Department of English Studies

Prof B Spencer

College of Human Sciences
School of Arts
Department: English Studies
Tel: 012 429 6849
Fax: 012 429 6222


  • DLitt et Phil (Unisa) 

Fields of academic interests

  • World Englishes
  • Response to Student Writing

Field of Specialisation

  • World Englishes
  • Response to Student Writing
  • Political Drama


Book chapters:

  • Chapter contribution (part of chapter entitled ‘EIL pedagogical ideas’)  in Matsuda, A. 2012  ' Principles and Practices of Teaching English as an International Language' in the series entitled New Perspectives on Language and Education. Multilingual Matters

Journal articles

  • ‘Responding to Student Writing: A Taxonomy of Response Styles: When Language (Accuracy) matters too much’ Language Matters, 36 (2) 2005.   
  • ‘Improving Academic Profiency in open distance learning through contact interventions’ Language Matters, 36 (2) 2005. (Joint article with M Lephalala and C Pienaar)
  • ‘Towards Greater Equality: Power and Role Relations involved in Responding to Student Writing’ Language Matters, 38 (2) 2007.    
  • ‘A Practice-Based Evaluation of an On-line Writing Evaluation System: First-World Technology in a Third-World Teaching Context’. Language Matters, 39 (1) 2008. (Joint article with H Louw)
  • ‘The role of Narrative Input in the New Headway ESL Course Books’ With Thea Boshoff. Language Matters, 39 (2) 2008.
  • ‘Aligned Assessment in support of high-level learning: A critical appraisal of an assignment for a distance-teaching context’. 2009. Journal for Language Teaching. 43 (2) 102-115.
  • ‘A Critique of response strategies.  Measures to induce a paradigmatic shift in response to student writing. Per Linguam 2009 25 (2): 17-33. Journal available in open source.
  • ‘International sporting events in South Africa, identity re-alignment, and Schneider’s EVENT X’. African Identities. Issue 9 Number 3 August 2011: 267—278
  •  ‘Linguistic penetration at Schneider’s Phase 4: Acceptability ratings of entrenched features of Black South African English by South Africans outside the originating culture of the variety’. Journal for Language Teaching. 2011. Volume 45, number 2. 133-149.
  • .‘A Bilingual (Bemba/English) Teaching Resource: Realising agency from below through teaching materials designed to challenge the hegemony of English.’ 2013. Language Matters.  Volume 44, number 3. 51-68.
  •  ‘What do we do in the meantime?’ (Ferris 2004): Language errors and scaffolded intervention strategies in the writing of distance education students. 2015. 49, Number 2, pp. 53 – 81. 2015.  (Joint article with Ward-Cox, M.)

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Deputy Chair: SAALT (South African Association of Language Teachers)
  • Editorial board: Language Matters
  • UNISA South African Literary Merit Bursary from the Deans’ Fund and UNISA Merit Bursary following BA Hons (Applied Linguistics).
  • Liason with FILPV (international language teachers’ association) on behalf of SAALT.