The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) has welcomed the recently published language policy framework for public higher education institutions in South Africa, which makes provisions for the recognition and development of indigenous languages within institutions of higher learning.

“In order for our society to effectively elevate the status of our indigenous languages, we have to transform and elevate them into languages of learning through which information and knowledge can be shared and learned. PanSALB is pleased therefore, that the Department of Higher Education has taken these practical steps towards ensuring the full recognition of all our indigenous languages”, said PanSALB Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bongumenzi Mpungose.

Various studies have shown that the use of mother tongue in education can improve learners’ grasp of concepts and therefore may also play a significant role in the quality of our education system.

“Institutions of higher learning should use this opportunity to align their language policies with the current language policy framework in order to improve the learning experience of their students and to contribute towards our collective responsibility of promoting multilingualism to encourage social cohesion” added Dr Mpungose.

The language policy framework provides guidelines for the development and inclusion of indigenous languages in higher learning institutions.