Facilitating Multilingual Tutorials at the University of the Free State

Journal of Student Affairs in Africa. 2017;5(2) DOI 10.24085/jsaa.v5i2.2706


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of Student Affairs in Africa

ISSN: 2311-1771 (Print); 2307-6267 (Online)

Publisher: Journal of Student Affairs in Africa

Society/Institution: University of the Western Cape

LCC Subject Category: Education: Special aspects of education

Country of publisher: South Africa

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



du Buisson Theuns (Academic Facilitator in the Philosophy Department, University of the Free State)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 7 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Conducting undergraduate studies in the English language, while only a small minority of students speak English at home, poses many problems to learning in the South African context. This article explores how restrictive language policies may influence proper learning and impact negatively on the self-understanding of students. It also explores how multilingualism could help to reduce the continued reliance on English, without doing away with English in its entirety. This is especially relevant in light of English and other colonial languages still being perceived as “languages of power” (Stroud & Kerfoot, 2013, p. 403). Therefore, attention is given to the link between language and power, especially in light of languages often being used to implement, display and preserve power. Language use in the classroom, especially with regard to codeswitching (also called translanguaging), is discussed. Finally, it explores the success that was achieved during multilingual tutorial sessions. In the tutorials, students were encouraged to explore the course work in their native languages, thereby internalising it and getting a better understanding thereof.