Dr Colleen Du Plessis
Senior Lecturer
9B 208
IB 28
051 401 3286
Flippie Groenewoud Building: Block B 208

Short CV

After completing her BA Hons in Communication Science at the University of the Free State in 1984, Colleen du Plessis worked in the private sector for many years as a journalist, translator and interpreter before returning to study further. She successfully obtained her MA degree in English Language Studies in 2012 and was appointed as junior lecturer in the Department of English in the same year. She was promoted to the position of lecturer in 2013 and subsequently obtained her PhD in Applied Linguistics in 2017. Her thesis examined issues of construct validity and reliability in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Home Language examination and she developed a theoretical rationale for the attainment of greater equivalence of standard and construct. Her fields of interest include language teaching and testing, course design, and applied language studies in education. She is currently a senior lecturer in the department.



Loan Le, P., Du Plessis, C. & Weideman, A. 2011. Test and context: The use of the Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) at a tertiary institution in Vietnam. Saalt Journal for Language Teaching, 45(2):115-131.

Du Plessis, C. 2012. Facing up to literacy: Perceptions and performance in a test of academic literacy for postgraduate students. Saalt Journal for Language Teaching, 46(2):123-140.

Du Plessis, C. 2012. The design, refinement and reception of a test of academic literacy for postgraduate students. Unpublished master`s dissertation. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State.

Du Plessis, C. 2014. Issues of validity and generalisability in the Grade 12 English Home Language examination. Per Linguam, 30(2):1-19.

Du Plessis, C. & Weideman, A. 2014. Writing as construct in the Grade 12 Home Language curriculum and examination. Saalt Journal for Language Teaching, 48(2):127-147.

Du Plessis, C. & Du Plessis, L.T. 2015. Dealing with disparities: The teaching and assessment of official languages at First Language level in the Grade 12 school-leaving phase in South Africa. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 28(3): 209-225.

Du Plessis, C. 2016. Inferences from the Test of Academic Literacy for Postgraduate Students (TALPS). Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 34(1): 1-16.

Du Plessis, C., Steyn, S. & Weideman, A. 2016. Die assessering van huistale in die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Seniorsertifikaateksamen – die strewe na regverdigheid en groter geloofwaardigheid. LitNet Akademies, 13(1): 425-443.

Du Plessis, C. 2017. Developing a theoretical rationale for the attainment of greater equivalence of standard in the Grade 12 Home Language exit-level examinations. Unpublished doctoral thesis. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State.

Weideman, A., Du Plessis, C., & Steyn, S. 2017. Diversity, variation and fairness: Equivalence in national level language assessments. Literator, 38(1), a1319. https://doi.org/10.4102/lit. v38i1.1319.

Du Plessis, C. & Els, C. 2019. Informative assessment: A supportive tool for systemic validity in language education.South African Journal of Higher Education, 33(6): 92-110.

Mhlongo, P.S., Du Plessis, C. & Weideman, A. (forthcoming).Developing a reliable motivation scale for language learners in multilingual contexts.

Mhlongo, P.S., Du Plessis, C. & Weideman, A. 2020. Investigating education students` language learning beliefs and motivation for learning English. Journal for language teaching, 54(1): 95-121.

Du Plessis, C. 2020. Massification and diversification in tertiary language education: evaluating the parameters for a successful outcome. In Darquennes, J., Du Plessis, T. & Soler, J. Sociolinguistica, 34: 195-215. https://doi.org/10.1515/soci-2020-2000. ISSN: 0933-1883. International Yearbook of European Sociolinguistics special edition on language diversity management in higher education. Available: https://www.degruyter.com/view/journals/soci/soci-overview.xml?rskey=6D9f3y&result=6

Du Plessis, C. 2020. Basic education and academic literacy: conflicting constructs in the South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) language examination. In Weideman, A., Read, J. & Du Plessis, T. (Eds). Assessing academic literacy in a multilingual society: Transition and transformation. Multilingual Matters series New Perspectives on Language and Education: 84, Pp. 95-116. ISBN:9781788926201. Available: https://www.multilingual-matters.com/page/detail/Assessing-Academic-Literacy-in-a-Multilingual-Society/?k=9781788926201


Publications (Short List)


Area(s) of Interest

Language testing, academic literacy development, language development and course design 

Courses Presented

ENGN6814 Principles and practices for teaching and assessing English as an international language

ENGE1608: English Skills for Education

Community Service

Service Learning


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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