European Journal of Language Policy

Using Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) to address multilingualism in South African schools

European Journal of Language Policy (2016), 8, (1), 57–77.

Abstract

This paper confronts the education system of South Africa, indicating that all official languages must be treated equally, and not only on paper but most importantly in practice. For this reason, the country needs to understand the value of mother-tongue education, which is now supported by the Incremental Introduction of African Languages (IIAL) policy (Department of Basic Education (DBE) 2013). Unfortunately, the intention and implementation do not always work hand in hand. Being educated in your mother tongue does not mean not learning in other languages. The value of all South African languages must be adequately communicated and shared with the learners, teachers and parents to make an informed choice. Some teachers get frustrated with the performance of their learners when taught in other languages rather than their home languages. During the lessons, the teachers resort to switching from the use of English to the learners’ home languages as a way to bridge the gap of understanding. In that case, it would be better to use Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach to improve learning of languages and different subject matters.

Cet article s’attaque au système éducatif en Afrique du sud en mentionnant que toutes les langues officielles devront porter la même valeur, pas seulement en théorie mais aussi, et surtout, dans la pratique. Pour cette raison, il est important de comprendre l’importance de l’enseignement dans la langue maternelle, un concept qui est soutenue par la politique de l’introduction incrémental des langues africaines (Incremental Introduction of African Languages IIAL) (Département d’enseignement élémentaire 2013). Malheureusement, la théorie et la pratique ne s’accordent toujours pas. Un enfant éduqué dans sa langue maternelle peut également apprendre dans d’autres langues, d’où le besoin de bien communiquer l’importance de toutes les langues sud-africaines aux élèves, aux enseignants et aux parents afin qu’ils puissent choisir en connaissance de cause. Les enseignants deviennent parfois frustrés par les faibles résultats des élèves qui sont éduqué dans une langue autre que leur langue maternelle et ils commencent à alterner entre l’anglais et la langue maternelle des élèves afin de faire passer le message. Dans ces cas il vaudrait mieux se servir de la méthode de l’enseignement d’une matière intégré a une langue étrangère – EMILE (Content and Language Integrated Learning -CLIL) afin d’améliorer l’apprentissage des langues et d’autres sujets.

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Mathole, Yvonne