Contemporary society has seen the English language rise to great heights. It has
become the most important language in trade, industry and education. In South Africa,
speakers of Indigenous African Languages (IALs) consider English to be indispensable
for economic emancipation, despite only a small percentage of the population being
fully versed in the language. Moreover, the status of English as a global language and
its reputation as the language of opportunity has been reported by researchers as being
an enticing incentive for parents to opt for English for their children. However, the
hegemony of English has been reported to have adverse effects on IALs and,
importantly, on learners in term of their use of the language in the education sector.
Despite the many years of enquiry and the numerous policies drafted, mother-tongue
education remains an ideal that has not been achieved and English continues to
dominate. Therefore, it is important to investigate the current state of affairs and to
identify the definite the whys and wherefores of the English hegemony. This minidissertation
shows that South Africa?s language history impacts greatly on parents?
choices of language of learning and teaching (LoLT); it makes various
recommendations for creating a sound and successful education system.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.