South African pupils prefer English in schools

February 8th, 2012 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Feb 8 (IANS) Even though the most common language spoken at home by South Africans is Zulu, over 60 percent of pupils have said they would like to study English in schools.

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said in a report that there were more than 12 million school students in the country, and over 60 percent of them — about 7.6 million — wanted to be taught in English, Xinhua reported.

Zulu is spoken by more than three million pupils at home, while only seven percent of students — about 852,000 — speak English at home.

At the foundation phase in primary schools, most pupils would choose African languages.

As early as grade four, many would transfer to English or Afrikaans in their lessons, according to the survey.

The trend of the rising number of English-learning pupils is mainly due to social and cultural processes, it said.

English was the most common spoken language in official and public life in South Africa, it added.

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