Super Linguists – Language Development Programme

Super Linguists - Language Development Programme

Languages in South Africa

South Africa is known as the rainbow nation and we are truly blessed with our wonderful natural treasures but we are also blessed with great cultural treasures as well. Our 11 official languages speak of our great cultural diversity. This fact also speaks of the importance of being able to communicate in more than one language in South Africa. The Department of Basic Education has proposed that all learners in South African schools learn an additional African language apart from English and Afrikaans. The Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African Schools Policy was drafted in 2013 and various schools were part of a pilot study in 2017. It is however unclear when this policy will be signed into effect.

The Super Linguists Programme in Practice

The Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African Schools Policy advocated that learners will still be required to learn their home language and a first additional language but learners will now be required to learn a second additional language which will be an African language. The African languages offered at schools will be determined based on the dominant African language of the area. Thus learners in KwaZulu-Natal will be required to learn English, Afrikaans and isiZulu.

 

The Super Linguists Programme will work on the same principle as proposed in The Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African Schools Policy. The programme will teach English, Afrikaans and the African language which is the most dominant in the area.

 

The programme is presented as short online lessons covering 8 to 12 words per lesson. These lessons are theme specific and covers all the themes as in the CAPS curriculum and includes topics such as my family, my school, my body, seasons and numbers. The programme is fun-filled and incorporates a number of play-based learning activities to ensure that the words are memorised. It is important to take note that the programme focuses on language competency and not fluency as this programme is aimed at laying the foundation for The Incremental Introduction of African Languages in South African Schools.

The Programme for Different Ages

The aim of our programme is to foster a love for languages among children and to systematically introduce them to and teach them more about the different languages which they will be learning.

 

The Programme for 3-Year Olds:

The 3-year olds will only be taught one additional language. Therefore they will be a second language by making use of their home language. Thus:

  • Afrikaans speaking children will be taught English
  • English speaking children will be taught Afrikaans
  • Zulu speaking children will be taught English

 

The Programme for 4-Year Olds:

The 4-year olds will be taught one additional language and a second additional language will be introduced, the second language will only be applied to 50% of the words which forms part of that particular lesson. For example the English speaking child will be taught Afrikaans and he will then only be taught 4 of the 8 (50%) words which forms part of the lesson in Zulu. Thus:

  • Afrikaans speaking children will be taught English and 50% Zulu
  • English speaking children will be taught Afrikaans and 50% Zulu
  • Zulu speaking children will be taught English and 50% Afrikaans

 

The Programme for 5-Year Olds:

The 5-year olds will be taught one additional language and a second additional language will be introduced, the second language will only be applied to 75% of the words which forms part of that particular lesson. For example the English speaking child will be taught Afrikaans and he will then only be taught 6 of the 8 (75%) words which forms part of the lesson in Zulu. Thus:

  • Afrikaans speaking children will be taught English and 75% Zulu
  • English speaking children will be taught Afrikaans and 75% Zulu
  • Zulu speaking children will be taught English and 75% Afrikaans

 

The Programme for 6-Year Olds:

The 6-year olds will be taught one additional language and a second additional language, the second language will now be to all of the words which forms part of that particular lesson. For example the English speaking child will be taught Afrikaans and Zulu. Thus:

  • Afrikaans speaking children will be taught English and Zulu
  • English speaking children will be taught Afrikaans and Zulu
  • Zulu speaking children will be taught English and Afrikaans

 

The Programme for 7-Year Olds:

The 7-year olds will now also be taught how to read and write in a first additional language and a second additional language. The second additional language will only be applied to 50% of the words which forms part of that particular lesson. For example the English speaking child will be taught how to read and write all Afrikaans words and he will then only be taught 4 of the 8 (50%) words which forms part of the lesson in Zulu.

Therefore:

  • Afrikaans speaking children will be taught how to read and write English and 50% Zulu,
  • English speaking children will be taught how to read and write Afrikaans and 50% Zulu,
  • Zulu speaking children will be taught how to read and write English and 50% Afrikaans,

 

The Programme for 8-Year Olds:

The 8-year olds will now also be taught how to read and write in a first additional language and a second additional language. The second additional language will only be applied to 75% of the words which forms part of that particular lesson. For example the English speaking child will be taught how to read and write all Afrikaans words and he will then only be taught 6 of the 8 (75%) words which forms part of the lesson in Zulu. Therefore:

  • Afrikaans speaking children will be taught how to read and write English and 75% Zulu,
  • English speaking children will be taught how to read and write Afrikaans and 75% Zulu,
  • Zulu speaking children will be taught how to read and write English and 75% Afrikaans,

 

The Programme for 9-Year Olds:

The 9-year olds will now also be taught how to read and write in a first additional language and a second additional language. The second additional language will now be applied to all of the words which forms part of that particular lesson. For example the English speaking child will be taught Afrikaans and Zulu. Therefore:

  • Afrikaans speaking children will be taught how to read and write English and Zulu,
  • English speaking children will be taught how to read and write Afrikaans and Zulu,
  • Zulu speaking children will be taught how to read and write English and Afrikaans,

South Africa is blessed with 11 official languages and we believe that it is of the benefit of all South African children to be able to communicate in at least one African language. Do not delay, invest in your child’s life today!

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