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EDU5244/Week 9: Bilingualism in the Curriculum

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Ghazala Choudhary

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of EDU5244/Week 9: Bilingualism in the Curriculum

Article Strengths
Article Weaknesses
Discussion Questions:
1. What difficulties did you face in implementing these models into your 'classroom'?

2. What were the benefits of your model?

3. What were your frustrations as a student?

4. How did your model work overall in this activity?

5. Which model would you use in your classroom and why?
References and Further Reading:
Banda, F. (2008). Contrasting discourse practices among urban and rural black students in English tertiary education contexts in South Africa. In Solly, M., Conoscenti, M., & Campagna, S. (Eds.),
Verbal/visual narrative texts in higher education
(pp. 251-277). Bern: Peter Lang.

Banda, F. (2010). Defying monolingual education: alternative bilingual discourse practices in selected coloured schools in Cape Town.
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
(3), 221-235.

Klerk, G.D. (2002). Mother-tongue education in South Africa: the weight of history.
International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2002(
154), 29-46.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006).
Understanding language teaching: From methods to postmethods
. New York, NY: Routledge.

Madiba, M. (2010). Towards multilingual higher education in South Africa: the University of Cape Town's experience.
Language Learning Journal
(3), 327-346.

Mühlhäusler, P. (2000). Language Planning and Language Ecology.
Current Issues in Language Planning
(3), 306-367.

The data was drawn from a larger study on innovative multilingual practices in black and coloured township schools in Cape Town, conducted over 8 months in 2006/2007.
Links to Chapter 12
Themes from Garcia (2009) & Banda (2010):
Banda, F. (2010). Defying monolingual education: alternative bilingual discourse practices in selected coloured schools in Cape Town.
Clear & precise research question: "The question is how bilingual coloured learners negotiate and construct alternative multilingual discourses in classroom interaction in education contexts in which models prescribe monolingual discourse." (p. 222)

Only a very vague solution to the problem is offered, in the very last line of article: “The three languages should be used as LoLTs in various combinations in all schools, preferably from Grade R.” (p. 233)
Let's Review the 3 Models!
Are YOU Ready?
We have already divided the class into
3 groups: Dual, Parallel and Mixed model

Each group will choose an 'instructor'.

Your task:
to create a short dance sequence to the music provided

Use of Models for Activity:
L1 for all groups is ENGLISH
L2 for all groups is DANCE/GESTURES

Dual model group:
only use dance/gestures (L2), but instructor of group can switch from oral communication to dance/gestures (L1/L2 code switching)

Parallel model group:
only use dance/gestures (L2)

Mixed model group:
students and instructor can switch codes throughout learning process
Bilingual Allocation
Bilingual Arrangement:
Strict separation of languages
Theoretical Framework
Language Policy & Implementation:
Teacher attitudes, abilities & strategies
Future: Multilingual Model
1 + 1 = 2
The literature review gives a strong rationale for questioning and studying Cape Town’s educational system.
The research design & data collection methods are diverse and well-suited to answering the research question.
The presentation of the data answers the research question adequately, and the conclusions drawn from the data and from the literature review are logically sound.
isiXhosa is mentioned early in article as one of three official languages whose use must be promoted by Cape Town authorities, but not given any attention thereafter.
Banda (2010) claims he drew his data from a larger study, but does not explicitly cite the study in question.
Transparency issues: there are no appendices or links to wider range of extracts from primary data. Did Banda only pick out the most egregious examples of alternative bilingual discourses in Cape Town classroom, or is there really a clear tendency for students to construct such a discourse?

The author’s use of Wikipedia as a source (p. 222) is strange in an academic, peer-reviewed article.
Article - Key Points
The South African constitution recognizes 11 languages as official.
In Cape Town, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, and English are the official languages.
Students learn through their mother tongue for 6-7 years, then switch to English medium education: parallel & dual medium are recognized as models of bilingual education.
Additive bilingualism is used to promote multilingualism.
Additive bilingualism is criticized by the author: he argues that ‘adding’ language makes sense in monolingual contexts, but not in African contexts with a multilingual heritage
The author argues in favor of reconsidering the use of Western models, where people have a singular ‘mother tongue’ and education is best done in only one standardized language
To achieve trilingual proficiency, teaching models need to account for all languages.

isiXhosa, Afrikaans, and English should be used as
anguages of
earning and
eaching (LoLT) in all schools.
The current study focused on nine schools in Cape Flats: 7 primary schools (Grs. 1-7) and 2 secondary schools (Grs. 8-12).
Data collection methods included interviews with participants, principals, and teachers.

The interviews focused on learners and teachers' use of English, Afrikaans, and/or isiXhosa.
Data collection also involved classroom observations and audio/video recordings of some teaching to capture the use of multilingual strategies, hence alternative discourses in classroom practice.
Within the same class are 2 groups: Afrikaans & English.
LoLT time allocation varies from 50:50 to 80:20
Students must speak in their assigned language
Teacher switches between languages
Where does Banda (2010) fit in?
Banda (2010)
Western Models
Research in South Africa
2 sections in one class; each section can only respond in assigned language
Alternating days of L1 & L2 instruction;
strict separation
Inclusion of both L1 & L2
(proposed model)
You have 10 minutes!
Two Mediums of Bilingual Education
Separate English & Afrikaans classes
Identity labels assigned
Learners share facilities but not LoLT
LoLT alternates days
Same teacher, same subject, different language different day.
None of the teachers interviewed and observed in the current study had any formal training on the use of the two models.

But… they had training to handle one of the two languages.

The teachers expressed that they are bilingual and proficient in Afrikaans and English.

This study demonstrates that neither the parallel medium nor the dual medium models address the issues related to inherited multilingualism in Cape Town.
• In the present study, teachers unsuccessfully try to apply models that do not fit.

• Since the learners are bilingual, the models imposed an inappropriate kind of multilingualism to Cape Town as learners were focused to choose between English and Afrikaans.

• There is clearly need for comprehensive models that take account of local multilingual realities.

Teaching to “unlearn” bilingualism (from a dual medium class).

• The teacher divides the class into two sections: one for Afrikaans, and the other for English.

• In interaction, the teacher alternates between two languages, depending on the officially identity labels assigned to the section of the classroom.

• Oblivious to his own bilingual linguistic behaviour, the teacher tries very hard to restrict the learners’ responses to the language they have been allocated.
• However, students interact using the two languages.

• Thus, it makes no sense for the teacher to separate the class in two and pretend that each section of the class is monolingual.

• The learners break down the monolingual identity that is being constructed of them by the teacher.

• They instead construct an alternative bilingual identity as they respond in English and Afrikaans.
• Interviews with teachers showed that restricting learners to one “standard” language only was the norm.

• Thus, they took it upon themselves to teach learners to “unlearn” the other language(s).
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