Head of Department: Mr B Fogarty

isiXhosa is one of the many African languages spoken in South Africa. It is predominantly spoken in the Western and Eastern Cape. 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 communicate is therefore a catalyst. The ability to use the language as an effective tool for communication is the main aim of the isiXhosa department.


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. It is important that the students are presented with goals that they can easily understand and can progress along the path to fluency.


Pupils are encouraged to negotiate meaning, understanding and speaking through the reading of elementary texts and conversation.

  • Pupils will be able to communicate in specific situations which occur in everyday life.
  • Pupils will learn to appreciate, be aesthetically sensitive and understand different cultural and social traditions.

All the grades have three lessons per week. Homework sessions are allocated per week. Parental help with the learning of the vocabulary is welcomed and encouraged. We encourage the ‘look, cover, say, write and check’ method.

isiXhosa at Bishops Preparatory 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 pupils will ever become totally fluent. However, if attempts were made, rich rewards can be reaped.

The language needs to be used as often as possible for real learning to take place.