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About Multilingualism

The Rhodes University Multilingualism Website is dedicated to the promotion of multilingualism on the campus more broadly.

More specifically:

  • The Rhodes University Multilingualism Website (RUMW) was conceived by the Rhodes University Language Committee in 2015.
  • RUMW is an online platform aimed at raising multilingual awareness.
  • RUMW aims to promote all the official languages of South Africa and the equitable use of isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English, as stated in the Rhodes University Language Policy and in the Vision Statement 2018 of the RU Language Committee.
  • In accordance with the objectives of the Rhodes University Language Policy the purpose of the RUMW is to celebrate the multilingual contributions made by all Rhodes University registered students and staff (academic and support).
  • The RUMW will in effect act as a means to publicise all multilingual contributions and events. 

The language policy is available here, please click


The Rhodes University Language Committee, is tasked with the oversight of:

  • multilingualism on the Rhodes Campus.
  • The drafting of the Rhodes University Language Policy and review thereof.
  • The organising of the Annual Multilingualism Colloquium.
  • Other related multilingual events/seminars/ presentations.


2018 Objectives and Vision Statement of the RU Language Committee here

Last Modified: Sat, 28 Jul 2018 12:26:44 SAST

Rhodes > Multilingualism > About

2018 Objectives and Vision Statement for RU Language Committee


In line with the principles and commitments that constitute the Language Policy of Rhodes
University, we seek to facilitate the achievement of transformation within this institution through
the recognition of trans-languaging and multilingual diversity. As part of this, we seek to ensure the
establishment of an institutional environment in which language usage does not act as a barrier to
equity and access to learning and instead creates a supportive environment in which all members of
the university feel they belong. This environment should also be one in which language usage
prepares graduates to become multilingual citizens.

With this vision in mind, we commit ourselves to the realization of the following aspects of the
university’s language policy:

  • The establishment of teaching and learning practices within the university that support the achievement of academic literacy for all students.
  • As part of these practices, the incorporation of teaching practices and resources that are responsive to the linguistic competencies and needs of our students and that draw on students’ own languages as a resource for learning.
  • To promote all the official languages of South Africa and the equitable use of isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English.
  • To promote conditions for the intellectualisation of African languages generally, and Afrikaans and isiXhosa in particular. As part of this, to ensure their incorporation and strengthen their status within the university’s academic practices as languages of teaching, learning and research.
  • To ensure that the university’s infrastructure and institutional practices promote awareness of and sensitivity to multilingualism. As part of this, to promote bilingual and multilingual communication amongst our staff and students.
  • Through the university’s employment and staff development strategies, to promote opportunities for multilingual competency development for all staff as well as staff involved in teaching, learning and research and to encourage all staff to draw on these competenciesas part of their daily interaction, institutional practice and academic practices.
  • To promote a multilingual “linguistic landscape” on campus that roots our campus as being linguistically locally relevant and linguistically globally engaged. As part of this to promote language on campus being reified in multilingual manners including but not limited to: official signage, unofficial signage, plaques, names, posters, etc.


  • To review the university’s language policy, in response to the requirement that this policy be updated every three years.
  • To continue to raise awareness of the importance of language and multilingualism within the life of the university
  • To strengthen the role that multilingual teaching and learning practices play within the university’s tutoring systems.
  • Together with infrastructure, finance and operations, to endeavor that existing guielines for signage are put into practice during 2018.

Last Modified: Wed, 08 Aug 2018 12:37:14 SAST