Parental perceptions: A case study of school choice amidst language waves

  • R Evans
  • A Cleghorn
Keywords: Foundation Phase classrooms, language of instruction, language shift, multilingualism, school choice, South Africa


In this article we report and reflect on the responses to a questionnaire survey administered to 600 parents/caregivers, whose Foundation Phase children attend a former Afrikaans-medium primary school where English is now the sole medium of instruction, although English is not spoken as home language by either teachers or learners. We explored reasons why parents chose this particular school, especially in the light of available alternatives as well as their views of mother tongue/English instruction. At present, many parents favour an approach that also nurtures the home language, even while support for an English-only approach is strong. It may be that well-established research findings on the pedagogical and social benefits of maintaining home/local languages are being heard, at least among younger and better educated parents.

Keywords: Foundation Phase classrooms; language of instruction; language shift; multilingualism; school choice; South Africa


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100