African Languages
Welcome to Stellenbosch University


The promotion of multilingualism must involve a key role for the African Languages. The main objective of the Honours and Masters degree programmes is to em​power students to contribute to the African Renaissance through expert knowledge and professional work in language teaching or language and communication services in the government or business sector.


In today's fast-changing world language professionals and teachers have to keep up with the latest developments in their fields to be leaders who can inspire and motivate their colleagues to aim for excellence in their tasks. The field of language and communication is a dynamic field of study and research all over the world because effective language teaching in education, and language and communication services in the government and business sector are crucial to success in many other areas of these sectors. All over the African continent the promotion of the status and use of the African languages has become a priority. Language teachers, practitioners and communication managers need to have state-of-the-art knowledge and skills to advance the African languages in a multilingual environment alongside dominant languages like English. The Department of African languages at the University of Stellenbosch has a proud tradition of more than twenty years in producing leaders in the field of language teaching and language and communication services. As a student of this institution, you can be sure that you will experience study at the cutting-edge of international research in language and communication that will provide you with the tools to be in high demand as a leader and a top performer.

Promoting African Languages

At Stellenbosch University we are com­mitted to elevate the status and advance the use of the African Languages in South Africa. We are convinced that the cultural advancement and economic and social development of all (South) Africa's people are only possible by harnessing the African Languages.

For this purpose we have introduced the Honours and Masters degrees which make provi­sion for the study of all the African Languages in South Africa, i.e. isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, siSwati and isiNdebele as well as African languages of other countries on the continent.

The B.A. Honours and Masters degree programmes are designed to suit profes­sional people from diverse backgrounds. Wherever you are, we will have something to suit your academic needs in a variety of specialist areas, including literature, linguistics, communication and language teaching.


To be in high demand in one's career in the 21st century will require from a profes­sional person expert knowledge and skills that equip you for life-long learning.

The B.A. Honours and Masters degrees will be of benefit to any person already in­volved in a career, or who plans a career in education or language and communica­tion services for African Languages in the government or private sector. The course provides a choice from four electives which each has a focus of specialisation, namely literature, linguistics, communi­cation or language teaching. The con­tents of each of these study electives is designed to equip students with state-of-the-art expertise in African Languages which can contribute to making you a leader in your career. Specific professional people that will benefit from the B.A. Honours and Masters degree include language teachers, authors, translators, communication officers, and profes­sionals in language services, public relations and publishing for African Languages. The insights, knowledge and skills that you will acquire in the study of the B.A. Honours and Masters degrees will contribute to improve the quality of your work as a professional in African Languages. This Honours and Masters degree study can help you to advance your career in language and communica­tion and to become an influential role-player in your institution.

Be a lea​der in the National Curriculum Statement and the teaching of African Languages

The B.A. Honours courses in African Languages will equip students with the kind of academic knowledge and applied research capabilities which will be crucial in future to teachers of African Languages who have to implement the Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS) for language teaching. The knowledge and skills obtained will also be highly relevant to the teaching of other languages.

To be a successful language teacher in the implementation of the National Curriculum statement requires knowledge and skills in the latest developments in the applied linguistic fields of reading, writing, speaking and listening in all fields on which extensive research has been produced internationally, and which relates to the fields of text-linguistic and discourse analysis. Effective language teaching in their home language of learners is crucial to their successful learning across the Curriculum in that effective writing and reading skills are vital to understanding and writing arguments in other language subjects and content subjects. Language teachers who are familiar with the latest developments in research on language teaching are in high-demand in educational contexts.

Language and communication services in the government and business sector

Language practitioners, like translators, lexicographers, and communication officers and managers in the government sector and private sector will find options of study in the linguistics fields offered that will greatly enhance their abilities to manage language policy and planning and language and communication services. The study options offered equip these professionals with the latest insights in research.

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