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Support Announcement:

Level: Open
Duty: Research,Project Work
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics Psycholinguistics
Application Deadline: 10-Nov-2012
Supporting Institution: Rhodes University
English Language and Linguistics
LL Issue: 23.4049
Posted: 01-Oct-2012
Support Description: Masters, PhD, Postdoctoral and Honours scholarships available 2013-2015.

The Department of English Language and Linguistics invites applications to the
postgraduate Strategic Early Literacy Imperative: Linguistic and social partnerships
in Foundation-Phase Learning in African languages.

South African foundation-phase literacy is in a deep crisis - especially literacy in
African languages. (see
Although this is a multifaceted problem requiring input from policy analysts,
political scientists, education specialists, child psychologists and sociologists, this
project focusses on the specific contributions that can be made by linguists. This
includes the following dimensions:
- Sociolinguistic-dialectological dimension which interacts with language
standardization and the mismatch between home languages and language of
- Morpho-syntactic dimensions: the mismatch between psycholinguistic and
orthographic representations of words and morphemes with the attendant need for
thorough linguistic analysis of African languages within descriptive and theoretical
- Linguistic-educative dimensions: the complete lack of educational resources
such as reading norms, vocabulary lists, graded texts, testing instruments,
comprehension tests, Flesch-Kincaid scores etc.
- Other dimensions.

Eligibility: This funded, three-year, multi-disciplinary research project welcomes
applications from anybody who has an interest in the specific contributions that
Linguistics can make to early literacy, specifically as they relate to African
languages. Suitable background includes ANY type of linguistics (including
descriptive linguistics, formal/theoretical/generative linguistics, cognitive
linguistics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics etc.) and competence in an
African language would be an advantage. Applicants with a background in a
cognate field will also be considered (e.g. Education, psychology, academic
development, languages etc.).

The following scholarships are available:
1 x Postdoctoral/PhD scholarship (1 year & tax free)
2 x Masters Scholarships (2 years & tax free)
Multiple teaching-assistant scholarships for postgraduates at any level.

Curriculum: Given the broad scope of the project, research projects may be either
applied or theoretical in nature. Postgraduate degrees may either consist of a full
thesis or of a combination of thesis and coursework modules to be chosen in
consultation with your supervisor. There are also opportunities for fieldwork,
community engagement, conference attendance, as well as teaching and tutoring
to develop your academic profile.

To apply, please follow the following TWO steps. (a) Apply to the university via the
registration process (Details and forms are at (b) Send an email to Dr Mark de
Vos (m.devos Linguist List containing your name and contact details, your highest
degree and grade obtained, an initial title of your research project/dissertation and
a short abstract.

For more details, contact Dr Mark de Vos (m.devos Linguist List You can also read
more about the project and its rationale at

More information about the Department can be found at:

More information about studying at Rhodes University can be found at:
Application Mailing Address: Dr Mark De Vos
Rhodes University,
Grahamstown Eastern Cape 6140
South Africa
Contact Information: Dr Mark De Vos