Defying ideological misconceptions through information and communication technology localisation in Higher Education

DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2017.1316525
Author(s): Nobuhle Ndimande-HlongwaDepartment of African Languages, South Africa, Hloniphani NdebeleDepartment of African Languages, South Africa


This article seeks to provide a critique on various ideological misconceptions regarding the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) and African languages in higher education. It further seeks to provide insight into various ICT localisation opportunities within the higher education domain. Many institutions of higher learning in South Africa have developed multilingual policies that are founded upon various national, regional and international provisions in order to promote the status of African languages. The low profile of African languages in these institutions, among other factors, could be attributed to negative ideological misconceptions that reinforce the hegemony and status of English in higher domains. These languages are often viewed as incapable of expressing technical terms, although they inherently possess the capacity to function in any given context, just as any other language can, and their multiplicity should be viewed not as problematic, but rather as resource and evidence of Africa’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity. Given the high levels of utilisation, spread and accessibility of information and communication technologies (ICT) in higher education institutions, the integration of African languages with ICT could be of paramount significance in revitalising them.

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