Dr Elbie Adendorff, a senior lecturer in Language Acquisition in the Afrikaans and Dutch Department at Stellenbosch University (SU), is the recipient of the very first award from the Kruger Trust, specifically in the category Scientific Practice in Afrikaans.
This honour is bestowed annually on a person or institution playing an essential role in attaining the goals of the Trust. Every year a different category is selected for possible funding. The Kruger Trust is a trust body which aims to protect and promote the Afrikaans language and Afrikaans culture without giving preference to any race, gender or religion.
“The advisory committee, consisting of academics of various South Africa universities, was unanimous in its recommendation that the award be made to Dr Adendorff," explained Prof Rufus Gouw, convener of the advisory committee and a professor in Lexicography and Afrikaans Linguistics at SU.
According to Gouws the advisory committee based its support mainly on two aspects:
- Dr Adendorff's tuition of Afrikaans as foreign and second language and her scientific practice in Afrikaans in this regard.
- Her work in the expansion and promotion of public speaking and debating in Afrikaans and her role as judge of Afrikaans public speaking and debating competitions where students learn how to use Afrikaans as debating and public speaking language.
Adendorff said she felt “incredibly humbled and privileged to receive the award for Scientific Practice in Afrikaans" and was thankful to the Department for the continued support she has received to promote Afrikaans Acquisition not only as tuition subject, but also as research field.
“I appreciate being honoured in this way for what I consider my passion: to work with non-Afrikaans-speaking students and to encourage a love of Afrikaans in them, and to teach Afrikaans students the methodology of language acquisition so that they can apply it in tuition situations in future," said Adendorff.
“This passion also allows me to accompany my postgraduate students on their research journey so that they can expand and promote Afrikaans; to write articles about and in Afrikaans to promote the language; to deliver papers in English at international conferences and congresses about my tuition and research in Afrikaans; and lastly to promote Afrikaans among the youth through my involvement with public speaking and debating."
According to Gouws, since her appointment in the Department, Adendorff has not only focused on expanding Afrikaans Language Acquisition as a fully-fledged subject in its own right to provide for tuition of second language and foreign language students of Afrikaans, but she has also built capacity among senior students of Afrikaans and Dutch to teach their mother tongue as foreign language.
In addition, she has also helped to establish Afrikaans Language Acquisition as a full research field and is acknowledged nationally and internationally for her contribution to this field.
“Through her publications, congress participation and supervision of various master's and doctoral students in the theory of Language Acquisition she has helped to further grow this form of scientific practice in Afrikaans. She practices her science mostly in Afrikaans and once again proves that Afrikaans has the theoretical and terminological apparatus available to practice it as a scientific discipline."
Dr Adendorff is also actively involved as presenter of Afrikaans courses in public speaking and debating at all levels – primary school, high school and at universities.
“Through her involvement in this activity, Dr Adendorff demonstrates to learners how a cultural and scientific activity can be applied in Afrikaans," Gouws added.