Multilingual Universities in South Africa Reflecting Society in Higher Education Edited by: Liesel Hibbert, Christa van der Walt

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16 Apr 2014
Bilingual Education & Bilingualism
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


Focusing on the use of African languages in higher education, this book showcases South African higher education practitioners’ attempts to promote a multilingual ethos in their classes. It is a first-time overview of multilingual teaching and learning strategies that have been tried and tested in a number of higher education institutions in South Africa. Despite language-in-education policies that extol the virtues of multilingualism, practice remains oriented towards English-only learning and teaching. In the multilingual contexts of local campuses, this book shows how students and lecturers attempt to understand their multiple identities and use the available languages to create multilingual learning environments.


Like it or not, the language debates in South Africa are back and the authors of this excellent book bring together a collection of papers that are empirically rich, theoretically inventive and politically courageous in making the case for multilingualism in the face of the ubiquity of English in school and society.

- Jonathan Jansen, University of the Free State, South Africa

The volume provides pioneering research that places translanguaging, multiliteracy and multilingual linguistic dispensation at the pedagogical centre of South Africa's higher education, where English and African languages are used side by side. The volume will be welcomed by language practitioners and language students across Africa and the globalised world.

- Felix Banda, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

This collection makes a strong case for the need to support translanguaging practices for pedagogical gain in the South African higher education. The variety of approaches that have been employed in this book provides space for African languages to be used as languages of teaching and learning .The main objective is to improve academic access and success thus leading to curriculum transformation in higher education.

- Nobuhle Hlongwa, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Author Biography:

Liesel Hibbert is Professor of Applied Language Studies in the Faculty of Arts, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Her research interests include language development in higher education, linguistic diversity and linguistic ethnography.

Christa van der Walt is Professor of Language Education in the Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University. Her research interests include language-in-education, English language teaching in multilingual contexts and multilingual education. She is the author of Multilingual Higher Education: Beyond English-medium Orientations (2013).

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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