Centre for African Language Teaching (CALT) - Setswana

Dr Dolly Dlavane
Centre for African Language Teaching (CALT) - Setswana


Welcome to the Centre for African Language Teaching (CALT). CALT – Setswana, is a research; teaching and learning Centre under the Faculty of Education of the North-West University (NWU) - Potchefstroom Campus in the North West Province of South Africa. In accordance with its Language Policy, the North-West University (NWU) gives unwavering and dedicated expression   to the promotion, use and development of Setswana as one of its official languages.

Setswana is an official Indigenous South African Language spoken mostly in the North West province including other provinces across the country like Northern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and Gauteng provinces. Setswana is also spoken across the borders to Southern African countries such as Botswana where it is a dominant national official language and lingua franca. The language is also spoken to some extent in Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The CALT (Setswana) is inspired and directed by three cardinal precepts, namely (1) pedagogic outcomes; (2) research and community engagement and (3) partnerships.

Pedagogic Outcomes precept

For the first time in history Batswana scholars are able to reap the full benefits of knowledge disciplines with respect to Education Sciences like teaching, learning and researching using their mother tongue. Despite the popularity of the Setswana language in many provinces of South Africa, there is limited expertise in the teaching of Early and Intermediate Phase literacy (reading and writing) in the domain of Teacher Education in South Africa. CALT seeks to bridge that gap. CALT is intentional in contributing to the enhancement of Setswana as a scholarly language of teaching and learning in primary and intermediate education and seeks to develop Teacher Education to enable Setswana as a medium of instruction. The pre-service student teachers will be capacitated to become experts in the teaching of reading and writing in Setswana to ensure that young speakers of Setswana and other African Languages are able to learn to read and to read to learn. This will be undertaken by providing support in the training of competent academics who adequately prepare students for the teaching of literacy in Setswana.

Research and Community Engagement precept

The CALT (Setswana), in collaboration with other CALTs will disseminate high quality literacy (reading and writing) research outputs through publications, workshops, conferences, fellowships, amongst others.

There shall be development of research capacity and scholarship through Honours, Master`s and PhD programmes that inform literacy practice in African languages for pre-service and in-service teachers, particularly in Setswana.

It is absolutely vital to build a community of practice by engaging seminars and conferences where new knowledge is created, and publications produced to advance Setswana literacy and the teaching thereof.

The CALT (Setswana) is focused in working together with stakeholders and communities in producing transformative, innovative and pedagogic solutions for the teaching of literacy in Setswana.

Through action and participatory community engagement, the CALT (Setswana) will develop new knowledges in reading and writing in Setswana.

Partnerships precept

It is critical that the Centre develops partnerships with other NWU Faculties; institutions that share similar interests; language bodies like Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB); Department of Basic Education; Department of Higher Education and Training and potential funders. The CALT will also collaborate with Sol Plaatje University (SPU) of Northern Cape province, one of South Africa's Universities that train Setswana teachers.

Such collaborations and partnerships are intended to facilitate the knowledge and data sharing with respect to literacy in Setswana and other African languages.