Rhodes>Multilingualism>Language Committee

Language Committee

Vision Statement 2018

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 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 competencies as 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.


Objectives 2018

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 guidelines for signage are put into practice during 2018.



Mandate and Policy

  • Senate Mandate
  • Language Policy 2015

Committee Members


  • Colloquim,public lectures and seminars
  • Communications

Programmes and Activities

  • Awareness Programmes
  • Campus Signage
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Research

Last Modified: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:15:40 SAST