News & events


Cognitive development and language in education

28 May 2019
12:30 - 14:00

Presenters: Prof Crain Soudien, CEO, HSRC, and Dr Michelle White, Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University

Date: 28 May 2019                                                                          
Time:  12:30 – 14:00
Venues: Video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban; Livestream via Vidyo

Presentation is available for download below:

South Africa needs to transform the education system. As we saw in the first seminar of this series, a challenge to this process is the bias towards monolingualism in South African education. This places learners for whom English proficiency is low at a disadvantage. Rather than maintaining this deficit perspective, this seminar aims to continue the discussion by exploring deeper understandings of the South African context and practices to see how our learners’ capacities to learn can be enhanced and enriched. Prof Crain Soudien first discusses learner development and the value of being cognisant of the interplay between nature and nurture. Our second speaker, Dr Michelle White, presents the varied cognitive development trajectories of pre-primary children at an English-medium school. Her findings indicate that rather than focusing on an initial lack of English proficiency, we would do better to focus on other factors that could be influencing their academic performance.

This is the second seminar in the Education and Skills Development (ESD) Language in Education series.

Kindly RSVP by 27th May 2019

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference Room, 1st  floor HSRC Library, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact Arlene Grossberg  | T: (012) 302 2811  | E:
Cape Town: HSRC Video Conference Room, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town.Contact Shouneez Khan| T: (021) 466 7948 | E:
Durban: HSRC Video Conference Room, The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001. Contact Ridhwaan Khan  | T: (031) 242 5400  | C: 083 788 2786  | E:  or Wiseman Mbambo | E:

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DST.

Vidyo Link: