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 University of Johannesburg, Department of Education and Curriculum Studies. She holds of a Ph.D. from the Institute of Education, University of London. She is interested in how children, particularly English language learners, are socialized into the dominant cultural and linguistic practices in the early years of formal schooling. Through her research, Pinky aims to contribute to our understanding of how institutional language policies and practices affect children’s opportunities to learn. Her current research interests include the politics of English, language ideologies, issues of class and identity; hybrid and heteroglossic discourse practices in culturally and linguistically diverse school settings.
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 researcher 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. 

Babalwayashe Molate

Babalwayashe Molate

Babalwayashe Molate is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Education at the University of Cape Town. Her current study explores the language and literacy socialization practices of a Black multilingual family in a dual-household arrangement in South Africa – oscillating between the city and their rural home. Her broader research area is grounded in Language Socialisation, with a keen focus on African languages and multilingualism, family literacies, family language policy, and school language policy. Connected to her main research interest are her experiences in biliteracy club facilitation and family literacies training. She also translates and edits children’s literature into isiXhosa.

Past Members

Athambile Masola (2020-2023)

Athambile Masola (2020-2023)

 Athambile Masola is a lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. She has worked at the University of Pretoria. She received her PhD from Rhodes University in African literary studies. 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 wide-ranging and include literacy campaigns, 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 was also involved with Molo Mhlaba: a school for girls in Khayelitsha as a founding board member. Athambile’s work has been published on a variety of platforms such as academic journals, national newspapers as well as blogs. She has published a poetry collection written in isiXhosa, Ilifa (Uhlanga Press, 2021). She has co-written a series of history books, Imbokodo: Women who Shape Us (Jacana Media, 2022) with Xolisa Guzula.



(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: [email protected]

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

Ashley Visagie, co-founder,  Bottomup Nonprofit

Athambile Masola, Lecturer, Department of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town

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

Candice Livingston, Professor in Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

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

Eileen Scheckle, Nelson Mandela University

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

Elsa Auerbach, Professor of English, University of Massachusetts Boston

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

Gilbert Dolo, Science Education Specialist, Schools Development Unit, University of Cape Town

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

Kgauhelo Dube, Ambani Africa

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

Lauren Coffman, Northeastern Illinois University

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

Matsobane Sexwale, Rera Language School

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

Mkululi Nompumza, Centre for Creative Education

Monica Hendricks, Professor and Director ISEA, Rhodes University

Muki Moeng, Head of Department, Nelson Mandela 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

Nosipho Waqu, Shine Literacy Trainer

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

Ogini Bernard, Nigerian Pidgin Playwright, University of Ibadan

Palesa Morudu, Managing Director, Cover2Cover books

Pam Christie, Emeritus Professor, UCT and University of Queensland

Pam Hoffman, Otto Foundation

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

Quentin Williams, Director, Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research, University of the Western Cape

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

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, University of the Western Cape

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

Sharleen Haupt, Shine Literacy Programme Manager

Sibusiso Biyela, Science communicator

Simthembile Xeketwana, Stellenbosch University

Thembi Mtshali, Curro Schools

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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