African Languages
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Prof Mawande Dlali

Head of Department

Qualifications: PhD
+27 21 808 2014
 ResearchGate Profile​
 Curriculum Vitae

Prof Mawande Dlali is the Associate Professor and Head of Department of African languages at Stellenbosch University. He has vast experience of University teaching and research on African languages and Linguistics and has published high quality journal articles and chapters in books. His main interest is Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, political discourse and Interpersonal communication. He is also preoccupied with the description and documentation of highly endangered languages. His central concern is to investigate the circumstances and processes of language endangerment and marginalisation. 

Prof Dlali holds a PhD degree from SU and is a member of several editorial boards and academic associations. He has also been involved in many national projects aimed at promoting national languages.

Prof Marianna Visser


Qualifications: PhD
+27 21 808 2217
 ResearchGate Profile​
 Curriculum Vitae

The exploration of the theory-research -practice relationships is characteristic of the teaching and research activities of Marianna Visser at the Department of African Languages at Stellenbosch University. Focus areas of her research and postgraduate supervision projects in formal African linguistics, include the nature of phonologically empty categories, in morphosyntax, the causative/anti-causative distinction in argument alternation constructions, and definiteness and specificity in Determiner Phrase ( DP ) syntax of African languages, relating in particular to phenomena concerning the (non-) occurrence of the noun pre-prefix, and specificity-denoting element in the inflectional morphology of various nominal modifiers in the DP. In addition, her work in the latter area also explored the syntax-information structure interface.

Marianna’s teaching, research and postgraduate supervision projects in applied linguistic areas include three distinct areas. Her work in second language teaching and learning, which focuses on syntactic and cognitive complexity of task design in task-based syllabus design, assumes a Task-based approach. Her work in academic literacy development, focuses on the discourse -rhetorical structure and lexico-grammatical properties of academic texts in African languages in especially secondary school education, within a systemic functional linguistics approach. Her work in the field of political and media discourse analysis assumes the framework of the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation.

Dr Zameka Sijadu


Qualifications: PhD
+27 21 808 2200
 ResearchGate Profile​
 Curriculum Vitae

Dr Sijadu’s areas of specialisation includes pragma-dialectical theory in political discourse, humour in socio-political discourse, multilingualism, translation, and appraisal theory. After completing her PhD in 2018 she has worked in several research projects including publishing an article in 2020, “Metaphors as strategic manoeuvring in isiXhosa traditional argumentative political discourse” in 2021. She has further co-authored a Covid-related article in 2022 Politics of Language in COVID-19: Multilingual Perspectives from South Africa, which investigates the political discourse of official COVID-19 addresses by South African national government ministers with a focus on language practices and linguistic choices. Her next research project is also a Covid-related book chapter on South Africa Laughs at Covid-19: A functional perspective on humour in social media, to be published in 2022. This study explores the functional dimensions of humour in response to governmental speeches on social media during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa. Dr Sijadu has served as an external examiner in various South African Universities and has reviewed articles in accredited journals and book chapters. Dr Sijadu is currently serving as chair of Social Impact Committee for the Faculty of Arts Stellenbosch University. 

Dr Sijadu is involved in teaching Communication and Discourse Analysis both at under-graduate and post-graduate honours and masters students. 

Research awards: 

  1. Building Capacity for Early Career Humanities Scholars (BECHS-Africa) 2022
  2. Intra-ACP TRECCAFRICA 11 (2019)
  3. Early Career Academic Development (ECAD) Programme (2017)
  4. Cetra Summer School in Belgium (2016)​

Mrs B.N. Moropana


Qualifications: MA (African Languages) Stellenbosch University
+27 21 808 9200​
 ResearchGate Profile​
 Curriculum Vitae

I started working as a lecturer in the department of African Languages in December 2020. I’m teaching Xhosa communication skills, literature and culture to undergraduates’ students who are mother tongue and non-mother tongue speakers. 

During my spare time I like to read novels and drama books and listen to Gospel music. I would like to complete my PHD studies and be one of the best researchers in my department. 

Areas of Specialization

I specialize in translation and editing, Annual Reports, Annual Performance Plans, and minutes from English into isiXhosa.

Current & Recent Research Projects

Currently busy reading on Appraisal Theory by RPR White in preparation for my PHD studies focusing on Media studies (Hard News). ​​​​

Mr TA Simayile


Qualifications: MA Stellenbosch University
+27 21 3842
 Curriculum Vitae​

Thulani Simayile is a lecturer in the Department of African Languages. Thulani’s teaching areas include Basic Xhosa communication skills for first years’ non-isiXhosa language speakers, literature, and culture. His research interest is within the language learning and teaching, in particular genre-based pedagogy underpinning systemic functional linguistic (SFL). The main focus of his research is based on literacy and language teaching, reading and text-linguistic analysis, writing and genre analysis. He is currently working on his PhD, which explorers “Genre-based language teaching in Senior Phase isiXhosa Home Language to advance bilingual literacy across the curriculum.”​

Mrs Karin De Wet

Department Course Coordinator and Secretary
+27 21 2210

Mrs. Karin de Wet joined the Department of African Languages as administrative Course and programme coordinator in 2003. Her years of experience in the Department as Course Coordinator is invaluable for the Department. Her position and responsibilities enables her to create a pleasant learning atmosphere for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and her office is the hub where students can get assistance with a wide variety of administrative matters. Her responsibilities, among others, include administration of postgraduate applications, attending to students’ reports of unwellness for rescheduling submission dates of assignments, the writing of tests , and uploading of marks, booking test venues and organising invigilators for test. ​​​