Issue 1 (JSHSS Vol. 8)

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    Code-switching as a means of struggling against the English hegemony at Midlands State University
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Tevedzerai, Gijimah
    English, as a foreign language has enjoyed superiority over indigenous African languages since the advent of British colonisation in Africa. At Midlands State University English is the language of hegemony. Policy regarding language use stipulates that English is the working language and language of instruction, and indigenous languages are completely disregarded. The study recognises that whilst there are hard and fast rules that speak against the use of indigenous languages, people do not conform to the standard mainly because English is not the language of the people. There are means that are used to operate above the hegemony and code-switching is one such avenue. That being the case, this inquiry examines the extent to which code-switching is used and can serve as a means of struggling against the hegemony of English language at Midlands State University. The study also unpacks the forces that are behind the nurturing of the hegemony of English language. In an attempt to come up with informed decisions, a hybrid theoretical framework comprising the competence and markedness model is adopted. The study is qualitative in nature and data was collected through observation and personal interviews. The study establishes that code-switching is the order of the day in lectures at Midlands State University. It acknowledges the role that is played by code-switching in ensuring that indigenous languages are not completely excluded from domains that are reserved for English language. The study concludes that code-switching is an effective way of struggling against English hegemony since it enhances the use of indigenous languages, particularly Shona in the classroom.
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    Reference and persuasion: A relevance-theoretic study of church posters in Nigeria
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Tamumobelema, Isaac; Aikoriogie, Augustine Marvis
    This essay is a pragmatic study of the roles that referential elements play in the titles of church print posters in Nigeria. Perhaps it is unarguable that church print posters are meant to persuade the audience to fall in line with the ideology that the posters represent. What is probably not clear is the modus operandi of the interplay between the linguistic items deployed in those posters and the human cognitive system. This essay therefore describes the roles that linguistic items, particularly referentials, play in the persuasiveness of church posters. It is against this background that this paper establishes that referential elements aid persuasion by reducing processing cost in the utterance computation process and making the mental representation of objects in the physical world easily accessible. In doing this, the researchers collected fifty posters from selected churches that have national outlook and strong media outlets. In other to make our analysis more explicit, the researchers deployed Wilson and Sperber’s Computation Heuristics. This study therefore concludes that reference elements (definite noun phrase and indefinite noun phrase) create accessibility of mental concepts at the explicit level which automatically translates to less processing effort, and this has a persuasive effect at the implicit level on the reader of the church posters.
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    Gendered attitudes toward climate change among geography students at University Namibia
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Shikangalah, Rosemary N.
    Students are considered to be a key to dealing with climate change. Their knowledge influences their attitudes, which affects their actions. The degree to which students are likely to engage with climate change depends on their attitude towards climate change. This study investigated gendered attitudes towards climate change of geography students at the University of Namibia. Using a 14-item questionnaire, a total of 56 male and 64 female students from the University of Namibia were surveyed. The results show that students have a generally positive attitude towards climate change. There is, however, a slight difference in the gendered attitudes with regards to the concern over the occurrence of climate change; on how well they think they are informed; who should be responsible for fixing climate change; and whether or not the students felt personally responsible for the occurrence of the phenomenon. It is recommended that the education system be purposely designed to influence students’ attitude for better future decision making in relation to climate change because a person’s attitude forms a fundamental framework for a meaningful way of thinking.
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    An analysis of stakeholders’ perceptions on urban water erosion in Windhoek, Namibia
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Shikangalah, Rosemary N.; Paton, Eva N.; Jeltsch, Florian
    This study aimed at understanding the perceptions of stakeholders on urban water erosion in a dryland city - Windhoek (Namibia) - by interviewing 41 stakeholders using semi-structured questionnaires. Stakeholders’ perceptions were analysed by addressing their understanding of water erosion dynamics, their perceptions with regards to the causes and the seriousness of erosion damages, and their attitudes towards the responsibilities of urban erosion prevention and damages. The results indicated that there is less awareness of the process as a phenomenon; instead there is more awareness of erosion damages and the factors contributing to the damages. About 69% of the stakeholders considered erosion damages to be ranging from moderate to very serious. However, there were notable disparities between the private householders and public authority groups. The private householders and local authority sectors pointed fingers at each other as regards responsibility for erosion damage payments and for putting up prevention measures. The reluctance to take responsibility could undermine any effort to minimise erosion in urban areas and create a predicament for areas affected, especially in the informal settlements where land management is not carried out by the local authority and land is not owned by the occupants.
