Official languages growing

AFTER the speech by the second winner of the Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards 2010, Reatlehile Jankie, I would like to support the way in which our official languages are growing.

AFTER the speech by the second winner of the Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards 2010, Reatlehile Jankie, I would like to support the way in which our official languages are growing.

His speech, titled African language in the mist, means a lot for the promotion and preservation of our own official languages.

First and foremost, let me take this opportunity to thank Sowetan and Anglo American for making the occasion a success.

Today's young people should at least have space and time to develop their skills not only in specific academic field for work purposes but also in official languages to benefit them, particularly for future leadership roles.

I would also like to note that there is a notion that our languages are dying, which is not correct.

The Department of Education and the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) last year engaged in the process of reviewing legislation that deals with language in education with special attention given to foundation phase education.

Its aim is to revive the support for teaching and learning in the mother tongue for the cognitive development of learners.

Today, most South African public schools provide lessons to learners in their mother tongue and allow them to acquire basic knowledge in English.

This programme is also aimed at addressing the decline in the teaching and learning of African studies and African languages at South African institutions.

The University of Johannesburg has also taken the initiative to adopt a new language policy that embraces multilingualism.

The policy will introduce Sesotho sa Leboa, English, Afrikaans and IsiZulu as official languages of the university.

It is believed that the transformation will give true meaning to the Constitution by promoting equitable use and enjoyment of all official languages.

Siphiwe Mabasa, PanSALB

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