In South Africa an increasing number of learners are taught through the medium of English. Limited English proficiency (LEP) learners who enter classes where English is the language of learning, encounter serious problems in coping with their academic work. These learners have usually acquired informal, colloquial language or Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS), but lack Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). The primary aim of this article is to explore the language dilemma which Grade ten LEP learners' experience. From these findings, recommendations are made concerning ways in which educators can support English language acquisition in the context of the learning areas for which they are responsible. In this study the focus is on LEP learners in the Economics classroom. Although Economics has its own "language" or terminology, concepts are explained in English by the educator, as it is the language of learning. The researcher is a lecturer in the methodology of Economics, and became aware of the language problems of LEP learners while evaluating his student educators in the school setting.


limited English proficiency, language of learning, Economics classroom

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