Language is an essential tool in effecting transformation in a culturally diverse institution like Rhodes University.
Over 80% of the Eastern Cape population speaks isiXhosa, and it is for this glaring reason that Rhodes University will offer a beginner level isiXhosa course that is free to all staff members from Thursday, 17 August 2017.
The African Language Studies department at the School of Languages and Literatures, in collaboration with the Human Resource Division invite all interested staff members to apply to be part of this initiative before Friday, 11 August 2017. If the number of applicants is low, the course will be opened to staff family members and the Grahamstown community.
The IsiXhosa Communication Skills course seeks to equip participants with linguistic skills to conduct a basic conversation. It also aims to raise awareness and sensitivity on cultural issues that are critical in successful communication with Xhosa-speaking counterparts.
Unlike many second language-learning courses, the course focuses on speaking and not on the grammar of the language.
“This is in line with the University’s language policy that followed a campus-wide survey about language usage, awareness, rights, areas for improvement, failures and proposals for change,” enthused Professor Russell Kaschula, SARChI Chair in the field of Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education at Rhodes University.
Dr Sam Naidu of the English Department wrote in an article on the language policy that the University’s language policy affects every member of the Rhodes community. “Whether you are a research student wishing to write your thesis in a language other than English or whether you are worker wishing to conduct your job interview in a language other than English, provision is made for your language rights,” she said.
The beginner classes will be taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12h15 to 13h30 or 16h00 to 17h15 on the same days at the African languages Seminar room, in the new School of Languages and Literatures building.
Application forms can be downloaded on the link below or collected and returned to Human Resources by Friday, 11 August 2017. Successful applicants will be informed no later than Monday,14 August 2017.