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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Language and literacy practices of hairdressers in the Botswana multilingual context : implications for occupational literacy development in vocational training Moanakwena, Penelope Gabaiphiwe

Abstract

Language and Literacy Practices (LLPs) in the Botswana bi/multilingual Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy (HBT) workplaces are an important resource for curriculum design and development in Botswana Technical Education Programmes (BTEPs). The hairdressing and beauty therapy salon are sites where BTEP acquired theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and attitudes are applied. A salon should therefore link seamlessly with the vocational training environment of the HBT students to facilitate students’ attainment of the core repertoire of linguistic skills of the trade and acceptance into the professional hairdressing community of practice. Prior to this study, the relationship of site-based LLPs to the BTEP Comm & PIPS curriculum design and implementation in the bi/multilingual training context of Botswana has not been researched. Using ethnographic qualitative methods and framed with the Situated literacies (Barton, Hamilton & Ivanic, 2000) and Communities of practice (Wenger, 1998) models, this case study drew on observations, interviews and focus groups with curriculum developers, trainers, students and hairdressers to generate and collect data on LLPs in the hairdressing training and workplace environments. Data were analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-phase content thematic approach reinforced by Gee’s (2003) Concepts of D/discourse and building tasks to inductively analyse textualized data to decipher the LLPs of the hairdressers. Results show that, despite policy and assumption based on a colonial history that English, the official language, is the workplace and vocational education language, the English and Setswana competent students and hairdressers were hybrid-speaking professionals who code-switch and translanguage in their LLPs to assert professional identity and expertise, attend to hairdressing salon operations, exhibit salon etiquette and comfort, and portray elements of social culture in a hairdressing environment. These findings have implications for workplace language and literacy curriculum and development in vocational training in Botswana and other similar contexts.

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