Curriculum Studies
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Extraordinary Professors

​Prof David Lasagabaster

David Lasagabaster is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU (Spain) and Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). His research revolves around EMI (English-Medium Instruction), CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), attitudes and motivation, and multilingualism. He has published widely in international journals (Applied Linguistics, English for Specific Purposes, Language Teaching, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, The Modern Language Journal, Studies in Higher Education, Language Teaching Research, Language and Education, System, TESOL Quarterly, etc.), books and edited books. Among others, he has co-edited “English-medium Instruction at Universities: Global Challenges" (Multilingual Matters, 2013), “Motivation and Foreign Language Learning: From Theory to Practice" (John Benjamins, 2014), and “Language Use in English-medium Instruction at University: International Perspectives in Teacher Practice" (Routledge, 2021). He is the author of "English-medium Instruction in Higher Education" (Cambridge University Press, 2022).​

Prof Petro du Preez

Petro Du Preez  is currently an Extraordinary Professor in Curriculum Studies at Stellenbosch University. Prior to this, she was affiliated with the North-West University for 14 years where she conducted research, taught postgraduate students, and  fulfilled various leadership roles in terms of the Subject Group Curriculum Studies, being the chair for the MEd and PhD programmes, and the coordinator for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Education. She holds the qualifications: BEd, BEdHons cum laude, MEd and PhD in Curriculum Studies, all from Stellenbosch University with the aid of two international bursaries. Her research and over 50 peer-reviewed publications focusses on Curriculum Studies, Higher Education and new materialisms as it relates to questions of social justice and ethics. Petro's scholarship has been acknowledged by her peers through her national rating as established researcher and the numerous awards she's received. These include, being named one of the top youth leaders in the country in the category of science and education by the Mail & Guardian, the recognition given to her by HERS-SA as a mover and shaker in academia, as well as the prestigious award given to her by the Department of Science and Technology as a distinguish young women researcher. Petro is also a research fellow of the Azerbaijan International Development Agency at the Institute for Human Rights and a former Extraordinary Professor of the Tumaini University Makumira in Tanzania. She is the South African representative on the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, and the Chair for the Special Interest Group in Curriculum Studies of the South African Education Research Association, where she also serve as an executive member. Petro serves on the Editorial Board of Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education and was the former founding Editor of the journal, Transformation in Higher Education. ​

Prof Shannon Mason​

Shannon Mason is a former secondary school teacher from Australia, who is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Nagasaki University in Japan. Her research activities in education cover a range of themes from P-12 to PhD, with a central interest in the lived experiences of beginning and established teachers and researchers & the policies, processes and practices that influence them. She is the creator of an online resource to support doctoral students who are hoping to publish during their candidature, She is the Principal Investigator of the ongoing #PhDmums study, an international exploration of the experiences of doctoral researchers who also have a mother(-like) role. The first paper of that study, "How motherhood enhances and strains doctoral research/ers" was recently published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education.​​​

Prof Tom Smits

Prof. Tom Smits (born 1976, MA in English and German at Antwerp University Institute (Belgium) and University of Vienna (Austria)) is a Professor of German variational linguistics at the Department of Linguistics, and of English, German and CLIL teaching methodology at the Antwerp School of Education (University of Antwerp), which he combines with an appointment as Chief Researcher in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania). 

He obtained his PhD in 2007 on sub-standard language variation in German and Dutch, and its influence on attitudes to regional language use in media and education. This PhD made him the first foreign scientist to be awarded the German Agathe Lasch Prize for research into Low German, presented to him by the Senate of Hamburg (Germany) in 2013. Over the years he has developed additional expertise in differentiation and multiple perspective learning, lecturing on urban education in combination with Community Service Learning, awarded with the 2019 UAntwerp Teaching Award, and as a member of the International Research Network on Equity in Youth Education and Training (IRNEYET). In 2021, he was appointed as Senior Research Associate in the Faculty of Education at Rhodes University (South Africa) after a successful nomination by the Faculty in recognition of his standing in the field of multilingualism and education. 2022 saw him spend a semester at the University of California, Davis (USA) as a Fulbright scholar. Since mid-2023, he has been a proud member of the Stellenbosch University community, acting as an Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies. Tom Smits' educational and research activities cover language variation as well as foreign language education, including CALL, and intercultural competences with students in the EU, Turkey, Indonesia, Zambia, South Africa and DR Congo.