So, what does the Language Centre actually do?

Posted on 05/03/2020 · Posted in Comms Lab, Dialogos, Our languages, Plain Language, Recent news, Writing Lab

The Language Centre is a vibrant hub for students, staff and clients who require language and communication assistance.

One of our most important jobs is to help students speak university. Although academic language is no-one’s mother tongue, you could get by very well once you’ve learnt its ins and outs.

We assist students to get there, in many different language-related ways:

  • We present credit-bearing academic literacies modules in seven of the University’s 10 faculties to equip our students for strategic communication – in an academic setting and in their occupation and industry. Modules focus on professional, business and scientific communication, writing skills and skills for academic discourse.
  • We provide real-time interpreting in lectures – in Afrikaans, English, isiXhosa or South African Sign Language.
  • We’ve created a safe space to discuss one’s writing with a trained writing consultant at our Writing Lab, as well as opportunities to create writing support groups, take part in writing marathons, or attend workshops on writing research proposals, literature reviews, journal articles or other academic writing.
  • We’ve established a Reading Lab that offers workshops, consultations and a visual cognitive processing program to optimise reading.
  • We’ve built a trilingual terminology tool for subject terminology in Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa – try it out here.
  • We present various courses to local and international students aimed at either enhancing skills in a language or acquiring a new language, such as the English for Academic Purposes Programme (EAP) and the Intensive English Programme (IEP), or tailored Afrikaans and isiXhosa We even have a Language Learning Hub for social language learning.

The Language Centre also casts its language and communication assistance net wider than the student community:

  • We offer an editing and translation service in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, and we translate into more than 12 other languages. Our services are available to the University, corporate clients and individuals, and we can edit and translate any document – from letters, reports, journal articles and advertisement copy to informed consent forms. In addition, we do transcriptions.
  • We provide an interpreting service at meetings or conferences. We work in Afrikaans, English, isiXhosa and German, but you could speak to us about other language combinations too.
  • We offer language courses aimed at individuals or groups who would like to learn isiXhosa or Afrikaans, or prepare themselves for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, or who wish to gain the skills to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL).
  • We also present superbly crafted corporate communication short courses through our Comms Lab. Think: effective office documentation, report writing, writing for the media, or crafting confident presentations, to name but a few possibilities.

For us, language creates a transformational space that has the power to change lives, inform policy and unite people. If one of our services or courses appeals to you, speak to us at or 021 808 2176.

Great things happen when you work with us!