Language proficiency: Current strategies, future remedies

  • Albert Weideman
  • Christo van Rensburg


Language proficiency among young South Africans is low. This is true not only of mother tongue speakers of English and Afrikaans, but also, and especially, of non-mother tongue speakers of English, among whom language proficiency levels raise serious concern. Some examples are given to illustrate the importance of this problem, and the extent of the problem is outlined. In this paper, we focus on one critical factor related to these low proficiency levels. What is important, in addition, is that the conditions, strategies and current remedies are all less than likely to make a difference. In fact, one can safely predict that the situation is likely to worsen. The importance of remedying the present situation is therefore crucial, and we discuss a number of alternatives to do so successfully.

(Journal for Language Teching: 2002 36(1-2): 152-164)