Issue 1 (JULACE Vol. 1)

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    The study of literature as a resource for second language acquisition
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Simataa, Agnes A.; Nyathi, Sifiso F.
    This paper emanates from an earlier study, which examined the views of Namibian Grade 11 and 12 teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) on the use of English literature in ESL classrooms. The aim of the paper is to present the rationale and conceptualisation underlying the significance of the use of literature to improve general language proficiency levels of students. The study is based on the Learner Centred approach which is related to the communicative theory to learning and teaching. The implication of the paper is that literature should be taught conscientiously by language educators to enhance learner proficiency in language classrooms. The benefits of literature in an ESL classroom are multidimensional; which include, among others; attainment of pragmatic (social language use) skills, grammar and vocabulary expansion, extensive reading motivation, intercultural awareness, language skills and critical thinking skills. This was also supported by the findings of the study in which a significant number of the respondents agreed that the study of literature had an important role to play in language acquisition.
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    Is code switching complementary to English as medium of instruction in Namibian English second language classrooms?
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Simasiku, Liswani
    In Namibia most teachers and learners are not conversant enough to teach and learn school subjects, including English, through the English medium. Poor learner performance in the year-end examinations in English has been attributed to the use of only English as medium of instruction. Despite such poor performance, English has remained the official medium of instruction in all subjects in Namibian schools. The objective of this study was to investigate whether code switching complemented the English Language in English medium classrooms. The mixed method design was used for this study, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Questionnaire and an observation checklist were the two research instruments that were used to collect data. The sample comprised 12 English Second Language teachers at 12 schools in the Zambezi Educational Region, Namibia. The results showed that English Second Language teachers were of the view that the use of English as the only medium of instruction in the English Second Language classrooms, impacted negatively on the year-end results.
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    In the eyes of the male beholder: Language use as male inscription of the female body in film, Literature, and Facebook
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Senkoro, Fikeni E.
    This paper examines the concept of the inscription of the female body, and the way language used by men for such inscription shows distinct difference on women compared to that used on men. Using different film clips, literary pieces, and Facebook walls, the paper looks at the social inscription of the female body and argues that such state of affairs has made the constitution of the body of woman in the media, so plastic that through language use it can be molded the way the director, writer, and the Facebook friends (read male friends) deem fit, and it is turned into a text written upon it and from which it is not discernible as a social being but just an article. Indeed, “popular” inscription of the female body in the media in general and in Tollywood films, Swahili literary pieces, and “friendly’ exchanges and comments on Facebook walls in particular, impose literal, figurative and interpretative outlook that sells the films and literary works, as it amplifies female body inscription while condemning such a body to lust and ridicule.
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    Texts on Swahili cultural artefacts in Tanzania and the representation of women’s voice
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Omari, Shani
    This paper seeks to examine how women express themselves in Swahili through household cultural artefacts in Tanzania. The paper focuses on words or texts written on the cultural artefacts, especially food covers and hand fans. We analyze these two artefacts together due to the fact that in Swahili society they are mainly used by women at homes and they have some parallels in the content of their texts. Although these artefacts are found in various parts of the country, they are mostly widely available in the coastal areas. The data of this paper, therefore, were collected in three coastal areas in Tanzania, namely Kilwa, Tanga and Dar es Salaam. The paper uses the Semiotic Theory in the analysis of of its data. It is generally revealed that food covers and hand fans serve as an important means of communication among Swahili women. The artefacts present issues of the women while at the same time communicating their messages to a wider audience.
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    Epistolary role in East African literary works on HIV/AIDS
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Mutembei, Aldin
    In East Africa, an epistle as a base for literary analysis is not common. It appears, scholars who have analysed works of fiction or drama relating to HIV/AIDS scourge, have not considered letters inserted in those works as worth examining. Yet, letters inserted in such creative writings as a style to expound different themes are often encountered. Written artistic works on HIV/AIDS in both Kiswahili and English languages have employed this style to illustrate the HIV/AIDS crisis, as lived by characters in their fictional world. Following Wolf Schmid’s theory on narratology, supplemented with Rosenmeyer’s analytical framework (2003) the article uses an epistolary analysis as a technique for identifying themes in a literary work. The argument developed throughout this article is that epistles should be taken as a point of departure in identifying and examining different voices in the narratives on HIV/AIDS on one hand, and in understanding the psycho-social challenges which fictional characters face in their creative or imaginative world. Through this theory the epistles are juxtaposed to the Kiswahili idiom: barua ni nusu ya kuonana (literally translates as “a letter is seeing each other partially”). It would appear that the reader sees fictional characters in HIV/AIDS creative works from a certain perspective as focalized by the letters. The voices which the readers hear from these characters are all directed the letters used. Following this theory it appears that the themes related to HIV/AIDS are related to or influenced by the inserted epistles.
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    Translation: A belaboured term
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Mpemba, Titus
    Interpreting and translation are still positioned by some scholars under the broader discipline of linguistics as aspects of applied linguistics, while others view interpreting as a sub-discipline within the broader and generic discipline of translation studies. However, interpreting studies and translation studies have gradually become fields in their own right, thanks to the prominent individual and collective efforts of scholars to establish the two fields as subjects in academia. In the professionalization of these disciplines, terminologies have been created and attempts to define them made. Some terms have been extended to accommodate new meanings, the result of which has been burdening some of the terms. Within the framework of translation and interpreting studies, this paper analyses how the term translation has been burdened, in view of making some terminological proposals.
