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Home Education Language Learning Language courses in South Africa
Last update on May 01, 2022

If you’ve looking for language courses in South Africa, we offer these tips on how and where to find the language classes you need.

Just moved to South Africa? Want to integrate into South African society? Taking a language course can certainly ease your transition into the South African lifestyle. You can easily find a language course in South Africa to suit your language learning needs. However, you must first decide which language you want to learn.


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11 official languages

South Africa has 11 official languages, as well as many other non-official ones. The official languages are isiZulu, IsiXhosa, Afrikaans, Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, English, Sesotho, Xitsonga, SiSwati, Tshivenda, and IsiNdebele. However, English and Afrikaans are the most common in public life, politics, and media. For example, official documents are generally written in either Afrikaans or English. As an expat, learn at least one of the two in order to manage in the South African environment.

Expats should keep in mind that in South Africa there are neither obligatory, nor subsidised language courses. Therefore, the decision to learn a language and the arrangements around the types of classes and tuition fees depend wholly on the individual.

Studying the local languages

If you come from abroad and you want to study a local language, you should know that there are many language schools, both public and private. Prices vary depending on the skill level, course duration, and programs of the language school.

Some universities, such as the University of Witwatersrand and Rhodes University, offer language courses along with their academic program. For example, Rhodes University offers IsiXhosa language classes as an additional language or as a first language, while the University of Witwatersrand has established Wits Language School, a language school in its Faculty of Humanities.

Wits Language School offers part-time classes in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Zulu and South African Sign Language. So, you can easily upgrade your knowledge of a local language, even when studying at the university in English.

Language schools

There are many other language schools in the country offering classes not only in local languages, but also in other European or Asian languages, such as Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. For example, Cape Town is famous for the variety of language programs it offers as a popular tourist destination. One of the best English language schools there is Cape Studies Language School.