Department of Afrikaans

As the youngest Germanic language in the world, spoken by more than 15 million people worldwide and being studied at universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Russia and America, Afrikaans is experiencing a renewed interest.  

The Department of Afrikaans in East London has shown a spectacular growth as a discipline of choice in the predominantly English cultural surroundings of East London, and in doing so, has established itself as an academic department of excellence. The research niche area of Ecopoetics has owned recognition both nationally and internationally.

The Department offers a three year programme with the possibility to continue into Honours, Masters’ and Doctoral studies.  The content of the academic programmes include a variety of linguistic and literary aspects, taking the student on a journey from the introductory levels to intensive and comprehensive knowledge of the field, with continued and accelerated exposure to aspects of the Afrikaans language and literature within a multi-cultural context.

As an indispensable link in the education career of non-mother tongue students, preparing them for the multi-cultural society in which they will have to operate, the department also offers Afrikaans Prakties, which has played a huge role in honing communicational and reading skills of many students from other disciplines.

Community engagement is very much part of the profile of the department and the department is involved in ongoing projects such as the Aksie Afrikaans Books Project, the annual Afrikaans Festival Evening and the Afrikaans Teachers Forum, where students and staff get involved in community activities.