Original Research

How can speech-language therapists and audiologists enhance language and literacy outcomes in South Africa? (And why we urgently need to)

Harsha Kathard, Lebogang Ramma, Michelle Pascoe, Heila Jordaan, Sharon Moonsamy, Anna-Marie Wium, Sandra du Plessis, Lidia Pottas, Nasim Banu Khan
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 58, No 2 | a27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v58i2.27 | © 2011 Harsha Kathard, Lebogang Ramma, Michelle Pascoe, Heila Jordaan, Sharon Moonsamy, Anna-Marie Wium, Sandra du Plessis, Lidia Pottas, Nasim Banu Khan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2011 | Published: 09 December 2011

About the author(s)

Harsha Kathard, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Lebogang Ramma, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Michelle Pascoe, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Heila Jordaan, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Sharon Moonsamy, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Anna-Marie Wium, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Limpopo (Medunsa campus), South Africa
Sandra du Plessis, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Limpopo (Medunsa campus), South Africa
Lidia Pottas, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Nasim Banu Khan, Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Basic education in South Africa faces a crisis as learners fail to achieve the necessary outcomes in the related areas of language and literacy. The aims of this paper are twofold. Firstly, we aim to describe and discuss the education crisis by outlining the educational landscape, relevant policy imperatives and implementation challenges in post-apartheid education. The systemic factors contributing to the literacy crisis are emphasised. Secondly, we argue that speech language therapists and audiologists (SLTAs) have a role to play in supporting basic education in South Africa through developing language and literacy. It is suggested that the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology must be socially responsive and population-focused in order to make meaningful contributions to development in South Africa. The potential roles of SLTAs are discussed with suggestions for further actions required by the professions to enable a contextually relevant practice in a resource-constrained environment.

Keywords

language, literacy, basic education, speech language therapist and audiologist roles, South Africa

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Crossref Citations

1. AAC services for multilingual populations: South African service provider perspectives
Kerstin M Tönsing, Karin van Niekerk, Georg I Schlünz, Ilana Wilken
Journal of Communication Disorders  vol: 73  first page: 62  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2018.04.002