Sign language in South Africa: language planning and policy challenges

Autor/a: NOSIPHIWO GANISO, Mirriam
Año: 2012
Editorial: Rhodes University, 2012
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This thesis sets out to undertake research into the very important topic of sign language and its usage, particularly in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Three schools are used in this study. Interviews and questionnaires were used to conduct research with teachers, students and deaf teacher assistants within this context. The analysis of this data is presented in Chapter five of this thesis.

Chapter one of the thesis introduces the topic as well as the research methodology that is used in this work. In chapter two the history of South African sign language is presented with some commentary on the status of sign language planning in South Africa more generally. Chapter three of the thesis presents a case study of what has happened in relation to the growth and usage of sign language in Britain, reference is also made to the status and use of sign language in other countries such as America as well as European nations such as Denmark. The purpose of this is to see whether there are any lessons to be learned for South African Sign Language from this comparative analysis.

The history of sign language in South Africa is carefully researched and presented in Chapter four of this thesis. The first four chapters then present a more theoretical background to what follows in Chapter five. In this chapter a more ethnographic approach is used in order to present the opinions and findings that relate to the research that was conducted in three Western Cape Schools. Finally, a conclusion is presented which summarises this research and presents some recommendations which relate directly to language rights as outlined in the Constitution of South Africa.