Vocational language learning and teaching at a South African university: Preparing professionals for multilingual contexts
AbstractThis paper highlights the methodology that has been used at Rhodes University and other SouthAfrican universities in implementing vocation-specific African language learning programmes.Essentially, the paper links the curriculum design to the theoretical paradigm of interculturalcommunication. Intercultural theory is used as a basis to develop vocation-specific courses wherelanguage and culture are taught, for example, to second language learners of isiXhosa at RhodesUniversity. These courses include courses for Pharmacy and Law students. This paper offers a newtheoretical paradigm for intercultural language teaching. Furthermore, examples from specific coursesare provided in order to illustrate how this theoretical paradigm can be implemented in a practicalway. The impact of multilingualism and intercultural communication in the wider legal and healthcarework environment in South Africa is also discussed.Keywords: vocational language learning, indigenous African languages, multilingualism, interculturalcommunication, cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, legal professional, health-care professional,law, pharmacy
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