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    Machinations of spiritual entities in some of Charles Mungoshi’s works in English
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Manyarara, Barbra C.
    Through a textual analysis methodology of three selected texts by Charles Mungoshi, the interactions between the spirit world and ordinary Shona people are examined to unlock some of the multiple meanings to be found in these cultural artefacts. Christian values are shown as largely in conflict against the Shona spiritual world with its tendency towards the supernatural. In the selected works, the ngozi spirit has a strong presence that controls the literary lives of the persons of these works. Although the ngozi spirit affects both young and old, males and females, its influence is felt the most by young girls, single women and other females in their families. The impact on the male species seems rather minimal, perhaps reflective of patriarchal order. In Shona cosmology there is a strong belief that the panacea for ngozi is atonement. This study, therefore, explores the workings of spiritual entities in the selected works.
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    The influence of language users’ attitudes towards the learning and teaching of English language in three post-independence Namibian schools
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Kadodo, Webster; Muzira, Alphonce
    This research sought to examine the influence of language user’s attitudes to the teaching and learning of English Language in three selected post-independence Namibian schools. The research was motivated by the high failure rate in English Language by Namibian learners. Generally, the majority of learners fail to effectively read, write and speak in the medium of English Language despite the officialization of the language in the school curriculum at independence in 1990. The monolingual language policy that Namibia chose has had far-reaching, detrimental implications for Namibians and for its development evidenced by the high failure rate against a background of high spending by both parents and government on education. This research thus looked at the extent to which users’ language attitudes towards the medium of English vis à vis other languages affect teachers’ teaching and learners’ learning of English Language.
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    Student teacher mentors’ perceptions of their roles during school based studies: Possibilities and challenges
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Ausiku, Charity; Likando, Gilbert N.; Mberema, Felistus
    The study explored the perceptions of student teacher mentors (STMs) in relation to their mentorship roles during school-based studies (SBS). It unpacks possibilities and challenges embedded in the mentoring process. This qualitative study adopted a case study design, employing purposeful sampling in the identification of the study settings and participants. Using purposive sampling, ten STMs from ten primary schools (five rural and five urban) in the Kavango East and West regions of Namibia were selected to participate in the study. Semi-structured questionnaire with open-ended items were employed to solicit information pertaining to student teacher mentors’ perceptions of their mentoring roles. Responses were grouped into themes and categories in line with the research objectives. The findings of the study are twofold. First, it revealed that student teacher mentors were inadequately trained, and uncertain about their mentoring roles, apart from providing student teachers workspace. Second, STMs perceived the presence of student teachers in schools as a setback in the timely completion of the Gilbert Likando syllabi requirements, because they considered them too inexperienced to handle their classes. As a result, the study recommends a mentoring model to enhance STMs’ understanding of their roles, address challenges they experience, and unveil possibilities for STMs’ professional development and learning during the mentoring process.
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    Experiences of health care professionals regarding management of fetal alcohol syndrome in the Khomas region of Namibia
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Amukugo, Hans J.; Goraseb, Marcus; Karera, Abel
    The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of health care professionals regarding the management of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the Khomas Region of Namibia. The study was qualitative, explorative, descriptive, and contextual in nature and was conducted at two state hospitals in Windhoek. The researcher used in-depth unstructured interviews and focus group discussions. Data was analyzed by using Tesch’s method of qualitative data analysis. Ethical principles were employed to avoid acts that diminish self-respect and violate self-determination of research participants. The Findings of the study revealed four main themes on experiences of healthcare workers regarding management of FAS: Lack of knowledge about management of FAS; inadequate resources to facilitate the management of FAS; unconducive environment for mother and family; and lack of inter-professional collaboration. A total of ten sub-themes emerged from these four themes all of which indicated negative experiences that presented barriers to proper management of FAS. It is recommended that guidelines for health professionals should be developed to facilitate the management of children with FAS. In addition, healthcare workers knowledge and the clinical environment should be enhanced to enable effective management of this condition.