Helderberg Primary School

Policy – Multilingualism

Helderberg Primary School places a high premium on the language development of its learners. Learners should have access to a range of different languages in order to increase social and community cohesion. An ability to communicate in more than one language is a social and life advantage. In addition to the normal classroom instruction that is given to all learners, the school will make special attempts to identify learners whose language ability requires support. Such learners will be recommended as learners for remedial assistance, for the account of the parent concerned.

In the light of the above, learners will be strongly encouraged to retain their own unique, diverse culture and language. The school’s official language of instruction is English as a Home Language. Afrikaans is offered as a First Additional Language. Xhosa and German are offered as Second Additional Languages at the school. Lessons will therefore be presented in English, and in Afrikaans during the Afrikaans language period of instruction.

The school wishes each learner to retain their cultural identity and language of preference. The following points are therefore of importance:
1. During break times and after school, all learners may converse with each other in the language of their choice.
2. Should it become apparent that a learner does not understand a concept(s) in the classroom, the educator, if able, may explain the concept in the learner’s home language or the particular learner may converse with a peer in his / her choice of language, e.g. Xhosa, German, Zulu, Sotho and so on.
3. Since English is the classroom language of instruction, its use is encouraged during class time, except when other languages are being taught.
4. While learners are strongly encouraged to converse in their language of choice, they are to be mindful at all times that language is not to be used to isolate, discriminate against or devalue others.
5. The exercise of a learner’s language of choice is to be governed at all times by tolerance, respect and dignity.