Ideologies and Attitudes of Foundation Students at a Multilingual University

Jane-Francis Afungmeyu Abongdia


This paper explores the different language ideologies and attitudes of foundation students of the Economics and Management Sciences Faculty (EMS) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. It offers a critical examination of the different ideologies and attitudes that students from a multilingual university hold towards English as the sole medium of instruction. It further examines why the students hold the different ideologies and attitudes and how the analysis of these attitudes could inform and improve the teaching and learning in the classroom. By so doing, the lecturers could be informed of the different approaches that they could use in teaching and learning. In addition, the paper presents the factors that appear to play a role in shaping their ideologies and attitudes towards English, a language that many of the students appear to find difficult to use in academic learning. Thus, being aware of these ideologies, a lecturer should be able to motivate the students to study English (integrated and instrumental motivation). Central to these factors are the prevailing language ideologies in this multilingual and multicultural university. This is to suggest that the diverse participants in terms of culture and linguistics hold different ideologies. The findings from this qualitative study are examined using studies on language ideologies by linguistic anthropologists like Kroskrity (2000) and Ricento (2006). After discussing the theoretical framework, the paper then focuses on the ideologies and attitudes of the students based on their linguistic and socio-political backgrounds.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n4p415

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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