Exploring the use of a spoken Xhosa corpus for developing Xhosa additional language teaching matetrials

by Nozibele Nomdebevana

Institution: University of South Africa
Year: 0
Keywords: Activity based communication analysis; Additional language teaching materials; Communication and interaction function words; From language to culture; Pragmatic interpretation; Pragmatic linguistic features; Pragmatic meanings; Pragmatic units; Vocative possessive pronouns; Xhosa spoken corpus
Record ID: 1448192
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10500/13327


South African indigenous language teaching and learning materials do not provide sufficient information to help additional language learners learn the target languages effectively. While there are institutions that are tasked with developing and sharpening the skills of students in speaking South African indigenous languages, such students hardly, if at all master the art of speaking them eloquently. Students who study these languages in order to converse proficiently with their mother-tongue speakers experience insurmountable difficulties, in spite of various efforts made by the teachers who train them to read books on their own. Passing their examinations does not mean that the students’ ability to communicate with mother-tongue speakers will improve to the extent of eliminating the prevailing misunderstanding between the two groups. The persistence of this problem reveals a discrepancy between the studies of indigenous languages in South Africa and the way of speaking them, whereby important linguistic elements that make communication more authentic are excluded in language materials. This study analyses the use and significance of CIFWs in daily interactions by investigating the two Xhosa CIFWs words wethu and bethu. The overall aim of this study is to explore the use of a corpus in the examination of CIFWs in general, and wethu and bethu in particular. Both a quantitative approach based on the Gothenburg-Unisa spoken corpus and a qualitative approach based on Allwoods’ ACA theoretical framework were used in the analysis and description of the functions and significances of wethu and bethu as communicative and interactive function words.