The language we speak and learn in, determines many of our life choices. In South Africa, parents recognise this and most choose for their children to learn in English. However, English is not widely spoken in homes. As the 2017 SACMEQ data shows, in many homes English is rarely if ever spoken (See the chart below). However we know in most of the country’s schools, English is the language of learning and teaching.
It means that as many as 64% of the country’s children learn in a language that they never or only sometimes hear at home. They have to learn to speak English at school while at the same time learning new concepts in Maths, Science, Geography, History etc. Imagine learning a foreign language at age 10 / 11 and simultaneously learning all your school subjects in this foreign language, being assessed in it and having to somehow achieve great marks? This is the reality for most of South Africa’s children.
Recognising the challenge
Nationally and provincially language has been a strategic focus for some years. The Western Cape Education Department and I decided in 2018 to address this challenge through an online course for teachers.
Our goal was to create an open online educational resource that subject teachers could access that would prepare them to teach language skills to learners in their subject areas. We realized that subject teachers are not generally language teachers so they don’t typically have the skills to teach language competencies like reading, writing, speaking and listening to learners while they are learning new subject-specific content. If we could equip each subject teacher with the skills to teach language in their subject area this could positively influence learning in classrooms across the province and maybe further than that.
You can enroll for the course now
Teachers can access the course by clicking on the button on the right. When you get to Limina’s website, take a minute or two to fill in your details. Once we have your details, you can get started straight away.
All our courses are registered with the South African Council of Educators (SACE) so teachers earn CPTD points for completing the courses. That is why we collect your details to ensure you earn your points.
UNESCO's Open Education for a Better World Project
Our Language Across the Curriculum course was included in UNESCO’s Open Education for a Better World project for 2019. The first draft of the course was presented in Slovenia in 2018 and received much praise for its design.
Presenting the LAC to the World
The development of the LAC is currently being shared with the world at two international conferences. The first, #OER20, takes places on 1 & 2 April and moved from London, UK to an online space. The presentation for OER20 can be viewed below. The second, The World Literacy Summit was going to take place at Oxford University and also moved to an online space. This will take place on 7 April.
Meet the team who created the course
A fantastic team made this course possible, and as you can see, had tons of fun in the process! The team consists of team leaders Director Karen Dudley and her deputy, Ebrahim Peck. I was the project leader. The Senior Curriculum Planners each worked on different areas of the course: Portia Smit, Anina Lundie, Lungi Ngondo, Antoinette Venter, Suanne Rampou, Andre Lamprecht, Noleen Dodgen, Ismail Teladia and Jonathan Freese.
Thank you to each one of the Senior Curriculum Planners from the Western Cape Education Department for making this project a reality. May this course impact and touch lives far and wide.