LANGUAGE AS BARRIER TO COMMUNICATION AMONG BLACK AFRICAN STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG, SOWETO CAMPUS (GAUTENG, SOUTH AFRICA)

M. Pather

University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
Language is often perceived as a barrier in study abroad programmes as it may limit students’ opportunities to interact with the local cultures. The purpose of this research study is to understand how the experiences of students particularly from African countries and India impact on their assimilation into South African communities.

Introduction:
English is the second or third language for most black Foreign Nationals of African decent. This was discovered by the researcher in teaching Business Communication to students (black Foreign Nationals of African decent) whose first formal language for example, students from the Democratic Republic of Congo is French. This leads to particularly academic English acting as a barrier to communication and social inclusion in South Africa.

Problem statement:
The Soweto (SWC) campus of the University of Johannesburg boasts an African population which surpasses that of many public universities in the nation. In such a diverse body as this, it is not surprising to note that a problem of South African ethnic black languages are the dominant languages and prevalent within the community. In attempting to establish a thread of communication, one often finds that many students from African countries though not proficient can speak English.

Objectives:
The objectives in this article are to:
• Report on the perceptions of a sample of black African students at UJ,related to their experiences within Gauteng communities
• Investigate what if any impact black African students at UJ ethnic languages has on communication and social inclusion in Gauteng

Theoretical framework:
Language and Social identity
The theoretical framework underlying this paper is social identity theory.

The Research Design:
This study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse data and was thus a Mixed method study.

Conclusion:
Awareness of different cultures and subcultures, determination and management of barriers to intercultural communication would definitely improve the sharing of good practice and innovation spread for the purpose of ensuring positive abilities for a novel and conducive social atmosphere in South Africa with its diverse cultural and linguistic background.