The purpose of this unit can be describe as important tool in my education. This unit is designed to inform prospective educators that children stems from different diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds and educates me about my own linguistic and cultural background. Linguistic diversity1 can be classified as an increasing phenomenon of growing value for most of all languages that are threatened in their fight for existence (Gorter and Cenoz et al., 2013, pp. 1-10). This diversity in the languages has brought forth changes in the spirit of a language, which according to Gorter and Cenoz et al. (2013, pp. 1-10) comes with important implications for individuals and societies of an language.
However the main purpose of the unit is to understand my own country’s linguistic and cultural background with regards to the African languages2. In this essay classroom literacies will be discussed in terms of linguistic diversity in South African classrooms and an educator’s role in managing and sensitizing learners to cultural and linguistic diversity in a manner of multilingualism. And finally the benefit and the implications of being exposed to the linguistic diversity unit will be discussed in terms of my professional development in becoming a prospective teacher.
In South Africa very few schools use African languages as a medium of instruction (Gorter and Cenoz et al., 2013, pp. 1-10). In most schools the medium of instruction is English or Afrikaans, linguistic diversity according to Evans and Cleghorn (2010, pp. 30--42 is also made complicated with the influx of African refugee and migrant workers’ children (Evans and Cleghorn, 2010, pp. 30--42). South African’s language diversity can be seen as multilingual were most of the population speaks more than one language but is also prominent that in some South African’s cultures there is still some of the population that can be revered to as monolingual linguistic (Gorter and Cenoz et al., 2013, pp. 1-10). The South African population are fortunate that we have eleven official languages3 and
translates into a classroom of different languages. This makes multilingualism4 in the classroom easier as when children communicate with each other they will use words or phases that belong their home language5. The children therefor recognise the words and phrases taught to them by the educator.
In the classroom the role of the educators is managing and sensitizing learners to respect and understand the differences through receptive and inclusive instruction which creates a a multilingual classroom atmosphere where respecting each other’s cultural and linguistic diversity stands at the center of the development of the child (Nyaga, 2013: 58). In addition, creating classroom literacies, is that she/he supports the development of different speaking and writing skills in the classroom according a specific first and second additional language (Esl-literacy.com, 2013).Classroom literacy is represented as a...