Functional multilingualism at the North-West University as part of the institution's transformation agenda

17 May 2010

The aim of this article is to explore the link between language management and the sociopolitical environment in which institutions of higher learning, particularly the North-West University, operate. Along the lines set by Candlin (1991: vi–vii), it is argued that language management should take due cognisance of the various historical, structural and social environments in which the management activity takes place. In the light of the foregoing, particular emphasis is placed on the current sociopolitical transformation agenda within South African higher education and the role of language management as part of this process. The article also investigates ways in which the drafting of an inclusive language policy and plan could be utilised as a change management instrument in contributing towards institutional transformation. To this end, an analysis is presented in respect of the general tendencies and patterns of responses to an institutional language audit conducted during the last semester of 2005 at the North-West University as a means of paving the way towards the formulation of an inclusive multilingual language policy.