Teaching lexicography at a South African university

  • Dion Nkomo Rhodes University
Keywords: Lexicography, Dictionary, National Lexicography Units, Curriculum


Following South Africa’s democratic constitution, lexicography was identified as an important practice that would play an enormous role in the implementation of the country’s multilingual language policy. National Lexicography Units (NLUs) were established for each of the eleven official languages, including reconstituting the dictionary projects that existed for languages such as Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa. This consolidated the position of lexicography as an academic area of study at a number of South African universities. The African Language Studies Section of the School of Languages at Rhodes University introduced lexicography at Honours level in 2010. The present article reflects on the curriculum development processes associated with the teaching of lexicography at this particular university. It demonstrates how the knowledge that constitutes lexicography is pedagogised to develop courses that respond to the South African context.

Author Biography

Dion Nkomo, Rhodes University
Dion Nkomo is a Senior Lecturer at the African Language Studies Section of the School of Languages, at Rhodes University. His teaching and research interests include language planning and policy, lexicography, translation, terminology and comparative Nguni studies. He has practiced as a language practitioner and lexicographer with the African Languages Lexical (ALLEX) Project at the University of Zimbabwe and the Multilingualism Education Project at the University of Cape Town.Email address: d.nkomo@ru.ac.za