Original Research

The influence of isiBhaca on written isiXhosa of learners in the Senior Phase in Umzimkhulu

Yanga L.P. Majola
Literator | Vol 45, No 1 | a2012 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v45i1.2012 | © 2012 Yanga L.P. Majola | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 July 2023 | Published: 29 March 2024

About the author(s)

Yanga L.P. Majola, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Mbombela, South Africa


Learners in Umzimkhulu identify as amaBhaca and speak isiBhaca at home and with friends. However, at school, they use isiXhosa as a home language (HL) and first additional language (FAL). This article examines how isiBhaca influences isiXhosa in the educational space in Umzimkhulu. Research identified three schools across Umzimkhulu through which data were collected; using a qualitative approach, this article used document analysis and interviews for data collection. Data were gathered from 60 learners’ written essays and 6 teachers through semi-structured interviews. Findings revealed that isiBhaca influences written isiXhosa in Umzimkhulu. This was seen through the learners’ essays and teacher interviews. The conclusion of this study is that teachers should undergo standardised training on how to handle non-standard language speakers in class. At the same time, teachers should find a way of not disadvantaging learners who speak non-standard varieties and not encourage learners to develop negative attitudes towards their languages.

Contribution: The contribution to the body of scholarship is the consideration of learners who speak dialects in the classroom and the view that teachers should be taught strategies to change their approach to teaching an HL. Teachers do not have to penalise learners for using non-standard languages, especially when they are non-standard varieties of the HL, which is mostly the standard language, but rather introduce them, for example, to the correct word in the standard language.


IsiBhaca; IsiXhosa; senior phase; home language; mother tongue education.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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