South African classrooms have become
increasingly diverse and the shifting
demographics of the instructional context have necessitated a change in the way preservice
students are prepared for the linguistic and cultural diversity of their future
classrooms. In response to this, undergraduates enrolled in the Faculty of Education
at the University of Pretoria are now required to extend their personal language
repertoire by acquiring a functional knowledge of words and appropriate phrases for
instructional purposes in an African language (Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Tswana or
Zulu). A particular innovation of this new credit-bearing module has been the creation
of a multimedia CD with visual and audio course content (read by native speakers).
The module also offers a historical overview of the linguistic diversity encountered in
especially urban classrooms as well as an appreciation of diversity in the pedagogical
context. This article addresses the challenge and process of the curriculum design
using the classic ADDIE model. It also documents student reaction to the compulsory
module as well as their experience of language learning.