages that were selected by these institutions. Universities that seek to implement the use of African languages as LoTL need to come up with language policies that spell out intellectualisation plans for these languages. Universities need not to focus on status planning only, but also on corpus planning so as to successfully implement the use of African languages as LoTL.

Keywords: institutional language policies, intellectualisation of African languages, language as a resource, language of teaching and learning, terminology development