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Language at SU

Stellenbosch University (SU) makes use of a multilingual instruction model in order to make it possible for a multilingual group of applicants to study here.
   
  • How does the multilingual instruction model impact me as a student?

    Depending on which degree programme you will study, you may encounter one of the following situations in the classroom:

      • Your lectures are presented in Afrikaans and the teaching and learning materials (excluding text books) are in English and in Afrikaans.
      • Your lectures are presented in English and Afrikaans, and your teaching-learning materials (excluding text books) are in English and in Afrikaans.
      • Your lectures are presented in English. This usually happens when programmes or modules are unique to this University and at faculties offering the first year of their study programmes in separate ‘streams’ in English and in Afrikaans (parallel-medium instruction).

    1. The following applies to each of these situations:
        • You can do assignments, exams and tests in English or Afrikaans, as well as oral communication and discussions in the lectures.
        • With the exclusion of modules in language instruction, you may expect to receive examination and test questions and assignments in Afrikaans and in English.


      1. Who can assist me with Afrikaans or English?

        The University's Language Centre offers language support in the development of your academic language skills in Afrikaans and in English. Please make use of these opportunities offered for language development.

      2. How do I know in what language my classes will be?

        It is your responsibility to inform yourself of the language specifications as set by your modules.

        • The individual faculties present the modules of the teaching programmes in their calendars.
        • These modules are denoted by means of a language specification (refer to the table below) should a specification other than the A specification apply.

        You can therefore ensure what language specification applies to each module before you register for a programme.

        • Also go to What can I study? for more information
        • If you make use of e-registraion (electronic self-registration), you will find the language specifications of the modules for which you are registering on the registration system. If a module is presented in separate streams in Afrikaans and English, you are free to choose which stream you want to join.
        • The full text of the University’s Language Policy and Plan is available here. The guidelines for the language of learning and teaching in the classroom are also available here.

      Language specificationHow it works
      A specification
      (Afrikaans as the principal medium of instruction)
      • The teaching is done mainly in Afrikaans.
      • The teaching and learning materials (textbooks excluded) are in Afrikaans and English as far as possible.
      T specification
      (Bilingual classes: 50% English and 50% Afrikaans)
      • The teaching is done in Afrikaans for not less than 50% of the time.
      • The teaching and learning materials (textbooks excluded) are in Afrikaans and English as far as possible.
      E specification
      (English as medium of instruction)
      • The teaching is done mainly in English.
      • The teaching and learning materials (textbooks excluded) are in Afrikaans and English as far as possible.
      A&E specification
      (Separate ‘streams’ in Afrikaans and English)
      This could mean that there are separate classes that are presented entirely in Afrikaans or entirely in English, or it could mean that the class is presented entirely in either Afrikaans or English, and that interpreting into the other language is offered.