Tonight with Lester Podcast

Literacy and Language in a Multilingual World


Guest : Professor Catherine Kell ,Associate Professor ,Director of the School of Education at UCT|

The Literacy Association of South Africa will be hosting its annual
conference entitled Masifunde ditale: Literacy and Language in a Multilingual World
which will be held at UCT from the 12 – 14 July 2019. The conference title is a playful
mix of Xhosa and Afrikaans, meaning Let us read/learn the languages, and reflects the
conference focus on
multilingualism as a resource for learning literacy.
South Africa is a richly multilingual country. For most South Africans, communicating in
multiple languages is a matter of survival. However, there is a powerful emphasis on
English in society and our school curriculum. Learners who don’t speak English as a
home language are often seen as disadvantaged, lacking - in knowledge, experiences,
literacy, linguistic and cultural resources. This conference aims to explore ways in which
to address systemic failures in our education system, and share research and practice
that can help draw on learners’ own languages and knowledge as resources in and out
the classroom.

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