Mother-Tongue (MT)

IsiXhosa MT offers innovative and discipline related courses such as translation, language and technology, literary discourse, language in context, language and media as well as language and society. The first year course is an introduction to isiXhosa as a language and the second year deals with the theoretical background of the language and isiXhosa 3 deals with the practical aspect in the form of projects.

Course Table







Theory and Practical


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Language in context

Orality in African languages with a focus on orality as a predecessor to literacy in isiXhosa


History of the writing of isiXhosa and understanding the general rules pertaining to writing in isiXhosa (missionaries, colonialism, apartheid)


 (Course material - Makalima, Pinnock, Peires)

The development of isiXhosa orthography including language shift in terms of borrowing, code-switching etc (from a language structure point of view)


( (Course material – PanSALB booklet, Eastman in Herbert, Anna Deumert)


The syntax and semantics related to language in context – how to practically relate what you have learned to newspapers and other written forms. Designing a newspaper in terms of practical application

 (Course material – Wardaugh and Hudson)

Literary Discourse

The above applied to isiXhosa literary genres/authors – the rise of literature in African languages in relation to historical backdrop. Development of literary eras in other languages (Sotho, Zulu – see Gerard etc) can also be brought in here. Excerpts from books etc will also be studied (Mgqwetho etc)


Orality in African languages with a focus on orality as a predecessor to literature in isiXhosa – shift from orality to literacy


Theoretical approaches to African literature (Swanepoel) in relation to 2 main genres (Drama and Novel)


(Suggested Course material - Amaza)

Capturing and disseminating orality through technology: technauriture


Creative Writing for Publishing: Students will produce their own work


Analysis of books from 2 genres (Short Story, Poetry and Drama)


Translation Studies, HLT and Lexico-graphy

Awareness on translation/HLT practice and theory and its relation to language policy and corpus planning. (Translation and localisation tools – translate@thon)


Theories and scholars related to Translation and HLT + practical translate@thon


Practical Translation in relation to web-based material

Visiting government and quasi-government bodies


Language and society

Language in relation to contemporary societal debates such as gender, identity, education, language as a human right and issues of multilingualism in Africa


Language Policy, multilingualism and globalisation, and Gricean maxims


Research related to language and the workplace



Last Modified: Thu, 24 Jun 2021 11:24:53 SAST