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Issues in Educational Research, 2023, Vol 33(4), 1461-1477.
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Exploring the impact of bilingual education in the Foundation Phase in South Africa

Mzamani J. Maluleke
University of Venda, South Africa

This paper explores the efficacy of implementing bilingual education in the Foundation Phase in South Africa. Doctrinal analysis was used as a data collection tool wherein English and Xitsonga were both used as mediums of instruction in the Foundation Phase. To acquire empirical evidence used to add doctrinal data, eight contact sessions were arranged with four selected schools. Four teachers were observed teaching English and thereafter, Xitsonga classes in one day, to evaluate how learners switch from one lesson to the other. Data shows that on some occasions learners were confused by learning one thing in two languages but in some cases, it aided in understanding the concepts better. Moreover, as learners at the Foundation Phase have little knowledge of English, teachers use translanguaging to anchor communication. Although the use of Xitsonga Home Language in an English First Additional Language class contradicts the departmental policy, teachers are compelled to help bilingual learners use the linguistic repertoires available to acquire information.
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Author: Dr Mzamani J. Maluleke is a senior lecturer in the Department of English, Media Studies and Linguistics at the University of Venda, South Africa. He holds a PhD in English language teaching and his research areas include academic writing, bilingualism and multilingualism. He is currently coordinator for English Communication Skills at the University.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1766-7824
Email: mzamani.maluleke@univen.ac.za

Please cite as: Maluleke, M. J. (2023). Exploring the impact of bilingual education in the Foundation Phase in South Africa. Issues in Educational Research, 33(4), 1461-1477. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/maluleke.pdf

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Created 15 December 2023. Last update: 15 December 2023. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]