LANGUAGE ECOLOGICAL REVIVALISM IN ZIMBABWE: THE INCLUSION OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN ACADEMIA
The article discusses the linguistic ecological revivalism of previously marginalised languages in Zimbabwe through their inclusion in the academe. Prior to the adoption of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe which promoted most languages spoken in Zimbabwe to an official status, indigenous languages were relegated to lower echelons of power. Ndebele and Shona languages were regarded as national languages while the rest were relegated to marginal statuses. The current inclusion of the once marginalised languages in the curriculum is a topical issue in Zimbabwe. The article examines how these once marginalised languages managed to find their way back in the academia where English, Ndebele, and Shona are already in use. Therefore, this study is primarily concerned with mapping and discussing the inclusion of selected indigenous languages: Sotho, Nambya, Kalanga, Tonga, Xhosa, Venda, and Shangani/Tsonga at primary, secondary, college, and university levels. The article also examines the growth and development of these languages because of their inclusion in the academe and suggests avenues for further development. This research uses the Catherine Wheel Model elements to map and critique the success of that inclusion. The data gathering tool that was used for this research was interview approach. Teachers, lecturers, and research assistants were interviewed. The findings of the study show that even though these languages are empowered through their inclusion in the Zimbabwean curriculum, the achievements made so far are insignificant to warrant their growth and development.