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Linguistics and Modern Languages

Academic Literacy Research Unit

Language, reading and writing play such crucial roles in determining success in the learning context. Therefore it is important to gain greater insight into the nature of such skills and the ways in which they are acquired, developed and sustained within a broader multilingual and socio-cultural context, from primary through to tertiary level.

A linguistic perspective that examines the role of language, reading and writing in the acquisition and construction of knowledge can contribute valuable insights into the nature of academic literacy as well as the underpinnings of academic performance and underperformance.

Mission statement of ALRU: To promote interest in, awareness of and insight into academic literacy - especially the attainment of academic literacy in a non-primary language - through study, research, publications, workshops, community programmes and other relevant academic pursuits and promotion activities.

The aims of ALRU are to:

  • conduct research in the field of reading and writing, in both a primary and an additional language
  • disseminate research findings through seminars, workshops, publications and conferences
  • build up a data bank pertaining to research into reading and writing in an additional language in southern Africa
  • promote awareness of the importance of developing adequate reading levels for academic success
  • design appropriate reading tests to help students assess their reading levels
  • promote awareness and understanding of problems in reading and writing in an additional language
  • support the University of South Africa's commitment to the development of independent learners and quality learning materials

ALRU has been involved in the projects indicated on the dropdown menu on the left.

For further information contact:

The Director: Prof EJ Pretorius
The Department of Linguistics, University of South Africa, PO Box 392, Unisa, 0003, South Africa.
Tel: (27)-(12) 429 6028
E-mail: pretoej@unisa.ac.za