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Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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Language learning applications for Sepedi: a user experience study

Ilana Wilken, Elsabe Taljard, Febe de Wet

Abstract


Being a multilingual country rich in culture and diversity, South Africa has residents who use a variety of the 11 official languages for daily communication. Multilingual communication occurs especially in hospitals and clinics. People visiting healthcare facilities often struggle to locate a health professional that shares the same language or even a language which is similar to their own and thus intelligible to them. The research which is reported on here aimed to assist the University of Pretoria in its endeavours to address this situation by teaching students an additional language. This was done by providing three custom-designed, mobile-assisted Sepedi language learning applications to students from the Faculty of Health Sciences enrolled for the Sepedi language module, Sepedi for Beginners. The applications were specifically designed to assist students with the acquisition of vocabulary related to healthcare. The students used the applications as supplementary tools and gave feedback through a questionnaire, to establish whether the students perceived the mobile applications to be useful as a supplement to the course material and whether they had a clear preference for a specific application. The results of this study show a positive response to the applications, including strong preferences expressed by the participants.




http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/16073614.2018.1450638
AJOL African Journals Online