Incremental Introduction of African Langauges in South African Schools. (19 November 2013)
NAPTOSA embraces and supports the intention of the IIAL policy and acknowledges that multilingualism is an important tool for social cohesion, and for individual and social development.
The implementation IIAL will commence in 2015 in Grade 1 and will be introduced incrementally until 2026 when it will be introduced in Grade 12. The implementation will be preceded by a pilot in 2014 in Grade 1.
Recent media reports create the impression that the only comment being made about the IIAL is that teachers will have to work longer hours and learners will have a longer school day. There are a number of additional issues which concern NAPTOSA. Some of these are set out below.
The subjects (learning areas) in the intermediate phase were recently reduced on account of the curriculum being overloaded. NAPTOSA is concerned that the introduction of a third language will reverse the situation and also lead to overload in the other phases.
The demands of learning a third language.
NAPTOSA questions the wisdom in offering a third language at First Additional Language (FAL) level. Will young learners be able to cope with three languages at such an intense level? Would it not be prudent to introduce a third language at a communicative level instead?
Selection of an African language.
In some urban schools a number of African languages are spoken by the learners and no particular language enjoys a clear majority. Such situations will require careful management on the part of the SGB to ensure that the language choice does not become a source of discontent and division in the school.