Afrikaans as taal van onderrig en leer in skole en ander onderwysinstansies: "Ou" wyn in nuwe sakke
Van der Walt, Hannes
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Several authors have recently come to the conclusion that the linguistic human rights approach that has so far been followed in South Africa has largely failed. English has become the dominant language in all spheres of life despite the fact that the South African Constitution recognises 11 languages as having official status. Afrikaans, as the language of one of the minority groups in the country, has so far not enjoyed the same status as English and it is unlikely that it ever will, in view of the recognition which English enjoys as an international language of trade and commerce. Although the South African Constitution provides all the means required to entrench and promote Afrikaans (as well as the other 10 languages) and the rights of their speakers, there seems to be no political will to do so.In view of this, another strategy should be considered to improve the status of Afrikaans as an official language and also as a language of learning and teaching (LOLT) in schools and universities. To do this, the linguistic human rights approach should be relinquished in favour of a linguistic civil rights approach. This is an approach that embodies strategic actions and steps taken at ground level, in their everyday lives, by members of the Afrikaans community for the purpose of promoting the status of Afrikaans in South Africa, particularly as LOLT in schools and other institutions of learning. A linguistic civil rights approach utilises the space offered by the statutory fundamental human rights framework of the country for its strategy, but deviates from a linguistic human rights approach in that it does not look to the government to promote the status of the minority languages, but looks to the community in question (in this case, the Afrikaans community) to take up cudgels for Afrikaans, particularly as LOLT in schools and universities. Put differently, it uses the existing statutory framework as the space within which to work towards the retention and the promotion of Afrikaans as an official language and as LOLT in schools and universities.
- Faculty of Education