St John's College

isiZulu is the most widely spoken first language in South Africa, with it being understood by 80% and spoken in almost 65% of the South African community. There are 1.5-million IsiZulu speakers in Gauteng and more than 70 000 in Mpumalanga. The language is also spoken and understood in parts of Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Kenya (Swahili).

St John’s offers isiZulu from Pre-Prep to matric. Pupils can choose to do isiZulu as a First Additional Language (2nd) or as a Second Additional Language (3rd) from Remove (Grade 8).

Although reading and writing skills will be developed, the emphasis is on developing listening and speaking skills.

From Upper IV (Grade 10) the demands of the language increase, yet becomes more enriching. Pupils are encouraged to speak the language, revise vocabulary at every opportunity or join “Asikhulume” which is an afternoon activity where they freely engage in conversation in isiZulu with other pupils. In isiZulu we say: “Uvuna okutshalile [you reap what you sow]” no amount of “umuthi” guarantees success – it’s just hard work! 

Our goal is to facilitate meaningful communication with isiZulu speakers – promote multilingualism and intercultural communication.

Pupils will learn about and understand the culture and norms of Zulu and other black communities. Lack of knowledge and understanding other cultures often leads to misunderstandings between people.

We strongly believe that a language is the powerful tool of facilitating the understanding of cultural diversity in our rainbow nation. We value isiZulu not just as a language, but as a lifelong learning skill.

Learning isiZulu will enhance opportunities in the job market, especially pupils who wish to study medicine, where knowledge of isiZulu is a requirement.

Our pupils receive individual attention and consolidation classes. We are proud of our excellent matric results in this subject since its introduction at St John’s.