Institute for the Study of English in Africa

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The Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA) is a research institute of Rhodes University.

Origins and aims

It was established in 1964 "to study the problems of English in Africa, and in the Republic in particular, as mother tongue, as an official language, and as a second language; how it is spoken and written by the main linguistic groups; how it is taught; to find out the weaknesses of the present system; and devise means to meet them: in fact, a Research Institute with a strong practical bias. - - - the Institute should sponsor research, collect information and organize training both for post-graduate students at the University and for teachers in service." (From the founding Minutes of April 1964)


Since its inception the Institute has given rise to three independent institutions:

The National English Literary Museum, the Dictionary Unit for South African English and the Molteno Project.

Publications include three jorunals, English in Africa, Shakespeare in Southern Africa and New Coin.

Directors and Founders

The first Chairman of the Board, and founder of the Institute, was Professor F.G. Butler and he was followed by the following directors of the Institute:

1964-1974: W.G. Branford, 1974-1981: A.R. de Villiers 1981-1987: L.W. Lanham, 1987-1989: P.S. Walters and 1990 - date: L.S. Wright


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