SA Profile spoke to Dr Marga Stander, a senior lecturer in the Department of Language and Communication within the School of Humanities at Sol Plaatje University.
Dr Stander studied BA Drama and Theatre Studies and obtained an Honours degree in Afrikaans Linguistics from the University of the Free State.
She began her academic career at the University of the North in Phuthaditjhaba, where she taught Afrikaans linguistics to second language speakers. She also holds a Master of Arts in Afrikaans Sociolinguistics and a PhD in Second Language Acquisition in Afrikaans.
Dr Stander taught English and visual arts to deaf students at the Thiboloha Special School in Phuthaditjhaba through the medium of South African sign language, during which time she also obtained a PGCE at Unisa and a B.Ed Honours degree in Deaf Education at Wits University
She was the coordinator of the Writing Centre and Unit for Language Development at the Phuthaditjhaba Campus of the University of the Free State. Whilst in this position, she received the Student Engagement award, the Teaching and Learning Innovation award and an award for advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning.
At Sol Plaatje University, Dr Stander teaches English and Afrikaans in the School of Humanities, Communication in the School of Economic and Management Sciences, and South African sign language as a conversational language in the School of Education.
She has published articles on topics about second language acquisition, deaf culture and plagiarism. She has also presented several conference papers on second language acquisition and learning, sign language and deaf culture locally and internationally.
Dr Stander is a research associate at the Department of South African Sign Language and Deaf Studies and a member of the Northern Cape division of the Pan South African Language Board (PANSLAB) and acts as an adjudicator at debate competitions in schools for the deaf in the Northern Cape.
She is busy writing a series of 20 children’s books (in Afrikaans and English) on the birds of Southern Africa (facts and fiction) in which she does both the text and illustrations.
Dr Marga Stander