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Assessing students' perceptions of conversational isiZulu as a compulsory module in a South African university.

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This thesis is an empirical study conducted to gauge students’ perceptions of conversational isiZulu module in the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Since 2014, conversational IsiZulu has become mandatory for all undergraduate students. Driven by the bilingual policy initiatives of UKZN, a total of 1 287 students have registered for conversational isiZulu as a mandatory requirement for completing an undergraduate degree. This study is an investigation in which interviews, observation and policy documents were used to gather data from students who are taking the module for the first time. Using a qualitative case study, this study investigates the learning of Conversational IsiZulu, paying attention to the classroom social context and the meanings and experiences of participants. The sample consists of 10 students from the school of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Respondents were purposively selected from non-native speakers of isiZulu from the student population of 1 287 who have enrolled in the module in the School of Education of UKZN. The results of the research suggests that students responded positively to learning an additional language, despite challenges experienced in the mastery of content and vocabulary amongst other aspects. This study therefore concludes that the UKZN Language Policy of eventual bilingual education is successful within the School of Education of UKZN in its initial stages of implementation.


Master of Education in Education Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Edgewood 2014.


University of KwaZulu-Natal--Students., Zulu language--South Africa--Communication., Universities and colleges--Curricula--South Africa., College majors--South Africa., Theses--Education.