The Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment is involved in various community-outreach language and literacy projects.

One of these projects, entitled 'Cognitive-linguistic processing of first- and second language learners with typical and atypical patterns of development', is funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF).

Dr Annalene van Staden is the grant holder and manager of this project, which also involves co-workers from Spain (such as Prof Serrano) and other colleagues and research associates from the ULFE, namely Dr Ansa Tolmie and Lizelle Eksteen.

The core focus of this project is three-fold. Firstly, it investigates the interplay of home and school variables in the development of learners’ early language and literacy as well as how these factors influence the language and literacy development of both first- and second-language learners.

Secondly, this project examines the role of psycholinguistic processes involved in first- and second-language and literacy development, including the longitudinal transfer of these skills.

Thirdly, it involves community outreach initiatives, which, among others, includes the development and implementation of various intervention programmes to identify and support learners who experience language and literacy challenges, while also engaging with parents and teachers through teacher and parent training initiatives, as well as the development of school and home language and literacy programmes to support learners.

In addition to empowering and providing support to learners, teachers, and parents in diverse communities in the Free State Province and beyond, this project also offers students the ability to further their postgraduate studies at the UFS.

In total, the research of 11 master’s and doctoral students is currently aligned with this project (this includes both South African and Namibian students, as well as those from Lesotho). These students’ research and postgraduate studies are also funded by the NRF.

The first cycle of this NRF project commenced in 2014 and will be concluded at the end of 2016. The project did not receive new NRF funding for 2017, and therefore the ULFE is currently funding the project internally and included Bergmanshoogte in Philippolis.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

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

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