A realignment is needed as the current systems have lost the competence to midwife a new nation out of the formative experiences of the last 25 years.
Police officers are also not, and are not expected to be, sworn translators or interpreters. This has serious implications for justice.
Research has shown that African immigrants in South Africa refrain from speaking their own languages and try to speak local languages to blend in.
A much more flexible and open teaching and language policy would help teachers and pupils to enable a meaningful learning environment in a multilingual and diverse classroom setting.
The International Year of Indigenous Languages serves as a good impetus to start implementing policies that prioritises Africa's own languages.
It's hailed as one of the greatest works of fiction to emerge from Africa. But Things Fall Apart was written in English, sparking debate about the colonisation of language.
Kiswahili will be easy for South Africans to learn compared to foreign languages from outside Africa.
It's not far-fetched to suspect that the common understanding of the idea of "mother tongues" in South Africa is coloured by outside influences.
Software tools for South Africa’s Nguni languages may assist with redress and effective communication.
Africa's current situation has a parallel in European history - the Reformation and the changes it wrought in terms of language exceptionalism.
South Africa must be seen as a country for speakers of all its official languages rather than an English-only elite.
Africa needs a new strategy for mother-tongue based bilingual education, from primary through to tertiary level.
It's important to shift educational discourse in and around Africa in a more equitable, representative direction.
Over the years, our understanding of how language and learning are linked has shifted and changed. There is ample evidence about the value of mother-tongue-based multilingual education.
Much of the recent commentary on Sino-African relations has a negative tone. But genuine cultural exchange holds the promise of mutual enrichment.
Universities pay too little attention to the knowledge and experiences that students bring to their institutions from different cultures and backgrounds.
In Africa, standard English dominates in formal institutions. But in everyday usage it is supplanted by the continent's abundance of languages – and the varieties of English these gave rise to.
Those who don't want Stellenbosch University to make English the main language of instruction have invoked South Africa's Constitution - but the assumptions underlying their arguments are false.
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.
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.