This book explores some issues relating to the sociolinguistic situation in South Africa, attending especially to language variety and language attitudes. The focus is on the teaching of language, specifically English, and on the relevant education of language teachers in a multicultural country such as South Africa. In school systems such as the South African education system, which has for many years provided real access to education and power for a limited group of students only, the demands of modern society for greater language and cultural knowledge imply radical adjustments to literacy teaching and the training of language teachers.
The central section of the book focuses on assessing the attitudes of several groups of English teacher trainees towards the use of four varieties of South African English in education. The effect of group discussions and lectures aimed at raising awareness of language varieties and of questions of standard and evaluation is measured by a subsequent language attitude assessment. The book makes some suggestions as to how language awareness and critical language studies that extend to a critical awareness of genre could contribute to the effective preparation of language teachers.