ISEA - Institute for the Study of the Englishes of Africa



The ISEA is a research institute of Rhodes University.

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.

Today the Institute fulfils the aims of its founders in large-scale research and implementation projects in English education, in the publication of journals devoted to English language and literature in Africa and South Africa, and by providing a research base for scholars in the field covered by the Institute.

Founders and Directors

The first Chairman of the Board, and founder of the Institute, was Professor FG Butler MA (UNISA), MA (Oxon), Hon DLitt (Natal), Hon DLitt (Witwatersrand), Hon DLitt et Phil (UNISA), Hon DLitt (Rhodes)

The following have served terms as directors of the Institute:

Professor WG Branford MA (Cantab.), BEd (UCT), PhD (Natal)
(Founder, Dictionary Unit for South African English)

Professor AR de Villiers MA, PhD (Rhodes)
(Director National English Literary Museum, 1981-1991)

Professor LW Lanham MA, PhD (Witwatersrand), Hon DLitt (Rhodes)
(Founder Molteno Project)

Professor PS Walters BA (Hons), PhD (Rhodes)
(HA Molteno Professor of English)

1990 - 2010:

Professor LS Wright BA (Hons) Rhodes, MA (Warwick), DPhil (Oxon)

2013 - 2021

Professor MG Hendricks BA, HDE (UCT), BA Hons, MEd (Rhodes), PhD (Witwatersrand)

2022 - current

Professor MaDey'Andile Mbelani BA (Educ) (UNITRA), BEd Hons (UNISA), ACE (ELT), MEd (ELT), PhD (Rhodes)