Politics of the 'twang' (and what it says about you)

You send your kids to private schools and model C schools and then they learn how to twang but the interesting thing about twanging is that they also twang in Zulu.

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 anchor

In Monday's open-line, callers shared their views on a debate around identity and accents, following a twar between Sizwe Dhlomo and Vusi Thembekwayo over the weekend.

They question why some accents are more pronounced than others.

This caller says accents at times form part of an image that one would like to portray.

I saw that video which Vusi posted and I think he also tried too much. I think this thing goes as far as a car for certain people, like how you will buy a certain car to exert a certain image. He wanted so much to exert a certain image....

Mthokozisi, caller

Another caller says if you going to speak English why not do it well.

If I am going to learn the English language why can't I apply it to the best of my ability and if it means altering and tweaking my pronunciation to accommodate the English language, why can I not do that?

Tshepo, caller

Eusebius disagrees.

There is a massive difference between being competent in English as a language and English literature an understanding the rules of grammar... When it comes to questions of accent as well as the colloquial language used in schools on playgrounds we are now moving away from core teaching competency into what education specialists call the hidden curriculum.

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 anchor

The hidden curriculum has to do with cultural identities, it doesn't have to do with your ability to speak the language competently at a technical level, he adds.

You can [twang], but it doesn't mean that there is an interesting story to be told sociologically of the dominant accents in a school... T he history of English education has been imposed on us culturally quite apart from our competency in the language.

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 anchor

Here is what Twitter users had to share on the topic.

Click below to listen to the full audio....


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