Isixhosa development into an Academic language

Background information:

Nelson Mandela University Language and Literature Department was allocated funds through the DHET Infrastructure and Efficiency Funding grant for 2012/13 – 2014/15  for the development of isiXhosa into an academic language.

Outputs of the project:

  • Developing multilingual glossaries.
  • Bilingual tutorials.
  • Provision of the acquisition of isiXhosa by students in professional programmes: Students in professional programmes like Pharmacy, Law, Psychology, Social worker, Health programmes, Media and journalism, Public Administration etc. will be encouraged to learn isiXhosa towards the end of their programmes to be able to communicate with isiXhosa speaking clients in their workplaces.
  • Acquisition of isiXhosa by staff at Nelson Mandeal University.
  • Building capacity of the Department of African Languages.
  • The availability of websites in all three dominant languages of this region including isiXhosa: If funds could be available, learners would be able to access knowledge about their modules in their websites in their own languages, including isiXhosa.
  • Piloting a BA programme in which isiXhosa is used as a medium of instruction (50/50 academic tuition).

Goals and objective:

  • To develop isiXhosa language into an academic language.

Targeted results by 2015:

  • Website
  • Facebook page
  • Xhosa centre
  • Developing multilingual glossaries & making partial translation of module guides
  • Provision of the acquisition of isiXhosa by students in professional programs
  • Provision of acquisition of isiXhosa by staff at Nelson Mandela University
  • Building capacity of the Department of African Languages – staff can be trained to develop online learning material, tests and videos
  • The availability of isiXhosa language – vast amount of material readily available and a vehicle whereby an unlimited amount can be added
  • Software programs and computers must be available in isiXhosa and to support this project
  • Training of staff
  • Manuals supporting pilot modules to be available to learners
  • Building capacity to have a BA Language programme


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Zoliswa Made
Dr Zoliswa Made
Position: Senior Lecturer
Department: Languages and Literature
Room: 0312
Location: South Campus
Phone: 041-5044839
Fax: 041-5042229
Qualifications: DLitt (NMMU)
Expertise: Sociolinguistics and other linguistic disciplines, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Feminism and Gender related disciplines.
Responsibilities: Responsibilities from 2023: (IAIL101), (IXLS201), (AIXL301), LXUV401, LXLV401, LXLV401, PG supervision.

Andiswa Mvanyashe
Dr Andiswa Mvanyashe
Position: Senior Lecturer & HOD
Department: Languages and Literature
Room: Main Building 0411
Location: South Campus
Phone: +21 41 504 1166
Qualifications: D-Litt (NMMU)
Expertise: Sociolinguistics, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Gender related disciplines, IsiXhosa for beginners 1, Literary Theory and Research
Responsibilities: (IPIB101), (IILC102), (LBX1002), (LXLV401),(LXSV401), (LXPV121) and PG supervision.

Nobesutu Zumani
Nobesutu Zumani
Position: Lecturer
Department: Languages and Literature
Room: 0415
Location: South Campus
Phone: 041 504 4851
Qualifications: BA (Vista university), HDE (Vista university), BA HONORS Translation and Language Acquisition (Nelson Mandela, MA in Language policy (Nelson Mandela)
Expertise: Language policy, Translation and Language Acquisition
Responsibilities: LXPV201, LXPV211. LXPV202, LXPV212, LXPV301, LXPV311, LXPV302, LXPV312, JLXV21, LXV211 LXV401, MA Co-supervisor.

Zakhile Somlata
Dr Zakhile Somlata
Position: Senior Lecturer
Department: Languages and Literature
Room: Main Building 0315
Location: South Campus
Phone: 041 504 4090
Qualifications: BA, HDE (UWC); BA Hons, MA (Stell); PhD (Rhodes University)
Expertise: Sociolinguistics, isiXhosa Language Teaching, Language Policy and multilingualism, and Communication.