SPLA Overview

Mission

To teach children home languages and get them to a level where they are confident and proud of their mother tongue together with the culture that comes with it.

Values

-Diversity and Mutual respect.
-Voluntary learning.
-Professionalism.
-Open to correction.

Vision

To see more of the same culture groups communicating in their home language from a young age more especially in the ‘suburban’ areas.

Gomolemo Monye who is the Director of the Academy has always been passionate about teaching.

I have always wanted to teach children from a very young age. After matric, I studied a BA Corporate Communications degree. I also studied PR Writing and Project Management. I have an ECD (Early Childhood Development) Diploma which is SETA accredited and approved by the Department of Education.

I explored different fields in Brand Management, Communications, Project Management and Property Management in different reputable companies. I then decided to fulfil my childhood dream and studied ECD with MCSA (Montessori Centre South Africa). I am currently running the Academy and employed by one of the big banks at an Executive Support level in ECD.

SPLA

SPLA (Solomon Projects Language Academy) is a dream come true. I named it after a wise man, Solomon Mookeletsi who is my late dad. When I went to UJ (University of Johannesburg), then known as RAU (Randse Afrikaans Universität) in 2004 coming from Mafikeng. I was known as that girl who speaks Setswana. I did not conform to the Johannesburg ‘diluted’ way of speaking. I was so proud to be a Motswana girl from Mafikeng, knowing very well that I am good at speaking Setswana and no one can challenge me when it comes to my home language. I studied Setswana from grade 1 up to matric. I did Setswana first language higher grade. I pride myself in the fact that I am clued up about my culture and language.

Having said that, I wanted that for my children. I thought that it would be easy to speak to them in Setswana as they grow up, but that was not the case. My daughter understands English better and it was easier to communicate to her in a language she already understood from school and other influences. This is when I saw the gap and need for an extra mural activity, focusing on teaching her an African language. I spoke to a few people about this and realised that I am not the only parent who needs this special education but many parents find themselves in this situation.

I had trial lessons with Motheo and I was so elated to realise how excited she was about learning Setswana and how easy it was for her to grasp the little and basics I shared with her. She even tried to advise me of her own learned language and words. Being a Montessori graduate, I spent 9 months working on a curriculum. There was so much that I wanted to teach but realised that the objective is to get children to speak the language. This on its own was a big task and I realised that there is so much that I want these children to know. I kept reducing the curriculum like you can never imagine, making sure I only include the important lessons. The curriculum has been translated into Setswana, Sepedi, Isizulu, Sesotho and other African languages.

The teachers selected to teach the languages are qualified teachers or language practitioners. They work well with children and are very professional. I provide them with training to keep them focused and relevant. Each teacher is a master in the language and are of that culture.

The Academy can accommodate a maximum of 10 children per lesson per class. This is to give each child enough attention. Each lesson is an hour long. The lessons are vertically grouped in that you have children of different ages in one class. We focus on the child as opposed to a planned schedule or lesson plan. If the child is struggling in an area, we do not move on but make sure that the child is comfortable to proceed to the next lesson.  We will though move on with the other children but there is no pressure. We encourage children to assist each other and learn from one another.

Classes are per language, so we would not have a Setswana class combined with a Venda class. E.g. Setswana 9:00-10:00, Sepedi 10:00-11:00, Setswana 2 (based on the number of children) 11:00-12:00. The last class is 13: 00-14:00 allowing the teachers and learners time to spend time with their families. Parents are welcome to wait for their child in our reception area for the duration of the
lesson.
We have weekday classes after school from 14:00-16:00 at the Midrand branch. Saturday classes are also available there.