We proudly present our first podcast! To promote the eNSPIRED learning week, VVOB in South Africa, and the Department of Basic Education engaged in a conversation about multilingualism as an asset in South African education.

Curious? Listen here to our podcast:

An asset in education

Each year, eNSPIRED organises a learning week, inviting a delegation of educational practitioners for an international dialogue on a highly topical issue. In 2020, VVOB colleagues and partners from Vietnam and South Africa share their expertise and inspiring practices about multilingualism as an asset in education. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, this edition is postponed from March until November. More information will follow soon on this page.


To warm up the eNSPIRED audience for this year’s learning week, VVOB invited Rosh Mangalparsad, Fathima Osman and Hanne Huysmans to talk about multilingualism in South African education. They are respectively provincial English coordinator in the General Education and Training phase for the Department of Education, programme coordinator of the Leadership and Teaching for Diversity project and education advisor for VVOB in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Topic overview

00:00 – 10:46
Why did we make this podcast?

The guests introduce themselves:
  • Fathima Osman coordinates the Leading and Teaching for Diversity programme for VVOB;
  • Rosh Mangalparsad is English coordinator for the province of KwaZulu-Natal;
  • Hanne Huysmans is Education Advisor for VVOB.
10:46 – 16:10
‘English level isn’t a measure of your intelligence’ versus ‘English is the language of job opportunities.’ Fathima and Rosh share experiences on the attitude of their families towards multilingual education.
16:10 – 23:56
Making the mind-shift: to start thinking about multilingualism as an opportunity for learning, instead of a challenge. About the South African policy, learner identity and equity.
23:56 – 32:11
Multilingualism or speaking multiple languages? About reading for meaning and the ‘four skills’.
32:11 – 45:22
The 9 core components of effective and sustained multilingual education programmes. Three components unpacked:
  • Professional capacity building;
  • Specific instructional materials for multilingual education;
  • Enjoyment.
45:22 – 49:47
Translanguaging or codeswitching?
49:47 – 1:00:48
The challenge: can Fathima, Rosh and Hanne sum up the 12 official languages of South Africa?


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