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This programme is meant for academics who are interested in acquiring the basic communication skills in Xhosa not just for themselves but to use the knowledge to assist the students in their discipline.  It is an introductory course in which participants will acquire the fundamentals of isiXhosa. It focuses on developing basic communication skills of reading, and speaking .

The programme  will also  incorporate cultural perspectives  in order to enable participants to grasp  the social significance of linguistic features or to follow the subject matter of daily conversation.

The material is very selective but will help participants to become fully aware of differing ways of communication in different contexts.The first few lessons will cover the basic conversation and will later progress and integrate some disciplinary concepts.

It will be offered once a week on both campuses depending on demand.  A certificate of competence will  be issued  on  completion . 

The main purpose of the programme is:                     

  • To enable participants to reach out and support their students to access disciplinary knowledge in their home language.
  • To be able to communicate at the basic level using isiXhosa
  • To encourage students to use glossaries that have been developed in the 3 languages  viz; English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans.
Let us talk , the language and its culture
  1.  1.1
  1. and Introduction  of the language
The structure of the Xhosa language. spelling rules / important vowels/ their equivalence in English.
 UNIT   1.2
Greetings and introductions
Greeting different people
Participating in basic greeting activities.
Practising greeting with Good morning  (Molo  Clive)  good morning students (molweni bafundi) homework
Revision of  work covered & assessment task
  1. 1.3
Introductions/ getting to know someone
Introducing someone  else
 What is your name/your surname? , Ungubani igama lakho, ifani yakho? your parents, sibblings, inlaws etc
Where do you stay? Uhlala phi?
  1. 1.4
Getting to  know someone/ How are you
Where do you live etc.
  1. greetings and asking after health of someone. Work with a partner
Morning simphiwe, how are you?
Molo Simphiwe, unjani? Homework
UNIT 1.5
Bidding farewell/saying good bye/ and responses
Practising entering and leaving the room
Goodbye- hamba kakuhle stay well- sala kakuhle
Revision of the units covered & assessment task
About your work
  1. 2.1
Tell us about what you do
following questions.
Choose a partner and ask the Where do you work? Usebenza
phi? What do you teach/ what course do you teach? Ufundisa ntoni/sesiphi isifundo osifundisayo? homework
  1. 2.2
Tell us more about your job
Tell your partner more about your job. How many students
Do you teach?, Bangaphi abafundi bakho?, do they understand what you teach? Bayayiqonda kakuhle into obafundisayo?  homework
UNIT 2.3
Challenges and benefits of your job
Whole class activity. Challenges.  Write challenges you have with your class and share with partner-  interpretation of the challenges. Let a partner help you with solutions to your challenges. Share with the class. homework
Integration of disciplinary concepts
  1.  3.1
The structure of the Xhosa language
The main vowels in Xhosa and their pronunciation, the equivalent sound in English.
Practise saying the vowels,
Xhosa has 5 main vowels
‘a’,  ‘e’, ‘I’ ‘o’  ‘u’.
‘a’ sounds like  art, uncle
Identifying words with same vowels.  homework
 UNIT   3.2
Classes of the noun structure- word formation, 
Practise identifying nouns from  different sentences.
 (umfazi mhle) The woman is pretty.  Umntu uyasebenza. The person is working.
More examples   homework
  1. of unit work covered & assessment task
UNIT 3.3
Classes of noun structure
Practise identifying nouns  and giving examples of other nouns in sentences .  (Abantu bayatya (People are eating)  more example  using concepts from the discipline. Homework.
  1. 3.4
Use of classes of nouns  with a specific theme
Practise examples of concepts from the discipline . form sentences share with partner (Umthi mkhulu). (The tree is big.
UNIT 3.5
Use of disciplinary concepts  in simple  sentences within a theme/ topic
Choose a few concepts and explain their meaning/function.   Xhosa translation of the concepts.  homework
Revision of work covered – assessment task
UNIT 3.6
Use of disciplinary concepts with  specific themes
Explanation and interpretation of concepts in Xhosa. Different examples.  homework
UNIT 3.7
Use of disciplinary concepts with specific themes
Explanation and interpretation of concepts in Xhosa. Different examples.  homework
Revision of work covered & assessment task
 Common terms used in questioning
UNIT 4.1
Common terms used in questioning
Discussion of the terms. Their meaning for each dept. translation in Xhosa homework
UNIT 4.2
Common terms used in questioning
Working in groups to develop a term bank for different disciplines.
Discussion. Translation
Revision of unit work covered
Working with current glossaries- formulate questions using concepts in the glossaries. Encourage students to use them. to ensure that everyone knows about them.

Should your department be interested in requesting this course, please contact the Academic Staff Development Unit

IsiXhosa Co-ordinator: Dr Misiwe Katiya

Contact Number: 021 953 8400

Email Address: