English as A Language of Teaching and Learning in A Multilingual Classroom: A Case of Second Year Education Students At A University of Technology
Cultural diversity is a valuable national asset in South Africa hence multilingualism is still a debacle in its educational setup. However, with the eleven official languages used in the country, including South African Sign Language; in the global scale, there has to be a language that will be a vehicle to communicate. Communication in the classroom is based on the meanings of thousands of words exchanged between teachers and learners, and unless the teacher and the student understand each other, communication will be fruitless. The aim of the study is to set out the challenges faced by aspiring teachers to deliver in English as a medium of instruction. According to the educational regulations of Central University of Technology as an institution, assessment is based on knowledge, insight, comprehension and ingenuity. The assessment is done in English as a language of tuition. This study is qualitative in nature and is embedded in social constructivism. It uses an interpretism paradigm. Interviews and observations were used to collect data from second year Education students at the Central University of Technology (CUT), Bloemfontein campus, Free State with a sample of 10 LNG11ES students and 6 LNG11ES class observations using a self-designed observation template. Data was analysed using multiple interpretations. The learners at this level are expected to comprehend English but it is a contrast. The study revealed that English as a second language to most learners is still a problem and has to be taught to all learners who major in other teaching subjects as well as those who major in English as a teaching subject.
Keywords - Language of Teaching and Learning, multilingual classroom, Language as vehicle, communication, hegemony