University of KwaZulu-Natal lecturer, Dr Loraine Prinsloo, graduated with a PhD in arts for her research that looked at the motivation to learn Afrikaans and the willingness to speak Afrikaans by Afrikaans second language pre-service teaching students. These students were enrolled for the module Afrikaans Kommunikasie 110 in the School of Education.
Throughout the study, the context behind the learning of Afrikaans as a second language, in a province where it is statistically seen as a minority language, was taken into consideration.
Her study found that participants who were motivated to learn Afrikaans as a second language at school remained motivated to learn the language at university. ‘This motivation seems to be more extrinsic. Influences include perceptions of the curriculum requirements, perceptions of the language, and feelings about learning the language. The role of the teacher in the classroom came to the fore in participants’ perceptions of their motivation for learning Afrikaans at tertiary level,’ said Prinsloo.
The study also found that the motivation to learn Afrikaans at university does not mean that participants were necessarily willing to speak Afrikaans in the classroom, and their verbal contributions in class were dependent on a range of factors.
‘These factors are mainly situational and involve perceptions of participants’ own speaking ability and the communicative situation, the topic, the number of interlocutors and their willingness to communicate in Afrikaans,’ said Prinsloo.
Prinsloo’s study also noted and discussed pedagogical implications relating to students’ motivation to learn Afrikaans as a second language and their willingness to speak it, in a province where their exposure to Afrikaans outside the classroom is limited.
She believes her research adds to the field of second language teaching and learning, especially discourses of students who see themselves as potential Afrikaans teachers and those who do not see themselves in that professional role.