Under Preparation




Language in higher education in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region:

Taking language issues beyond the academic trinity


Guest Editor


Gregory Kamwendo (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)




This special issue of the journal will focus on the broad theme of Language in higher education: Taking language issues beyond the academic trinity, with special reference to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. SADC is a political and economic bloc comprising the following African countries: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The SADC region is linguistically divided into three zones, namely: Anglophone zone (the so-called English-speaking countries), Francophone zone (the so-called French-speaking countries) and Lusophone zone (the so-called Portuguese-speaking countries). Scholars are unanimous in observing that these linguistic zones are misleading given that English, French and Portuguese are not the main languages of communication among the majority of the people. These languages (which are languages of the former colonial powers) are only used by the elite who are a minority in each country. In higher education institutions, one finds a predominance of exoglossic languages as media of teaching and learning. This situation negatively impacts on access and success in higher education since the exoglossic languages are not well mastered by a significant portion of the student body.


In higher education, language is one of the most critical factors cutting across the academic trinity and beyond. The focus of the special issue of the journal goes beyond the academic trinity (i.e. teaching and learning, research, and community engagement), and proceeds to address issues such as staff recruitment/mobility, student recruitment/mobility, the governance of higher education institutions, institutional communication, studentsí services and language services. The exchange of skills and information is mediated through language. In the special issue of the journal, contributors are being provoked to think of language as a cross-cutting issue, something whose relevance and importance goes beyond the academic trinity.




Within the broad theme of language in higher education in the SADC region, the special issue of Journal of Social Science invites critical and evidence-based papers on one or a combination of the following sub-themes:

  • Language: medium of learning and teaching.
  • Language and studentsí academic performance.
  • Language: medium of research and research dissemination/publishing.
  • Language issues in community engagement.
  • Language issues in student recruitment/mobility.
  • Language issues in staff recruitment/mobility.
  • Language issues in the governance of higher education institutions.
  • Language issues in studentsí services.
  • Language services in higher education institutions.
  • Language issues in institutional communication: websites, newsletters, switchboard, signage etc.

Instructions for contributions


Authors are advised to adhere to Journal of Social Science guidelines which appear on the front page of the journal. Alternatively, for guidelines and format of paper presentation, authors are advised to visit the journalís website: http://www.krepublishers.com. A paper fee of US$120/- is payable when a paper is accepted. All contributions will be subjected to Journal of Social Scienceís normal blind peer review process.


Contributions should be emailed to the guest-editor, Prof Gregory Kamwendo at: kamwendo@ukzn.ac.za


The closing date for receiving contributions is 30 June, 2013.


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