IsiXhosa course graduates honoured

17 January 2013 | Story by Newsroom
Language skills: The Masithethe isiXhosa 'graduate' class with CHED staff.
Language skills: The Masithethe isiXhosa 'graduate' class with CHED staff.

Learning a new language as an adult is one of the riskiest spaces one can enter, says Associate Professor Sue Shay, deputy dean at UCT's Centre for Higher Education and Development (CHED).

At the recent 'graduation' of the newest group of staff and students to have completed the Masithethe isiXhosa course, Shay noted that although it is risky, there are many benefits for adults keen to acquire a new language.

"It requires a tremendous amount of humility," Shay said. "It requires a good sense of humour, and in many ways you're asked to become children again." It's a space where one needs to be open not only to the unexpected, but also to transformation, Shay added.

"If you can put yourself in a space of learning a language you can do a whole lot of other things."

The course is offered by the Multilingualism Education Project (MEP) in CHED, and teaches basic conversational isiXhosa skills to staff and students.

MEP co-ordinator Associate Professor Mbulungeni Madiba says that the course is growing in popularity, even among students who have yet to start their UCT studies.

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