Professor Tobie van Dyk to come on board at SADiLaR

SADiLaR is pleased to announce the secondment of Professor Tobie van Dyk, a highly respected applied linguist from the School of Languages at North-West University (NWU) in South Africa. Prior to this secondment, Prof van Dyk was Head of the Centre for Academic and Professional Language Practice and Director of the School of Languages, both at NWU.

“Professor van Dyk’s expertise in the field of applied linguistics and his well-established national and international networks are essential for SADiLaR to fulfill its mandate,” says Mr Juan Steyn, SADiLaR’s Director of Operations.

Language resources audit

The secondment runs from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023, and his expertise will be applied to several of SADiLaR’s mandates. This includes primary support with the National Language Resources Audit. This project is evidence of SADiLaR’s growing involvement and visibility in the national linguistic landscape, as it was commissioned by Universities South Africa (USAf) to support the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) with a language resources audit at all 26 public universities in South Africa.

Prof van Dyk says “I’m extremely excited about the secondment to SADiLaR as the design and development of language resources for use in different contexts and for different purposes, and the advancement of multilingualism lie very close to my heart. Also, it affords me the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and networks, and to establish new ones.”

Sustainability of research infrastructure

In addition to other more general support around engagement, networking and raising awareness of SADiLaR’s resources and services, as well as mentorship in DH, Van Dyk’s secondment will also provide valuable insight in a broader process of secondment to SADiLaR’s research infrastructure. “From this we will establish a new baseline for ways in which the Centre can draw on research expertise in a way that is more hands-on and with higher impact than the previous visiting scholar model,” says Steyn. 

Prof Langa Khumalo, Executive Director of SADiLaR, affirms this: “Sustainability of research infrastructures like SADiLaR is an ongoing concern in South Africa. As part of the South African research infrastructure roadmap, we need to ensure broad national impact of our work over the next five years, and this means bringing on all the skills and expertise available to us. We look forward to Prof van Dyk’s contributions in this regard.”