Tobie Van Dyk

Tobie Van Dyk
North-West University | NWU · Centre for Academic and Professional Language Practice

PhD

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27
Publications
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296
Citations

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Dit is nodig dat universiteitstudente wat ’n nuwe, uitdagende, onbekende en robuuste omgewing betree, ook oor die nodige akademiese taalvermoë en woordeskat moet beskik om suksesvol in hulle studies te wees (Nagy & Townsend, 2012). Dit is egter makliker gesê as gedaan, want wie is veronderstel om die verantwoordelikheid hiervoor te neem en hoe beho...
Article
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Digital assistance for academic Afrikaans – first lessons from a development project: This article identifies digital assistance in the development of academic writing skills (specifically in Afrikaans) as a problem that can be partially improved with annotated data from an appropriate corpus. Reference is made to the corpus that ICELDA and SADILAR...
Article
Academic language proficiency has a significant impact on students’ academic performance. According to existing literature underdeveloped language competence is a common problem amongst postgraduate students (Bammett, 1989; Grabe, 1991; Ellis, 1994; Cohen, 1998; Tercanlioglu, 2004; Brown, 2008; Young et al., 2013). Reasons for this situation includ...
Article
Accurate use of collocations is seen as a measure of a learner’s proficiency in a second/foreign language. However, research is not conclusive as to how to best test productive knowledge of collocations and, more fundamentally, there is no agreement on how vocabulary size, i.e. word comprehension, influences collocation production within a constrai...
Article
This article reports on a study which assessed the impact of an academic literacy course on students’ academic literacy levels. A combination of instruments suggested in an evaluation design by Fouché, Van Dyk and Butler (2016) was drawn on. Firstly, a pre-test/post-test design was used with three instruments, namely a valid and reliable academic l...
Article
The present study examines the relationship between productive knowledge of collocations and academic literacy among first year students at North-West University. Participants were administered a collocation test, the items of which were selected from Nation’s (2006) word frequency bands, i.e. the 2000-word, 3000-word, 5000-word bands; and the Acad...
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Considering the vast array of academic literacy interventions that are presented both nationally and internationally, and the resources required to present these interventions, it is becoming increasingly important for those who are responsible for these interventions to provide evidence of their impact. The aim of this paper is to provide an overv...
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This study explores the extent to which vocabulary size matters in academic literacy. Participants (first-year students at North-West University) were administered the Vocabulary Levels Test (Schmitt, Schmitt and Clapham 2001). Scores from the test were used to estimate students’ vocabulary size and were subsequently mapped onto the levels distingu...
Article
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Despite the efforts to manage South Africa’s language and culture diversity, in practice, the linguistic landscape has become increasingly English. This is problematic in contexts such as rural areas where people are not able to communicate in English, and communication on even a fairly proficient level is not a given. Medical contexts, in particul...
Article
Abstract It is claimed that various factors related to academic literacy deleteriously affect student throughput. The international trend is to determine the academic literacy levels of prospective or already admitted students. This article reports on such an initiative, where the academic literacy of first-year students at a number of South Africa...
Article
Die sentrum vir Akademiese en Professionele Taalpraktyk en die universiteitsbestuur van die Noordwes-Universiteit se Potchefstroomkampus ontvang gereeld navrae van studente en ouers oor die verpligte module Akademiese Geletterdheid (AGLA121) wat deur sommige leerders en ouers as 'n duplisering van matriek Huistaal beskou word. Daar word aangevoer d...
Article
The transition from secondary to higher education (HE) requires a change of cultural mindset (cf. Darlaston-Jones et al., 2003; Leki, 2006). It is widely accepted that the academic performance and motivation of first year students to stay in HE depend, among others, on how well they integrate into the university environment (Brinkworth et al., 2009...
Article
First-year students experience a range of challenges when transferring from secondary to higher education (HE) (cf. Darlaston-Jones et al. 2003, Leki 2006, Brinkworth et al. 2009). This is no different in South Africa, where deviating levels of preparedness for the demands of HE is a recurring theme (Slonimsky and Shalem 2005, Van Schalkwyk 2008, S...
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Full-text available
The present study examines productive knowledge of collocations of tertiary-level second-language (L2) learners of English in an attempt to make estimates of the size of their knowledge. Participants involved first-year students at North-West University who sat a collocation test modelled on that developed by Laufer and Nation (1999), with words se...
Article
Taaltoetse is hedendaags die norm aan hoëronderwysinstellings, hetsy vóór of ná toelating. Die effek van sulke toetse, of die besluite wat op basis van die resultate daarvan geneem word, kan tot in- of uitsluiting bydra. In ’n post-1994 Suid-Afrika is dit vanselfsprekend van belang dat ’n konsep soos ‘geldigheid’ deeglik ondersoek word, omdat die i...
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Hierdie artikel lewer verslag oor ’n empiriese ondersoek wat onderneem is om te bepaal of daar ’n daling in die akademiese geletterdheidsvlakke van eerstejaarstudente in Suid-Afrika is aangesien dit die indruk is wat geskep word deur die populêre media sowel as wetenskaplike publikasies. In 2007 het Van der Slik en Weideman in ’n soortgelyke onders...
Article
The link between language and learningand how to develop language across thecurriculum is a persisting theme in education research over time. In this article, thefirst in a series, we wish to contribute to the current vibrant debate about languageissues in higher education – both internationally and locally. It primarily aims atproviding a critical...
Article
Low levels of academic literacy in the language(s) of teaching and learning are regarded as one of the main reasons for a lack of academic success amongst undergraduate students. Indeed, at Unisa, current concerns about the predictive validity of the National Senior Certificate has motivated a need for a reliable and valid instrument, used under st...
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This article focuses on the current situation in South Africa in which a number of factors related to academic literacy deleteriously affect student throughput. This has large financial implications for the country as well as tertiary institutions. Since significant numbers of students with high academic potential are at risk because of their low l...
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Full-text available
Universities and other higher education establishments throughout the world, including South Africa, have become concerned about the academic literacy levels of the students they enrol. The problem at most South African tertiary education institutions, which is in line with global trends, is certainly considerable, with almost a third of the studen...
Article
Low levels of academic literacy (the ability to successfully engage in the academic discourse, whether it is through reading, writing, listening or speaking) in the language of teaching and learning are widely seen as one of the main reasons for the lack of academic success among South African undergraduate students with high academic potential. To...
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Full-text available
Tests of language ability are based on a certain construct that defines this ability, and this blueprint determines what it is that will be measured. The University of Pretoria has, since 2000, annually administered a test of academic language proficiency to more than 6000 first-time students. The intention of this test is to identify those who are...
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Full-text available
One of the important challenges of test design and construction is to align the blueprint of a test and the specifications that flow from it with the task types that are selected to measure the language ability described in the blueprint. This article examines a number of such task types and their alignment with the blueprint of a particular test o...
Article
The main focus of the research reported on in this article concerns the methods used to test students' understanding of vocabulary, and the validation of these methods. Two vocabulary tests are assessed in terms of their ability to measure students' performance, both in general academic terms at subject level and in comparison to their performance...

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