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"The English you speak is the English that shows who you are": A sociological study of the preference for English as the medium of instruction in South Africa
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The present study has been conducted as a minor field study in South Africa focusing specifically on the Western and Eastern Cape provinces. The purpose has been to examine, describe and analyze the preferences regarding English as the medium of instruction.

Secondary data gathered in the annual South African Social Attitudes Survey have been used to map out how the preferences regarding English as the medium of instruction have developed between 2003 and 2012, among the three main linguistic groups. The same source material has also been used to investigate which type of assets and characteristics that related to the preference for English as the medium of instruction. In order to contextualize these findings an interview study has been conducted with aims to investigate how South African learners relate to, handle and state to be affected by being taught in English.

The reults support that there has been an increased preference for English to be the main medium of instruction during the examined period. The educational system's inability to provide English equally to all its learners, in combination with the necessity to acquire English in South Africa can explain this increase. Findings also indicate that if this preference is translated into practice, it runs the risk of reinforcing structural social inequality in the region as well as facilitate a larger language shift at the cost of other indigenous South African languages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 110 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology of Education, Minor Field Study, Medium of instruction, Bourdieu, Language shift
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-321404OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-321404DiVA: diva2:1092957
Subject / course
Sociology of Education
Educational program
Master Programme in Educational Sciences
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-30 Created: 2017-05-04 Last updated: 2017-06-30Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf