isiXhosa is one of the many African languages spoken in South Africa and it is predominantly spoken in the Western and Eastern Cape, hence is the African language offered by Bishops. In South Africa it has become vitally important that people are able to understand each other. Making the effort to try even a few words or phrases in someone else’s language breaks down barriers and a relationship between speaker and listener is developed. The ability to use the language as an effective tool for communication is the main aim of the isiXhosa Department.

isiXhosa at Bishops Prep should be seen as a skill that enables boys to go out into the broader society and feel comfortable meeting isiXhosa speaking people. We realize that very few of the students will become totally fluent by the end of Grade 7. However, if attempts are made, rich rewards can be reaped. The language needs to be used as often as possible for real learning to take place. Parental help with the learning of the vocabulary is welcomed and encouraged. We encourage the ‘look, cover, say, write and check’ method.

The main skill areas are listening, speaking and understanding. We also attempt to develop an awareness and understanding of the customs and cultures of the amaXhosa people. To succeed in our aims we try to make learning the language both enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.