Report on Academic
Specialist Visit to South Africa:
August 2-17, 1999
H. Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania
About the Specialist
Nancy H. Hornberger is Professor
of Education and Director of Educational Linguistics at the University
of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where she also served
as Acting Dean from 1993-1995. A graduate of Harvard University
(B.A. cum laude, 1972), New York University (M.A. in Education,
1973), and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (Ph.D. in Educational
Policy Studies, 1985), she has been a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation
Fellow, a National Academy of Education Spencer Fellow, and a
Salzburg Seminar Presidential Fellow. Dr. Hornberger's dissertation,
published as Bilingual Education and Language Maintenance:
A Southern Peruvian Quechua Case (Foris/Mouton, 1988), won
First Place in the National Association of Bilingual Education's
Outstanding Dissertation Awards.
Professor Hornberger has published
widely in international journals, serves on the editorial boards
of several, and also co-edits a book series on Bilingualism and
Bilingual Education (Multilingual Matters, UK). Her recent publications
include Indigenous Literacies in the Americas: Language Planning
from the Bottom up (Mouton, 1996), Sociolinguistics and
Language Teaching (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Language
Planning and Policy and the English Language Teaching Profession
(TESOL Quarterly, 1996), and Research Methods in Language Education
Dr. Hornberger is a frequently invited
speaker at professional conferences and at universities, nationally
and internationally. She travels regularly to Bolivia, Ecuador,
and Peru to lecture, teach, consult, and continue her research
there. She has also been visiting professor at the Universidade
de Campinas in São Paulo, Brasil (1997) and the University
of Natal in Durban, South Africa (1996). She served as consultant
to the United Nations on adult literacy education in El Salvador
(1991) and on the national educational reform in Bolivia (1995).
Hornberger's web page.
Areas of Specialization
Sociolinguistics, educational linguistics,
language planning, bilingual / multilingual education, biliteracy,
indigenous language maintenance and revitalization, intercultural
communication. Special attention to educational policy and practice
for indigenous and immigrant language minority populations in
Andean South America and the United States.
Research pursues answers to two fundamental
questions: 1) what educational approaches best serve language
minority learners? and 2) what policies, programs, and circumstances
encourage or contribute to minority language maintenance and revitalization?
South Africa currently has "one of
the most progressive language policies in the world" (Alexander
1999), embodied in the Constitution of 1993 and the Department
of Education's Language-in-Education Policy of 14 July 1997 (based
on section 3(4)(m) of the National Education Policy Act of 1996
and section 6(1) of the South African Schools Act of 1996). South
African policy elevates eleven languages to official status and
forthrightly recognizes cultural diversity as a valuable national
asset as well as the obligation on the educational system to promote
multilingualism, in direct contrast to the inherited language-in-education
policy, "fraught with tensions, contradictions and sensitivities,
and underpinned by racial and linguistic discrimination."
The implementation of this language-in-education
policy shift faces many challenges and constraints in South Africa's
post-apartheid context. Not least among these challenges is the
historically hegemonic and increasingly global role of English
in today's world. Somewhat paradoxically considering that role,
I found many English teachers who are actively concerned with,
involved in, and dedicated to implementing South Africa's new
multilingual language policy, even in the face of what is (somewhat
misleadingly) reported in the media to be a burgeoning popular
demand for English. Though the teachers I met are not necessarily
representative of the majority of English teachers in South Africa,
their experience and expertise in sociolinguistics and language
teaching are an important resource as South Africa seeks to implement
its ambitious new multilingual language policy.
Visits to the Linguistics Programme
at the University of Natal in Durban (UND) and to the Applied
English Language Studies department at the University of the Witwatersrand
(Wits) in Johannesburg acquainted me with numerous faculty and
post-graduate students actively involved in research on and professional
development with teachers around issues of teaching and learning
in South Africa's newly multicultural and multilingual classrooms.
Members of the Faculties of Education at University of Durban-Westville
(UDW) and Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) in Johannesburg were
likewise engaged in incorporating multiple languages and cultures
in their curricula in quite innovative ways, even where English
is the medium of instruction (e.g. requiring a module focused
on basic classroom communicative competence in Zulu for all undergraduate
education majors, including complete and original African language
data on CD-ROM as an appendix to masters and doctoral theses,
providing supplemental thesis abstracts in Zulu rather than Afrikaans
(in addition to English), encouraging students to participate
in class discussions in their first language along with a brief
summary in English). Language Departments (e.g. Afrikaans, Indian,
IsiZulu languages at UDW), too, are confronted with forging new
identities and curricula which promote maintenance and revitalization
of South Africa's multiple language resources amidst not only
the pressures of hegemonic English but also those (perhaps unintentionally)
produced by far-reaching curricular restructuring and teacher
The English Language Educational
Trust's annual conference for this year addressed such issues
directly, with their theme "Formulating and Implementing Multilingual
Language-in-Education Policies in South Africa's Schools, Colleges,
and Universities." Among the kinds of concerns heard there (and
reiterated in my subsequent visits to schools and universities)
were: the complexity of the sociolinguistic situation and language
attitudes in South Africa, so little understood by the average
citizen or policy-maker; the lack of follow-through in implementation
of national policy at the provincial level; and the drastic, unintended
consequences resulting from dramatic curricular restructuring
and personnel rationalization in both the schools and the universities.
All of these have their roots in South Africa's overall project
of stretching resources equitably across the whole of its population
in an attempt to redress the neglect and abuses of the past. Rectifying
the language discrimination of the past is a very important piece
of that redress.
