CUT welcomed language resources audit

From left to right: Prof. Tobie van Dyk, Mmasibidi Setaka, Dr Brenton Fredericks, Tania Oosthuizen, Lebogang Boemo, and Thabang Mkhize.

The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) hosted a language resources audit conducted by South African Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) earlier this month.

According to the institution, Universities South Africa is working with universities to implement the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)’s new Language Policy Framework for Public Higher Education Institutions. This is achieved through the Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of African Languages.

“SADiLaR, a strategic national research infrastructure under the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR), is conducting this comprehensive language resources audit across all South African public universities. The language resources audit will, among other things, assess the resources universities require to implement the new framework,” the CUT explained.

The audit was welcomed as stated by the university’s registrar, Dr Sally Dzingwa.

“We cannot have excuses for why we are not implementing. We have to be realistic about what we need to do to drive these policy directives forward. We need to be counted as a compliant institution, but it’s part of contributing to the bigger transformation of the South African landscape. We have small pockets of initiatives that speak to the overall transformation, and the language policy is one such directive because it bridges the gap and the divide in our society. When we embrace multilingualism, we start to appreciate the diversity that we have in our country,” said Dzingwa.

The audit seeks to “define the range of resources that are required for the implementation of the language policy framework; secondly, to identify resources that are available at the institution to enable the implementation of the framework; and, lastly, to identify milestones in the successful implementation of the institutional language policy,” the statement reads.

Prof. Tobie van Dyk, Professor of Applied Linguistics at the School of Languages at the North-West University (NWU), and Manager at SADiLaR’s Inter-Institutional Centre for Language Development and Assessment (ICELDA), is currently at the forefront of the national language resources audit at higher education institutions in South Africa.

Compiled by Gypseenia Lion