Experiences and Challenges of the BA in Contemporary English and Multilingual Studies Students: New Bilingual Programme at a Higher Learning Institution
The purpose of this article is to explore the experiences and the challenges of the BA CEMS students, enrolled in the first bilingual degree that uses English and an African language as a medium of instruction. The aim of this paper is to investigate the challenges faced by the current students in the programme, in order to inform the current practices. The study employs a qualitative research method to better understand the challenges faced by students and how higher learning institutions can ensure the successful implementation of such programmes to foster the development and use of indigenous languages in higher education. Methodologically, group discussions were held with the third year and Honours students in the programme, to understand their experiences and challenges of being taught in an African language and the support they need for their throughput and also to prepare them for the workplace. The main findings indicate that there is lack of resources in African languages and students struggle when they do academic work in Sepedi. There is also a lack of institutional support and students are often discouraged from registering or completing their degree.