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College of Humanities hosts Workshop on Bilingual Teaching

01 Aug, 2016

Tutors at the bilingual workshop.
Tutors at the bilingual workshop.

The College of Humanities recently hosted an exciting workshop on bilingual teaching, organised by the School of Applied Human Sciences under the leadership of Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize.

 The workshop was facilitated by the College Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, isiZulu lecturer in the School of Arts, Dr Gugulethu Mazibuko, and the Coordinator of Academic Monitoring and Support on the Howard College campus, Miss Zanele Hlophe.

Hlongwa believes the workshop was relevant because of the University’s bilingual language policy. ‘Tutors from the School of Applied Human Sciences were taught about the goals of tutoring and the roles and responsibilities of the tutor and the importance of bilingual teaching, which enhances student performance. The workshop was conducted in isiZulu and English.’

Tutors were introduced to approaches such as translanguaging, which is where information is received in one language and then used in another language. Tutors learned about the importance of terminology development, translation and interpreting in preparation for bilingual teaching.

‘This is important because for tutors to be able to conduct bilingual tutorials they need to have terminology available in isiZulu for that specific field. Translation can be done before the tutorial as well as during the tutorial,’ said Mazibuko.

Code switching was introduced to the tutors as a way of mixing two or more languages during the tutorial. They were taught about the resources that are important in a bilingual class which include, bilingual term lists, bilingual glossaries and bilingual dictionaries.

Tutors were then given practical work and training on bilingual teaching and assessments. ‘This was crucial as sometimes teaching can take place in the two languages but if assessment is in only one language, it defeats the purpose for bilingual teaching,’ said Hlongwa.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

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