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Preparing pre-service teachers for multilingual classrooms – designing a multiple African language module

South African Association for Language Teaching (SAALT)
Publication Date
  • Curriculum + Multilingual Classrooms
  • Instructional Design And Development
  • Language Learning
  • Multilingualism
  • Design
  • Linguistics


South African classrooms have become increasingly diverse and the shifting demographics of the instructional context have necessitated a change in the way preservice students are prepared for the linguistic and cultural diversity of their future classrooms. In response to this, undergraduates enrolled in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria are now required to extend their personal language repertoire by acquiring a functional knowledge of words and appropriate phrases for instructional purposes in an African language (Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Tswana or Zulu). A particular innovation of this new credit-bearing module has been the creation of a multimedia CD with visual and audio course content (read by native speakers). The module also offers a historical overview of the linguistic diversity encountered in especially urban classrooms as well as an appreciation of diversity in the pedagogical context. This article addresses the challenge and process of the curriculum design using the classic ADDIE model. It also documents student reaction to the compulsory module as well as their experience of language learning.Keywords: curriculum + multilingual classrooms, instructional design and development, language learning, multilingualism.

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