Learning any language is difficult – even if you already speak a variation of it at home.
There are many layers of complexity at play in the way that South African schools use and teach languages.
Whether you read to your kids or they read alone, share stories from and about Africa with them.
Traditional African stories often tackle big, occasionally scary and serious themes. This is even true in children's stories – though there's plenty of room for silly fun, too.
Gabriel Kenny, aged five, gets to grips with Mandarin characters as part of a US school program.
There is a new potential coloniser on South Africa's linguistic block. From 2016, Mandarin will be taught in schools – and this will see African languages bumped even further down the pecking order.
English is Uganda’s official language - but wouldn’t it make sense to adopt a few more along with it?
Joshua Wanyama/Africa Knows
The stories of and attitudes to three particular languages – English, Swahili and Luganda – provide an interesting starting point for a debate around Uganda's language policy.
Translating notes into ‘deep’ or ‘high’ versions of languages isn’t very useful for young students who prefer vernacular, colloquial ways of speaking.
There is little value in translating academic texts into "high" or "deep" versions of African languages. Most students read and speak their mother tongues in a far more colloquial fashion.
Ugandan children are meant to learn in local mother tongues for their first three years of primary school.
In Uganda, private schools are simply ignoring a policy that calls for pupils to learn in a mother tongue rather than in English for the first three years of their education.
Being able to learn science in a number of languages helps children to develop an understanding of concepts - like the robotics used to build this dinosaur.
Using more than one language when teaching and learning science in schools can greatly enhance concept development. This in fact goes to the heart of science.
Xhosa women celebrate in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. It is time for African languages and cultures to dominate at the continent’s universities.
African universities need to boost local languages onto the same exalted platform as English before they can be considered truly transformed.
Fighting extremism with the English language.
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
As part of an anti-extremism strategy, the home secretary says funds for translation services will be cut, but more put into English lessons.
Thank you - for not only speaking English.
Thank you via ivosar/Shutterstock
There are now more than 1.1 million children in our schools whose first language “is known or believed to be other than English” according to the latest government figures. This confirms a continuous upwards…