The objective of this study is to explore the changes that can be brought about by the use of isiZulu language at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Therefore this study will look at the use of isiZulu as a language of teaching and learning as well as looking at how isiZulu will bring about transformation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Many studies reveal that a students excel in their studies when teaching and learning were conducted in their mother tongue. That is why the main objectives of this study is to explore what changes can be brought about by the development and utilisation of isiZulu as a language of teaching and learning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, to find ways and strategies for introducing such changes to the University and to critically evaluate the context and reasons for the transformation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
This study falls within the paradigm of phenomenology and uses qualitative research methods. Semi-structured interviews and observations were used to collect data from research participants, staff and students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. A literature review tool was used as a second strategy to collect research data related to this study. Interviews played a very crucial role in this study as research participants were given the opportunity to be able to express their feelings about the subject of the use of isiZulu as a language of teaching at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This study used the Language Management Theory as the primary theory and then the Transformation Theory, the African Renaissance Theory and the Africanization of Education Theory. The language Management Theory focuses on language rights. Language in the context of language management is the fundamental right. The Transformation Theory is also very important in this study because it clearly identifies the kinds of changes that are to be expected. The African Renaissance and the Africanization of Education are both crucial in this study as both emphasise rebirth and renewal.
Among the findings of the study, students will now have the same opportunities as their English-speaking counterparts as they will learn in the language they understand best and excel at excellence, something that has not been the case before when learning was done in English only. This points to changes as black and white students now have equal language rights. Secondly, the use of isiZulu as a language of teaching and learning will enable the availability of teaching resources in isiZulu which is the home language to the majority of learners. Another finding is that the University of KwaZulu-Natal has done a lot to improve and modernise isiZulu. What has been done includes the development of multidisciplinary terminology, translation of books, corpus collection, dictionaries,BR9, DR9, spell checker and much more. The use of isiZulu as the language of teaching and learning will transform the University of KwaZulu-Natal and contribute to the development of learners whose home language is isiZulu.