Why is it important to include multilingualism in writing classes in South African schools?

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Learners need to access their multilingual repertoires to formulate understand and develop their writing and storytelling skills. Multilingual creative writing has the potential to allow learners to be dynamic, creative, and imaginative while accessing cultural elements in their writing. This will allow South African learners to write for an African audience and for a specific purpose. Using multilingualism in the form of creative writing provides a unique writing style and allows for creativity within a cultural and national context which makes writing relatable and identifiable. It will add a sense of motivation, relevance and epistemology to the end product. Educators and researchers worldwide are developing and incorporating inclusive education through multilingualism, digital and multimodal literacy (Dagenais et al., 2017).

Some may argue against the incorporation of multilingualism, however, I believe that there are benefits to this unconventional form of pedagogy. Educators need to consider the growth and development of learners when setting up tasks as it is important to consider how learners will respond to the pedagogy, methods and approaches to meet the necessary outcomes and also maximize learning (Bohannon, 2015).  Not only does it add to learners linguistic repertoire, it breaks boundaries and creates another level of creativity. Learners can broaden their creative writing not only by ideas and imagination, but by language as well. While it may restrict some learners who are monolingual from understanding specific aspects of the writing, I believe that linguistic clues, technological translators and peer collaboration is a solution to this challenge. Multilingual contexts challenge traditional ideals and understandings about language. Languages are not separate entities as they can interlink with each other and learners can develop joint competencies in a range of languages and repertoires (Dagenais et al., 2017). Therefore, providing learners with a multilingual context of writing may lead to a development in language usage as well as serve as a creative and exciting way to use language.

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