New Language Policy

New Language Policy

The Incremental Introduction of African Languages Policy

What is the Incremental Introduction of African Languages Policy (IIAL)?

The IIAL policy calls for the incremental introduction of African languages into the formal schooling system of South Africa. The aim is to teach all non-African language speaker an African language.

What are the aims of the IIAL Policy?

Aim 1 – the first aim of the policy is to promote and strengthen the use of African languages by incrementally introducing it to all non-African language speakers in Grades 1- 12 in order to have all non-African language speakers being able to speak an African language.

Aim 2 – the second aim of the policy is to strengthen the use of African languages at home language level, so learners can use their home language proficiently.

Aim 3 – the third aim of the policy is to improve proficiency in and utility of previously marginalized African languages (at FAL level).

Aim 4 – the fourth aim of the policy is to raise the confidence of parents to choose their own languages as their primary medium of communication.

Aim 5 – the fifth aim of the policy is to increase access to languages by all learners beyond English and Afrikaans.

Aim 6 – the sixth aim of the policy is to promote social cohesion by expanding opportunities for the development of African languages as a significant way of preserving heritage and cultures.

When will the policy be implemented?

The proposed timeline stretched from 2015 to 2026. The African languages would be incrementally introduce per grade. Thus, an African language would have been introduced to Grade 1 in 2015 which would then rollover to the next Grade the following year up to the point where the African language would be a compulsory language in Matric by the year 2026, If we work according to this proposed timeline then the implementation of African languages must have reached Grade 5 in 2019 but this is unfortunately not the case as it has only been implemented up to Grade 3. Another point of concern is the fact that the Grade 3 group of 2019 will not have their African language when they go to Grade 4 in 2020. The African language will only be introduced in Grade 4 in 2021 and therefore the Grade 2 class of 2019 will possibly be the first group of learners who have had an African language as subject from Grade 1.

Which languages are regarded as African languages?

The term African language refers to the geographic and not linguistic classification of languages spoken on the African continent. Therefore the languages which this policy recognises as African languages are:

  • Xitsonga
  • IsiZulu
  • IsiXhosa
  • IsiNdebele
  • SiSwati
  • Sesotho
  • Sepedi
  • Setswana
  • Tshivenda
  • Afrikaans

How will this affect school subjects and instructional time?

All foundation phase learners will now have 5 subjects instead of 4:

  • Home language
  • FAL
  • SAL
  • Mathematics
  • Life-Skills


The instructional time for Grades 1 and 2 will increase to 25 hours per week from 23 hours per week.

The instructional time for Grades 3 will increase to 28 hours per week from 25 hours per week.

Will my child be formally assessed on Second Additional Language level?

There are currently no formal assessments proposed for the Second Additional Language due to the fact that it is purely taught for communication purposes.

What resources and programmes are currently available to assist my child?



There is a great need for purposely developed resources to assist learners, educators and parents even though there are some readers and textbooks available in all 11 Languages. There is a need for resources which can lay the foundation for the programme. Super Tools is therefore currently busy to develop 5000 products for the Department of Basic Education in order to fill this gap. Super Tools also offers a number of multilingual storybooks.

This policy does not apply to pre-schools, ECD centres or Grade R learners. Therefore there is no foundation being laid for the successful implementation. When a learner goes to Grade 1 he will this be required to start to learn a new language/languages from the start which can be very traumatic to the learner and the parents. Super Linguists is the first and only extra-mural programme which focuses on the developing of all 11 languages for children from as young as 3 years old. The programme’s aim is to lay the foundation for the policy as well as to provide support to all learners who currently need to learn one or more languages. The programme is also being presented to adults who would like to learn an African Language.

How can I become involved with Super Linguists?

Super Linguists is a franchise opportunity on offer by Super Incorporated. The franchise is very affordable and even offers an interest free down payment option. For more information on the franchise opportunity please send us an e-mail at

For more information on the Super Linguists programme please visit: or if you would like to enrol your child with Super Linguists please visit:


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