Facilitating Multilingual Tutorials at the University of the Free State
Conducting undergraduate studies in the English language, while only a small minority of students speak English at home, poses many problems to learning in the South African context. This article explores how restrictive language policies may influence proper learning and impact negatively on the self-understanding of students. It also explores how multilingualism could help to reduce the continued reliance on English, without doing away with English in its entirety. This is especially relevant in light of English and other colonial languages still being perceived as “languages of power” (Stroud & Kerfoot, 2013, p. 403). Therefore, attention is given to the link between language and power, especially in light of languages often being used to implement, display and preserve power. Language use in the classroom, especially with regard to codeswitching (also called translanguaging), is discussed. Finally, it explores the success that was achieved during multilingual tutorial sessions. In the tutorials, students were encouraged to explore the course work in their native languages, thereby internalising it and getting a better understanding thereof.
Keywords tutoring; multilingualism; higher education; codeswitching