|Type||Journal Article - Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society|
|Title||A matter of choice? The role of English and Isixhosa for university graduates in their early careers|
In multilingual South Africa, language use is more often than
not a matter of choice than of ability. The application of indigenous
languages like isiXhosa seems nevertheless less preferable in certain
social contexts such as the job environment, where English is seen
as the language of “success and status” (Casale and Posel 2010: 58).
This paper probes the relationship between an isiXhosa language
identity and career chances for university graduates. It examines, in
a micro study, how young graduates from Fort Hare University in East
London perceive the role and conception of English and isiXhosa for
identity construction with a focus on employment opportunities. This
view is contrasted with local employers’ perceptions on the matter.
The interviews show that the dominance of English in the workplace
as a global and “neutral” language remains largely unquestioned.
In conclusion, the paper provides suggestions for further research
into the role of indigenous languages in the South African business
environment, on a broader scale.
|»||South Africa - Quarterly Labour Force Survey 2015|