Assessing and developing academic literacy

  • Albert Weideman


This paper argues that there is much to learn from an external, peer or expert evaluation by a department that concerns itself with the assessment and development of academic literacy. Such an evaluation provides an opportunity to step back and reflect on the foundations of one’s work, and redefine its operational focuses. Taking the response to one such evaluation as an example, the paper shows how the external input led to the alignment of the two main aims of our work: (1) testing academic literacy levels, and (2) course design and teaching. The paper concludes by highlighting the numerous opportunities that are now opening up for inter-institutional co-operation on a national scale. Sharing the results and insights gained from an evaluation is not normally done outside of the institution that was evaluated. We hope that by making our information about this more freely available, it will further stimulate such co-operation.


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Author Biography

Albert Weideman
Albert Weideman is director of the Unit for Language Skills Development of the University of Pretoria. His primary responsibility lies in developing courses, and his Academic literacy: prepare to learn was published in 2003.E-mail: