ACCESSING ACADEMIC LANGUAGE: THE BENEFITS OF AN EXPLICIT STUDY OF LATIN AND GREEK ROOTS
AbstractMany students in South Africa are entering university linguistically underprepared to cope with the meta-language of academe. Reasons for this are proposed by Language Development staff in the Academic Development Programme at UCT (Thesen et al., 1997:1-2): First, the language system, or code (in this case English, which is also the medium of instruction) can pose problems for students for whom it is not a main language. Second, the new formal register which students meet in the transition from school to university presents difficulties for almost all first time entering students. A third factor is previous educational experience.Students who have not had practice in the more abstract cognitively demanding tasks (in English or any other language) through which quality schooling prepares students for the transition to university, are at a disadvantage.
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