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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:English Studies: a comparative analysis of trends in South African universities and national universities in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia
Author:Malaba, MbongeniISNI
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 1992-6049)
Geographic terms:Southern Africa
South Africa
Swaziland - Eswatini
Subjects:English language
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2016.1187799
Abstract:This article analyses the development of English Studies in the southern African region, with reference to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia. It begins with a survey of English Studies globally, with specific references to England and America. The structure of English courses in the former is particularly significant, given the strong historical ties between England and the other countries considered in this article, with the exception of Namibia. Contentious debates in South Africa are discussed, with particular reference to the struggle to replace Anglo-centric programmes with ones that recognise the significance and merit of local writers, as well as the contribution of other African authors to the growth of literature written in English. The issues of relevance and resonance feature prominently in these exchanges. The strong legacy of the English educational system in Zimbabwe and Swaziland entrenched the use of English as medium of instruction, and the levels of proficiency of the products of elite schools helped prepare a significant number of students to pursue further studies at tertiary institutions. The status of English is firmly established. There are many similarities between the courses on offer in Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho, given their similar historical backgrounds. Namibia, which opted for English as official language after independence, has struggled with issues of proficiency on the part of both students and teachers, arising from the abrupt transition from Afrikaans as dominant medium of instruction, to English. A significant difference is that the debates in South Africa and Namibia were recorded in scholarly journals or books, while those in the other countries generally occurred 'in house'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]