About Us

Soraya Abdulatief

Soraya Abdulatief

Soraya Abdulatief holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Language and Literacy studies from the University of Cape Town and a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of the Western Cape. She has lectured English Communication at a university of technology. She worked as an online editor and technical writer. Her PhD research is on teaching critical literacy and academic literacy practices to Postgraduate Certificate in Education students training to be Senior and FET phase science teachers. Other research interests include multimodalities, using technology in education and debates around race, gender, language and literacy.

Xolisa Guzula

Xolisa Guzula

Xolisa Guzula is a lecturer in multilingual and multiliteracies education at the University of Cape Town. She is interested in language and literacy as social practice; biliteracy development; emergent literacy; critical literacies; multimodality; third spaces and bilingual children’s literature. She is a doctoral student researching third spaces as a way of disrupting monoglossia and monomodal education and has run and researched children’s literacy clubs. 

Catherine Kell

Catherine Kell

Catherine Kell is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at UCT, specializing in language and literacy in education. She is also the Director of the School of Education. She has worked in the field of literacy and language education since the early 1980s, initially as an activist in NGOs teaching literacy and language to adults in the trade union movement and community organisations. Her PhD focused on the theoretical development of the social practices approach in literacy studies with reference to the role literacy plays in participatory development. She has lectured at UWC and at three different universities in New Zealand and in a development initiative in Tanzania, called Twaweza, which has been responsible for the Uwezo literacy project in East Africa. She is currently working on projects around the uses of digital technologies in literacy education.

Glynis Lloyd

Glynis Lloyd

Glynis Lloyd is a literacy specialist with a Masters degree in Applied Language and Literacy (UCT, 2014). Glynis worked as an English teacher in schools on the Cape Flats for eight years during apartheid. She has worked in teacher development and training, in publishing as a textbook writer, editor and publisher for all three post-1994 curricula, and is currently engaged in literacy intervention programme research and evaluation. Her main areas of interest are critical literacy, feminist theory and materials development.

Pinky Makoe

Pinky Makoe

Pinky Makoe is Associate Professor at UNISA, Department of English Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in English Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. Her doctoral research focused on how children, particularly English language learners, become socialised into dominant linguistic and cultural practices in the early years of formal schooling. Her current research interests include monolingual and monoglossic language ideologies, issues of class and identity, and heteroglossic practices in contexts of diversity.

Athambile Masola

Athambile Masola

Athambile is a lecturer in the Humanities Education Department at the University of Pretoria’s Education Faculty. Prior to joining higher education as a teacher educator she was a high school teacher for five years in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Her research interests are wde-ranging and include literacy, African language development, literature and black women’s historiography. As a Mandela-Rhodes Scholar she read for a Masters in Education and her research project was focusing on Foundation Phase literacy education in isiXhosa. She is currently pursuing her PhD on black women writers. She is one of the founders of Molo Mhlaba: a school for girls in Khayelitsha. Athambile publishes widely in journals, national newspapers as well as blogs.

Carolyn McKinney

Carolyn McKinney

Carolyn McKinney is Associate Professor of Language Education in the UCT School of Education. Her PhD research (2003, London Institute of Education) focused on critical literacy. She has been working in language and literacy education since 1994 and in teacher education at Wits and UCT since 2004. Carolyn has led a number of ethnographic style funded research projects on language and literacy in a range of South African schools (elite to poor) and informal learning spaces (Gauteng, Western and Eastern Cape).

Robyn Tyler

Robyn Tyler

Robyn Tyler is a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research at the University of the Western Cape. She specialises in language and literacy in Science and across the curriculum. Robyn was awarded her PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2019 which was an ethnographic case study on the practices of bilingual isiXhosa/English learners in a high school Science class and study group in Khayelitsha. Her work experience includes high school English teaching, lecturing in language and literacy in education and supervising student teachers. Robyn also currently serves as a parent member on the School Governing Body of an ex-model C primary school in Cape Town.

Babalwayashe Molate

Babalwayashe Molate

Babalwayashe Molate is a PhD student at the University of Cape Town. Her study explores the language and literacy socialisation practices of Black multilingual families in marginalised communities. Her broader research interest is Language Socialisation in African multilingual communities in the home and school domains, with a keen focus on family literacy, family language policy, and school language policy and language identities of young multilingual children. She also translates (IsiXhosa-English) and edits children’s literature. Her translation skills also extend to other genres, viz, teacher training manuals for teaching literacy, research transcripts and academic writing.


