Thematic Track 7

Theme 7: Language Policy, Planning and Implementation in Higher Education: Future directions

Coordinators: Dr Langa Khumalo and Dr Ansurie Pillay

Language in South Africa, and particularly in that of its Higher Education context, is complex and contested. It mirrors the chequered historical circumstances, which have seen the country transition from a bilingual context to a de jure multilingual and de facto monolingual situation that persists today. It is in this context that South African Higher Education is increasingly waking up to the imperative of placing language, and particularly African languages, at the centre of academic activity. We have seen the promulgation of institutional language policies and implementation strategies seeking to translate into practice constitutional and legislative clauses on language that adorn the South African statute books. Consequentially, academic discourse on the role of language in Higher Education is shifting away from the entrapment of academic sentimentalism and advocacy to practical implementation of strategies that seek to increase the role of language in access to knowledge, and the active role African languages can play in the global knowledge economy.
Thus, the imperative to disrupt pedagogies, for effectively teaching multilingual classrooms in Higher Education institutions, has been motivated. While transformational issues, including the decolonisation of both curricula and institutions, aim to provide relevant episteme and foster social cohesion, issues of access and success need to be critically interrogated together with the language policies that shape institutions, if any real progress is to be made.
This is a call for papers, posters and workshops that report on empirical research and/or on new, innovative theoretical considerations relating to Language Policy, Planning, Pedagogy and Implementation in Higher Education.

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