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African Languages

African languages are increasingly important in the post-apartheid corporate and public spheres. Companies and government departments have introduced language policy changes in line with the National Language Policy Framework.  

Proficiency in African languages is, therefore, becoming a requirement. This is seen in media (both broadcast and print), in education, law, and the financial sector. 

Undergraduate Courses

First Year

The History and Relationship of South African Languages

This course examines historical factors that gave rise to the languages spoken in South Africa and the neighbouring countries. It examines the structural as well as genetic relationships among the African languages.

The Sound and Sound Systems of African Languages

This course introduces students to the phonetics and phonology of the Nguni and Sotho languages of South Africa.

The Structure and Meaning of Words and Sentences in Bantu Languages

This course introduces students to the morphology, syntax and semantics of Bantu languages in general and their chosen language.

Comparative Structure of South African Languages

There are two aims of this course. These are to:

  • Introduce comparative methods in linguistics.
  • To apply these methods to the analysis of the structure of South African languages.

Drama, Ritual and Performance

This modular course examines the content and historical development of poetry in African languages, (a) the evolution of modern poetry (dithoko/izibongo) through the discussion of sample poems, (b) the documenting and study of the development of new styles such as Masikandi and Difela.

Elementary isiZulu Language and Culture

These are beginner's courses designed for students who have no knowledge of IsiZulu. AFRL 128 takes place in the first semester and AFRL 129 is a continuation of AFRL 128 It is offered in the second semester.

Intermediate IsiZulu Language and Culture

This course assumes a basic knowledge of isiZulu. Students will be given texts from different literary genres. These are to be studied as part of the language components. AFRL 222 is offered in the first semester and AFRL 223 is offered in the second semester.

Elementary Sesotho Language and Culture

These are beginner's courses designed for students who have no knowledge of Sesotho. AFRL 122 is offered in the first semester and AFRL 123 is a continuation of AFRL 122 and is offered in the second semester.

Second Year

The Art of Narrative

This course examines themes, forms, style, and narrative techniques in prose writing of Nguni and Sotho.

Intermediate Sesotho Language and Culture

This course assumes a basic knowledge of Sesotho. Students will be given texts from different literary genres to be studied as part of the language components. AFRL 220 is offered in the first semester and AFRL 221 is offered in the second semester.

Third Year

Text and Migration in African Languages Literature Fiction

This course explores the effects of colonial modernity on the African people. It begins by giving an historical overview of the colonial encounter and how Africans responded to the colonial influences.

The Poetics of the Oppressed and Drama in Education

This course critically explores questions about the ideological content and the method of production of dramatic texts in indigenous languages.

Drama, Written and Visual Media in African Languages

This course undertakes an historical survey of the development of literary composition and journalism in Nguni and Sotho languages.

IsiZulu Language and Media

In this modular course, the language structure of IsiZulu is studied. An emphasis is placed on reading and listening skills. A wide range of narrative material and media texts (television, magazines, newspapers) are introduced. The AFRL 327 introduces students to advanced narrative material and media texts.

Sesotho Language and Media

In this modular course, the language structure of Sesotho is studied. An emphasis is placed on reading and listening skills. A wide range of narrative material and media texts (television, magazines, and newspapers) are introduced. This module introduces students to advanced narrative material and media texts.

Postgraduate Programmes

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