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    Taking a closer look at vocabulary and academic literacy levels of undergraduate students
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Izaks, Jill N.
    This paper reports on a study conducted in 2011 with undergraduate students at the University of Namibia (UNAM). One of the aims of the study was to assess the vocabulary and academic literacy levels of the students, as well as to examine the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and academic literacy. The multi componential aspect of vocabulary knowledge coupled with the fact that university students need a large vocabulary (relevant to their academic context and purposes for reading) in order to fully understand their texts which are written in a language which for the majority is an additional language (AL), has led to a re-evaluation of current practices. Two research instruments were used to obtain data: the receptive vocabulary levels test (VLT) and the test of academic literacy levels (TALL). Findings paint a bleak picture of English mid frequency word knowledge of first year students at UNAM. Data also showed that not all students who enter university have adequate vocabulary knowledge to participate in the academic discourse prevalent at university. This dispels the assumption that students entering university have adequate vocabulary knowledge. The TALL results showed that the students’ academic literacy skills were not very strong, revealing inadequate academic literacy skills to cope with the academic demands of university. This result shows the relevance of introducing academic literacy tests at UNAM, to provide scientific and not just anecdotal evidence to prompt management to spend the necessary resources (financial and human) on the design and implementation of standardized tests assessing academic literacy levels, which
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    Exploring the problems of second language learners’ English pronunciation: A contrastive analysis of English and Oshiwambo (Oshikwanyama)
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Hamakali, Hafeni P.; Mbenzi, Petrus A.
    English is the official language of Namibia. The majority of Namibians have to learn English as a second language because their mother tongue is either one of the Namibian indigenous languages or a different foreign language. Learning English has been a challenge to many learners and several studies attribute the high failure rate in Namibia to poor proficiency in English. In particular, contrastive analysis studies attribute some of the second language learners’ learning difficulties to their first language influence on the target language, English. This study, also a contrastive analysis, focuses on the difficulties which the native speakers of Oshiwambo encounter in learning to speak English, with particular reference to the Ovakwanyama. The study attempts to identify common errors which Oshikwanyama speakers would make in English and establishes the grounds for such errors. Finally, the study makes suggestion for the intervention strategies to remedy the situation.
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    Assessing students in English Second Language courses: The role of alternative assessment tools in language instruction
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Hamakali, Hafeni P.; Lumbu, Simon D.
    This conceptual paper is an analysis of the role of alternative assessment (AA) tools in English language instruction. AA tools tend to be less formal than traditional testing; they gather information rather that at one point in time; and they are rather formative than summative in nature (Alderson & Banerjee, 2001). There has been increasing criticism of standardized test and examinations and it has brought into question the value of other indirect approaches to language assessment. Research has shown that these approaches provide a wealth of information which can inform a more valid interpretation of standardized test or examination results. The results of this analysis could be useful in informing language instructors, language material developers, language teacher trainers, as well as curriculum designers.
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    The satirical portrayal of Africa’s development issues: Examples from Kiswahili short stories
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Daniel, Zawadi L.
    The 20th and now 21st centuries have witnessed the outpour of satirical works that are purported to be portraying and discussing Africa’s development problems. Certainly this is the case in East Africa where, for example, cartooning, comedy shows and oral and written literary satires are flourishing. While this paper uses Kiswahili literary satire to make some theoretical deliberations on what satire is, it also discusses the place of two popular Eurocentric satirical traditions propounded by Horatio and Juvenal. Several questions are raised and an attempt has been made to answer them regarding the satirical mode and its place in examining issues that affect the people of Africa: What is the nature of African/Kiswahili literary satire? Can we formulate our own theories regarding African satire that aid in portraying and discussing Africa’s development? Why has satire become a dominant artistic mode in the portrayal of Africa’s development path? Of what practical use are wit/humour, irony, and sarcasm – the main ingredients of satire, in exposing and discrediting vice and folly in Africa? In short, using examples from Kiswahili short stories, the paper examines the relevance or, indeed, irrelevance of satirical mode and traditions to Africa’s development and the discourse of such development in deliberating on the future of Africa.
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    Heritage as a motivation for Kiswahili language learning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Chipila, Rajabu A.
    This article explores the role of heritage as a motivation for learning Kiswahili as a foreign language at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Since publication of the works of Gardner and Lambert on language motivation in the 1970s, this aspect has dominated the area of second and foreign language learning. While initial studies on language learning motivation were focused on major western languages, such as English and French in Canada, in recent years the focus has shifted towards what in the United States are called less commonly taught languages (LCTLs). Within the context of the US, the LCTLs are generally defined as the low-enrolment and infrequently taught languages and most cited examples are, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian, and in recent years indigenous African languages such as Kiswahili, Amharic, Hausa, Igbo, Akan, IsiZulu, and IsiXhosa. Arabic is also included on the list. The research emphasis has particularly been on the language educators’ attempt to establish students’ reasons for engaging in learning these languages. It has been well documented that heritage is one of the main reasons students choose to learn the LCTLs in America. Nevertheless, there is lack of information on motivating factors for African students learning other African languages within African universities. This problem might be attributed to the absence of the African language programmes taught in universities of other African countries where the languages are not native. It is only in recent years that Kiswahili has started to be taught in universities of other non- Kiswahili speaking countries, such as at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, University of Namibia in Namibia, and the University of Zimbabwe, in Zimbabwe. Using the action research approach, the present study shares research findings on the role of heritage as a learning motivation among students studying Kiswahili as a foreign language at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.