I intend to direct my own students'
attention to the South African case, and to continue to develop
exchanges and linkages between my own institution and universities
there. The matters mentioned above require urgent attention, not
just for South Africa's sake, but also because the South African
example is of compelling interest to the rest of the world, engaged
everywhere as we are in implementing multilingual and multicultural
education which will genuinely prepare our students for the next
Selected references on Multilingualism
and Multilingual Education in South Africa and elsewhere:
Adendorff, R. (1993). Codeswitching
amongst Zulu-speaking teachers and their pupils: Its functions
and implications for teacher education. Language and Education
Adendorff, R. (1993). Ethnographic
evidence of the social meaning of Fanakalo in South Africa. Journal
of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 8(1), 1-27.
Adendorff, R. (1995). Fanakalo in
South Africa. In R. Mesthrie (Ed.), Language and Social History:
Studies in South African Sociolinguistics (pp. 176-192). Cape
Town and Johannesburg: David Philip.
Adendorff, R. (submitted for publication).
What's at stake at news time? Evidence from a multicultural primary
school in Durban, South Africa. Language and Education.
Alexander, N. (1989). Language
Policy and National Unity in South Africa/Azania. Capetown:
Alexander, N. (1990). The language
question. In R. Schrire (Ed.), Critical Choices for South African
Society . Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
Alexander, N. (1992). South Africa:
Harmonising Nguni and Sotho. In N. Crawhall (Ed.), Democratically
Speaking: International Perspectives on Language Planning
. Cape Town: National Language Project.
Alexander, N. (1995). Models of multilingual
schooling for a democratic South Africa. In K. Heugh, A. Siegruhn,
& P. Plüddeman (Eds.), Multilingual Education for
South Africa (pp. 79-82). Johannesburg: Heinemann.
Alexander, N. (1995). Multilingualism
for empowerment. In K. Heugh, A. Siegruhn, & P. Plüddeman
(Eds.), Multilingual Education for South Africa (pp. 37-41).
Alexander, N. (1999). English unassailable
but unattainable: On teachers' responsibility in view of the global
hegemony of English. Paper presented at ELET Conference on "Formulating
and Implementing Multilingual Language-in-Education Policies in
South Africa's Schools, Colleges, and Universities," Durban.
Chick, J. K. (1993). Interactional
sociolinguistics and intercultural communication in South Africa.
In R. Mesthrie (Ed.), A Reader in South African Sociolinguistics
Chick, J. K. (1996). Intercultural
communication. In S. L. McKay & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Sociolinguistics
and Language Teaching (pp. 329-348). New York: Cambridge University
Chick, J. K. (1996). Safe-talk: Collusion
in Apartheid education. In H. Coleman (Ed.), Society and the
Language Classroom (pp. 21-39). Cambridge: Cambridge University
Chick, J. K., & McKay, S. L.
(1999). Teaching English in multiethnic schools in the Durban
area: The promotion of multilingualism or monolingualism? Paper
presented at ELET Conference on "Formulating and Implementing
Multilingual Language-in-Education Policies in South Africa's
Schools, Colleges, and Universities," Durban.
Chick, J. K., & Wade, R. (1997).
Restandardization in the direction of a new English: Implications
for access and equity. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural
Development 18 (4), 271-284.
Heugh, K., A. Siegruhn, P. Plüddeman
(Eds.) (1995). Multilingual Education for South Africa.
Hornberger, N. H. (Ed.) (1996). Indigenous
Literacies in the Americas: Language Planning from the Bottom
up. Berlin: Mouton.
Hornberger, N. H. (1996). Mother
tongue literacy in the Cambodian community of Philadelphia. International
Journal of the Sociology of Language, 119, 69-86.
Hornberger, N. H. (1997). Literacy,
language maintenance, and linguistic human rights: Three telling
cases. International Journal of the Sociology of Language,
Hornberger, N. H. (1998). Language
policy, language education, language rights: Indigenous, immigrant,
and international perspectives. Language in Society, 27(4),
Hornberger, N. H. (2000). Bilingual
education policy and practice: Ideological paradox and intercultural
possibility. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 31(2).
Hornberger, N. H., & Chick, K.
(to appear). Co-constructing school safetime: Safetalk practices
in Peruvian and South African classrooms. In M. Martin-Jones &
M. Heller (Eds.), Voices of Authority: Education and Linguistic
Difference Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Hornberger, N. H., & Corson,
D. (Eds.). (1997). Research Methods in Language and Education.
Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Hornberger, N. H., & King, K.
A. (1996). Language revitalisation in the Andes: Can the schools
reverse language shift? Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural
Development, 17(6), 427-441.
Hornberger, N. H., & López,
L. E. (1998). Policy, possibility and paradox: Indigenous multilingualism
and education in Peru and Bolivia. In J. Cenoz & F. Genesee
(Eds.), Beyond Bilingualism: Multilingualism and Multilingual
Education (pp. 206-242). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Hornberger, N. H., & Ricento,
T. K. (1996). Language Planning and Policy and the English Language
Teaching Profession. TESOL Quarterly, 30(3), entire.
Hornberger, N. H., & Skilton-Sylvester,
E. (to appear). Revisiting the continua of biliteracy: International
and critical perspectives. Language and Education.
Kamwangamalu, N. (1997). Multilingualism
and education policy in post-apartheid South Africa. Language
Problems and Language Planning, 21(3), 234-253.
Samuel, Michael, Juliet Perumal,
Rubby Dhunpath, Jonathan Jansen, and Keith Lewin, eds. (1999).
International Trends in Teacher Education: Policy, Politics,
and Practice. Conference Proceedings. Durban, South Africa:
University of Durban-Westville Faculty of Education.
My web page. This site includes the syllabus for one of my courses:
Ed 546 -- Sociolinguistics in Education in the U.S.
University of Pennsylvania, Language
in Education Division (my department)
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