Biosketch

Tobie_van_Dyk_inaugural
Professor Tobie van Dyk: Inaugural lecture
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Summary
Post-school qualifications
Work experience
Professional activities
Academic awards

Summary

After heading up the Unit for Afrikaans and English at Stellenbosch University’s Language Centre from 2007-2012, and being involved in several language facilitation efforts and the implementation of Faculties’ language plans, I was appointed in January 2013 as Professor and Director of the Centre for Academic and Professional Language Practice at North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus. In this capacity, I headed up the flagship Academic Literacy Programme (LSP, EAP), the Writing Laboratory and the Short Courses Division.

From 2018 until July 2020, I was Director: School of Languages, a position overseeing all language departments/subject groups. Apart from managerial/developmental duties, I also designed and taught courses and workshops at Bachelors, Masters and PhD level, and supervised postgraduate studies in the field of applied linguistics. I was and still am, involved in institutional projects aimed at advancing multilingualism and serve on sub-committees of Senate that focus on student academic language support.

Currently I am heading up the Centre for Academic and Professional Language Practice again, taking responsibility for external and internal projects in the School of Languages, certain short learning programmes, managing the writing laboratories and developing a platform for language ability testing in all official languages.

As founding member and Director of the Inter-institutional Centre for Language Development and Assessment (ICELDA). I have extensive experience of inter- and intra-institutional language assessment, and course and syllabus design activities. I am the node manager in the South African Digital Language Resource Agency (SADiLaR – cf. www.sadilar.org) – here the primary focus is to advance multilingualism.

Post-school qualifications

2010 PhD (University of the Free State)
Title:  Konstitutiewe voorwaardes vir die ontwerp van ’n toets van akademiese geletterdheid. PDF (2.9 Mb)

In this thesis I articulate several principles that guide the design of tests of academic literacy. These principles relate to the refinement of the blueprint for such tests, their consistency and validation as measuring instruments, as well as the responsible interpretation of test results.

One of the external examiners found the thesis …

“an engaging and stimulating read” [with arguments that are] appropriate, well-constructed, admirable in terms of breadth and depth, and carefully and meticulously detailed.”

Another examiner concludes:

“This is the work of a thoughtful researcher, who asks insightful questions and has presented the research community with a rich and deep understanding of the research topic.”

2002 MA cum laude (University of Pretoria)
For my MA, entitled Die Handevatprojek: ’n vennootskap met onderwysbenadeelde taalonderwysers van Afrikaans, I focused on the teaching and learning practice of language teachers in historically disadvantaged communities. I investigated the impact of a partnership (in the form of a support programme) between a university and a secondary school, and in particular its impact on Grade 12 results. In this study, the quality of teaching and learning was demonstrated to have increased over a period of three years, as teachers developed professionally with the support of a mentor. This also had a direct impact on school leavers’ final examination results.
1998 BAHons cum laude (University of Pretoria)
1997 HED (University of Pretoria)
1996 BA cum laude (University of Pretoria)

Work experience

University-logos

Dates Position and Institution Core activities
2018– Director: School of Languages
North-West University
Personnel management
Financial management
Academic programme management
Research
Teaching and learning: undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision
2013–2017/18 Director: Centre for Academic and Professional Language Practice
North-West University
Similar to the above
2007–2013 Head: Unit for Afrikaans and English
Stellenbosch University
Similar to the above
2006–2007 Head: Unit for Afrikaans
Stellenbosch University
Similar to the above
2005–2006 Lecturer: Unit for Afrikaans
Stellenbosch University
Similar to the above, but excluding areas such as management and post graduate supervision
2001–2005 Lecturer: Unit for Academic Literacy
University of Pretoria
Personnel management (contract staff)
Financial management (testing)
Research
Teaching and learning: undergraduate and postgraduate teaching
1999–2000 Calor Gas (UK) Accountancy clerk
Internal claims
1998–1999 Junior lecturer: Department of Afrikaans
University of Pretoria
Research
Teaching and learning: undergraduate teaching

Professional activities

Scholarly journals

  • Editor, Journal for Language Teaching (2016 – 2020)
  • Editorial panel: Woord en Daad (2015 – current)
  • Reviewer for four accredited South African scientific journals and two international scientific journals.

Professional projects and organisations

  • Node Manager of South African Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) – node focussing on language testing and writing development (2016 – current)
  • Chairperson of the South African Association for Language Teaching (2014–2016)
    Vice-chairperson of the South African Association for Language Teaching (2011–2013; 2020– )
  • Chairperson of the Inter-institutional Centre for Language Development and Assessment (ICELDA), a partnership between four multilingual South African universities (2017– 2020)
  • Executive board member of the international project Communication for Professionals (2013–2017)
Professional membership

Academic awards

2020
  • Dean’s award for service excellence in terms of advancing multilingualism in the School of Languages, Faculty of Humanities, NWU
2016
  • Dean’s award for consistent contribution to research excellence in the Faculty of Arts, NWU
2012
  • Rector’s award for service excellence, Stellenbosch University
  •  H.B. Thom award for post-doctoral research
2011–2012
  • Erasmus Mundus award from the European Union for post-doctoral research in Europe
2011–2012
  • NRF grant for post-doctoral research
2003
  • SPAAN Fellowship in Language Testing from the University of Michigan (USA)
1999–2002
  • Research award for MA studies from the NRF
  • Research award for MA studies from the Chancellor’s Trust Fund at the then PU for CHE – linked to the award to Prof Maritha Snyman
  • Research award for MA studies from the ATKV
  • Full academic colours from the University of Pretoria
1997–1998
  • Jeanette Greeff award for exceptional performance in the Afrikaans Honours programme
  • ATKV price for the best student in linguistics in the Afrikaans Honours programme
  • Full academic colours from the University of Pretoria