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Thokozile Thulo
Thokozile Thulo says the UFS has changed its focus in supporting students with disabilities.

The Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has recently opened a permanent office on the Qwaqwa Campus The centre aims to ensure that the University of the Free State increasingly becomes a universally accessible higher-education institution which embraces students with various disabilities.

Thokozile Thulo, CUADS Assistant Officer at Qwaqwa said: “Our focus has changed from ‘special’ accommodation for individuals to the creation of a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering to all students. Integrated learning and education methodologies and processes are being researched and developed to create more awareness among lecturing staff. This incorporates universal design, faculty instruction and curricula.” 

The CUADS office assists students to gain access to study courses, learning materials, various buildings and residences, computer facilities and specialised exams and tests. For visually-impaired students, study material and textbooks in Braille, audio, e-text or enlarged format are provided. 

The office also supports students with various psychosocial and chronic conditions such as epilepsy and panic disorder, as well as learning difficulties such as dyslexia and hyperactivity. “In addition, we support students with special arrangements such as extra time for tests and exams,” said Thokozile.



News Archive

CD-ROM for learning Afrikaans as foreign language launched
2009-04-30

 
At the launch of the CD-Rom, Gesellig Afrikaans, are from the left: Ms Riana de Beer, Research Assistant at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French, Mr Christo Steyn from Bare Creative who did the digitalisation of the CD-ROM, Prof. Van Niekerk, Prof. Engela Pretorius, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning, and Mr François Marais, Director of the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development at the UFS.
Photo: Lacea Loader
The Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently launched a CD-ROM course to learn Afrikaans as foreign language at the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

For the past ten years the Department has been offering a course in Afrikaans as foreign language to small groups at the UFS. “However, the need for this course has escalated to such an extent on the Main and Qwaqwa Campuses of the UFS that we have decided to produce the CD-ROM. We have also found that not a lot of courses to learn Afrikaans were available. Those that do exist, do not recognise the needs of adult learners,” said Prof. Angelique van Niekerk from the Department.

“International students are often interested in learning new cultures and languages and staff members would also like to learn Afrikaans in order to understand the language better. Now they are able to master the basic principles and concepts of the language,” said Prof. Van Niekerk.

The course, which will be presented on the Main Campus, comprises a basic and an advanced course. Course attendants will receive both these CD-ROMs. English is used as the back-up language and translations of all the texts are available on the CD. Contemporary Afrikaans music is used to assist in fixing sound patterns, and the pronunciation of Afrikaans sounds, words and sentences is available through the sound component of the course. Uncomplicated language jokes, advertisement texts and cartoons are used to enhance the course content and a vocabulary list and list of idiomatic language uses will be kept updated by the learners. Explanations of basic grammatical constructions are given in both Afrikaans and English and learners are assessed at the end of the course. Aspects like word order, temporal indications, etc. are covered amongst other things.

“Mastering a foreign language is time-consuming and contact with the language is very important. Although there is a contact session with a facilitator of two hours per week, it is a handy course for people who cannot attend classes regularly,” said Prof. Van Niekerk.

The CD-ROM is available from at Prof. Angelique van Niekerk, vnieka.hum@ufs.ac.za, Tel. no. 051-4012339, at R150 per CD.


Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
28 April 2009

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