Spaces and places for academic writing at the Language Centre

Posted on 03/09/2018 · Posted in Recent news

In June this year, 15 Language Centre staff members busy writing up their research had an opportunity to settle in at Mont Fleur, a mountain retreat on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, to write, eat, sleep and write some more for three days in a row. The Language Centre writing retreat created a solemn space to set and test goals, think and reflect, exchange ideas, and get some serious research writing done. Participants were shielded from the usual everyday intrusions and interruptions, which meant that their productivity soared.

Participants were working on article drafts, master’s or PhD research or work-related reports that involved research writing. Ensconced and inspired, everybody spent their undivided attention on working and developing their ideas, doing more writing in three days than they usually would have achieved in weeks.

To Remona Voges, busy with a doctorate in Afrikaans literature, “it was an unbelievable experience in a stunning environment where I could work in the warmth of silence and collegial interaction”.

“I could switch off from all my work and personal commitments to focus single-mindedly on my research. This is something that usually is impossible. The writing retreat spoiled me thoroughly with a haven to relax in a silent, peaceful, creative and supportive space to write double as much as I would normally get around to,” Helga Sykstus recalls. Helga does research on autonomous language learning.

Although the writing retreat was aimed at Language Centre staff only, the Centre’s Writing Lab offers various writing-related services and opportunities to both undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as University staff. On offer are one-on-one writing consultations, writing workshops, writing marathons and the possibility of joining or forming a writing group. E-mail Anne-Mari Lackay for more information about consultations, and if you’d like to speak to someone about your academic writing, book a free face-to-face consultation on Kenako on your MySun portal. For workshops, contact Selene Delport and for writing groups, contact Rose Richards.