Teaching Kiswahili will be a boon for South Africa’s schools and society

Kiswahili will, from 2020, become the latest language to be taught in South Africa’s classrooms. This East African lingua franca, which is also an official language of the African Union, will be an optional subject.

The news has been greeted with interest and has drawn praise from some quarters. But practical questions related to South Africa’s current sociolinguistic and educational contexts must be asked. For instance, why does South Africa need another language on top of the local 11...

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