Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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Developing the language of argument: a bilingual approach

Karin Cattell


Instruction in bilingualism was initiated at Rand Afrikaans University's (currently the University of Johannesburg) foundation course, Afrikaans as Akademiese Taal (Afrikaans for Academic Purposes), in response to the context challenges of a parallel-medium university and the multilingual South African community. The course equips students to construct meaning in their primary language in an academic environment, aiding the process of assimilation of information in a predominantly English-medium studying context and the representation of knowledge in fieldspecific Afrikaans. A core component of Afrikaans for Academic Purposes is argument and the encouragement of a critical approach to language. This article reflects on the bilingual development of the language of argument and critical thinking in the course, maintaining learners' language identity as first language speakers of Afrikaans. The paper will focus on the supporting role of glossaries in enhancing learners' bilingual competence in field-specific academic literacies.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2006, 24(2): 143–150
AJOL African Journals Online