Assessing Academic Literacy in a Multilingual Society Transition and Transformation Edited by: Albert Weideman, John Read, Theo du Plessis

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30 Nov 2020
New Perspectives on Language and Education
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


South African universities face major challenges in meeting the needs of their students in the area of academic language and literacy. The dominant medium of instruction in the universities is English and, to a much lesser extent, Afrikaans, but only a minority of the national population are native speakers of these languages. Eleven other languages can be media of instruction in schools, which makes the transition to tertiary education difficult enough in itself for students from these schools. The focus of this book is on procedures for assessing the academic language and literacy levels and needs of students, not in order to exclude students from higher education but rather to identify those who would benefit from further development of their ability in order to undertake their degree studies successfully. The volume also aims to bring the innovative solutions designed by South African educators to a wider international audience.


Language ability, language assessment to determine ability levels, and improving academic literacy in a multilingual tertiary context are complex issues. This book establishes what all these actually comprise. The quality of the work and the standing of the contributors combine to give us an informed view of this exciting and developing field in South Africa. Read and enjoy!

- Wannie Carstens, North-West University, South Africa

Author Biography:

Albert Weideman is Professor of Applied Language Studies and Research Fellow at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

John Read is Professor Emeritus at The University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Theo du Plessis is Professor of Language Management at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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