On the 11 July 2023, the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research (CMDR) at UWC, in collaboration with bua-lit, held a bilingual learning materials workshop to discuss introducing these new learning materials in schools. They have already identified two schools where they are conducting their research to trial the materials.

The attendees at the workshop constituted a diverse group, made up of teachers from different locations, Western Cape Education Department advisors, authors, and academics. It was a fun interaction between these diverse groups. There were focus groups to discuss the introduction of isiXhosa and Kaaps into learning materials and what some of the challenges might be. There was no shortage of involvement, because everyone was so excited about this initiative and eager to give their input. The discussion revolved around the languages that learners speak at home, because most of the learners in the designated school area speaks Kaaps, so the teachers were asking about implementing that in the classrooms to help learners understand the work better. Who better to tell us of the problems faced, than the teachers who work in the classrooms with these learners every day? Another plus was having someone who works within the WCED to go over some of the rules that need to be followed, or what would be acceptable to introduce to the learners.

This workshop was very informative because teachers’ voices were heard, the troubles they face with their learners were also heard. That is why having workshops like this is important, because teachers are not always being heard regarding the challenges they face in the classroom. It opens a door to show educators and everyone else involved that they are important and that their input in projects is also valued.

Chante Petersen

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