I(supporters of the bua-lit collective position)

Please contact us if you would like to add your name in support of the bua-lit collective position: bualitcollective@gmail.com

Ana Ferreira, Senior Lecturer, English and Literacy Education, Wits School of Education

Ashley Visagie, co-founder,  Bottomup Nonprofit

Brian Lwazi Ramadiro, Dr, University of Fort  Hare (UFH) and Deputy Director at Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and  Rural Development

Bukelwa Yuze, Early Literacy Specialist, Wordworks

Bulelwa Mbanga-Galada, Foundation Phase Instructional Coach, ACORN Education

Carole Bloch,  Associate Professor, University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Director, PRAESA

Cathy Gush,  Lebone Literacy co-ordinator

Choice Mpanza, University of Johannesburg, Department of English

Chris Thurman, Associate Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

Dorothy Dyer, FunDza Literacy Trust

Elinor Sisulu,Exec Director, Puku Children’s Literature Foundation

Esther Ramani, Professor, Rhodes University

Fikile Simelane, Lecturer in Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg

Fiona Ferris, Senior Lecturer, Department of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, UNISA

Helene Rousseau, co-founder, Bottomup Non-profit

Hilary Janks, Emeritus Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

Jamiellah Domingo, Lecturer, Foundation Phase Education, Nelson Mandela University

Joanne Hardman, Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Cape Town

Joanne Peers, BEd Foundation phase National Curriculum studies Lecturer, Centre for Creative Education

Kate Angier, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, UCT

Lara Krause, Doctoral student, UCT and Institute for African Studies, Leipzig

Leila Kajee, Assoc Prof, Education and Curriculum Studies, University of Johannesburg

Leketi Makalela, Professor and Director of Hub for Multilingual Education and Literacies, Uni. of Witwatersrand

Lisa Treffry-Goatley, PhD student Linguistics, UCT & African Storybook

Lorato Trok, Puku Foundation

Lucia Thesen, Assoc Prof, Language Development Group, Centre for Higher Education Development, UCT

Lwazi Mkula, Teacher, Makhanda

Malusi Ntoyapi, facilitator, KwaFaku Vulindlela Reading Club

Mandla Simelane, Educator, Gauteng

Marlene Rousseau, Independent Literacy Specialist

Masennya Dikotla, Director, Molteno Project

Maria Prozesky, Lecturer, English and Literacy Education, Wits School of Education

Maria Vaz, lecturer in Childhood Studies, University of Johannesburg

Margie Probyn, Research Fellow, Centre for Multilingualism and DIversity Research, UWC

Mastin Prinsloo, Emeritus Professor, School of Education, UCT

Michael Joseph, Rhodes University

Mignon Hardie, Director, Fundza Literacy Trust

Monica Hendricks, Professor and Director ISEA, Rhodes University

Nadeema Jogee, Lecturer,  Foundation Phase Education, Nelson Mandela University

Nandipha Nonkwelo, University of Mpumalanga

Nell Foster, PhD candidate, Ghent University, Belgium & University of the Western Cape

Nobuntu Sibongile  Xamlashe, BEd – Foundation Phase and Intermediate Phase Lecturer, Cape Town University of Technology

Nokhanyo Mdzanga, Professor, Education, Nelson Mandela University

Nombuyiselo Guzula, Principal, Molo Mhlaba school

Nonzukiso Kutta-Mpondwana, Walter Sisulu University

Nora Saneka, Doctoral Student, University of South Africa, Principal of Clare Ellis Brown Pre-Primary School and Grade R Teacher

Ntombizanele Mahobe,  Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and  Rural Development and University of Fort Hare

Palesa Morudu, Managing Director, Cover2Cover books

Pam Christie, Emeritus Professor, UCT and University of Queensland

Pamla Letsoalo, Lecturer, School of Languages and Communication Studies, University of Limpopo

Peter Pluddemann, Dept of Language Education, University of the Western Cape

Pretty Magangxa, Lecturer, Nelson Mandela University

Reneilwe Malatji, Lecturer, School of Languages and Communication Studies, University of Limpopo

Rethabile Sonibare-Mashale, Director, Thope Foundation and Molo Mhlaba Schools

Rochelle Kapp, Associate Professor, School of Education University of Cape Town

Rose-Anne Reynolds, Lecturer, School of Education, University of Cape Town

Russell Kaschula, NRF SARChi Chair and Professor of African Language Studies, Rhodes University

Sally le Roux, Zithulele Independent School

Samantha Curle, Department of Education, University of Bath

Sara Black, PhD student, School of Education, University of Cape Town

Sebolelo Mokapela, HOD Department of African Languages, University of the Western Cape

Sibusiso Biyela, Science communicator

Simthembile Xeketwana, Stellenbosch University

Tholisa Matheza, teacher trainer, Schools Development Unit, University of Cape Town

Vuyelwa Dawn Mbalekwa, Program Manager, Shine Literacy Trust

Vuyokazi Nomlomo, Professor, Education Dean, University of the Western Cape

In Focus


How language policy improves student performance


How language and literacy influence Matric Science results


Why the way children are taught to read can hamper their success
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