|dc.description.abstract||The objectives of this research firstly is to assess and establish the guidelines in respect of the medium of instruction as a determinant of the forms of the educational system in South Africa. Subsequently, the researcher wishes to establish the precise policy in respect of the instructional medium in South Africa. Thirdly, the researcher wishes to establish which languages are preferred as instructional media by South African learners, and why. Finally, the researchers wishes to establish the learners' approach and attitude in respect of a particular instructional medium. The research method followed, focuses in the first place on an extensive literature study to primarily establish the guidelines in respect of the instructional medium as a determinant of the educational system, as well as to acquire information in respect of the instructional medium in South Africa.
In addition, empirical research was done to determine which languages are preferred in practice by learners as media of instruction, and why attempts at assessing attitudes in respect of a specific instructional media were also made. By using a questionnaire as measuring instrument, quantitative research was done in respect of 28 % of the grade eleven learners in Vanderbijlpark. Qualitative research was also done by way of personal interviews using a structured questionnaire with the aid of teachers. The findings briefly indicate that the Afrikaans -speaking learners in South Africa realize the value of mother tongue instruction, consequently also then preferring it as the instructional medium. Both English -speaking and African language users in South Africa prefer English as a medium of instruction as they believe their entrance into the job market will then be assured. Only a small percentage of users of African languages prefer their mother tongue as instructional language. The literature study revealed that mother tongue instruction is indispensable in respect of academic performance. Learners perform better academically should they for a period receive instruction in their mother tongue, even should it be up to the fourth grade when basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic are acquired.
It was finally established, that South African legislation indeed provides for mother tongue instruction for all, but that the policy is not applied in practice. It is the considered opinion of the researcher that mother tongue instruction in South Africa is a treasure to be cherished and preserved by both Afrikaans and English speaking learners, also that it should be extended to users of African languages, as only mother tongue instruction for all in South Africa would indeed mean real equal educational opportunities.||en