Original Research

A survey of undergraduate students’ attitudes towards studying isiZulu at university

Nontobeko T. Mbatha, Thabo Ditsele, Linda van Huyssteen, Christopher Rwodzi
Literator | Vol 39, No 1 | a1480 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v39i1.1480 | © 2018 Thabo Ditsele, Nontobeko T. Mbatha, Linda van Huyssteen, Christopher Rwodzi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 January 2018 | Published: 18 October 2018

About the author(s)

Nontobeko T. Mbatha, Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Thabo Ditsele, Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Linda van Huyssteen, Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Christopher Rwodzi, Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


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Abstract

The study’s main objective was to investigate the attitudes held by undergraduate students towards studying isiZulu at university. The purposive sampling method was used to gather data from 100 students who studied the language as major subject, as well as three lecturers who taught the language at the same university. The study was a descriptive survey that used questionnaires to gather quantitative data and face-to-face interviews to gather qualitative data – mixed methods were used. The following five variables, namely: (1) sex, (2) age group, (3) years at university, (4) location of nurture and (5) linguality, were used to test the extent to which they influenced respondents’ attitudes towards the phenomenon under discussion. It was found that all five variables influenced respondents’ attitudes towards studying their L1 at university level. The findings revealed that respondents generally held positive attitudes towards studying isiZulu at university level. The study explored secondary phenomena and found that respondents believed that there were adequate job opportunities for those who studied isiZulu at university level and that they were proud to be the Zulu people.

Keywords

language attitudes; University students; language and identity; isiZulu

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