Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Dube and Ncube

Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 3 (5), pp. 249-255, May 2013

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Language Policy and Linguistic Rights in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe:The Case of IsiNdebele


*1Liketso Dube, 2Bhekezakhe Ncube  


1Great Zimbabwe University,Faculty of Education,Department of Curriculum Studies,

P. O. Box 1235,Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

2Lupane State University,Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,Department of Languages, P. O. Box AC 255, Ascot. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Email: bncube @ bhekezakhencube @ yahoo. com


*Corresponding Author’s Email: umnumzanld @ cooltoad. com / liketsodube @ gmail. com


This article investigates and evaluates the position of IsiNdebele in post-colonial Zimbabwe as a subject in schools. It is the position of this article that language policy in Zimbabwe does not have a strong case for African languages in general and IsiNdebele in particular. The reliance on the Education Act of 1987 as a language policy document in the absence of a national language policy, leaves African languages open to neglect. African languages, particularly IsiNdebele which was born of unique circumstances, need a strong language policy which enunciates linguistic rights with the aim of protecting vulnerable languages. The article also argues that an abuse of linguistic rights is synonymous with abuse of human and cultural rights of speakers of a given language. The article will recommend the resuscitation of institutional bodies and organisations which once served as promoters of African languages. Government sponsorship for such institutions and organisations should be revived. The article also adds its voice to the call for the establishment of a National Language Council to be set up by an Act Parliament. 

Keywords: Language policy; African languages; linguistic rights; linguistic pluralism; education.

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