Talking my language: Why African-language policy is crucial in SA universities
- Naledi Maponopono, is a PhD candidate in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) African Languages and Literatures section in the School of Languages and Literatures.
- She says African-language-speaking students at South African universities must enjoy the same learning privileges afforded to English- and Afrikaans-speaking students.
UCT PhD candidate Naledi Maponopono is an expert on languages.
Through her thesis research, she seeks to develop a monitoring and evaluation tool specifically targeted at government – to assess its progress and readiness to implement the use of African languages in higher education institutions – for teaching and learning purposes.
She says she's passionate about developing African languages in the education system and hopes that one day, all South African students will receive their education in a language that they understand.
Maponono says changing South Africa’s language learning policy is crucial to this process and a fundamental step towards decolonising the education curricula in higher education institutions in the country.
Changing the language policy plays a vital role in helping students familiarise themselves with the campus environment and the course work.Naledi Maponopono, UCT PhD candidate/Curriculum development specialist - Curro Digital Education
As things change and I reach my goal, I hope that it gives African-language-speaking students the confidence to apply at any institution of higher learning without any concerns about a language barrier.Naledi Maponopono, UCT PhD candidate/Curriculum development specialist - Curro Digital Education
Currently, Maponopono is the only academic in African languages in the country who has embarked on a research project of this kind.
She was recently named one of News24’s 30 Young Mandela's of the Future.