From the fourth year of schooling, the majority of South African schools teach all subjects in English only. The devastating learning consequences of this for children who speak African languages at home have been compellingly captured in the documentary film Sink or Swim. These consequences include lack of conceptual understanding and little identification with the content.
In South Africa there are 12 official languages, including South African sign language. The constitution allows that any of these languages may be used as a medium of instruction in schools. But only English, and in a minority of schools Afrikaans, is used and resourced beyond Grade 3.
Only 9% of the…
South Africa Education News