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Current Awareness 2018: February

General topics of interest

What is Current Awareness?

Current awareness is the term used to describe staying informed by keeping up to date with the latest publications, research and news in your field.

The perspective of current awareness is the present and the forthcoming, as opposed to the retrospective. 

Current awareness ranges from looking for information on specific topics on a regular basis (and this usually involves the assistance of your Personal Librarian to help you set up a search profile matched to your research interests) to embracing a wider, more general, and cross-disciplinary view that brings an element of serendipity into your search for the latest information.

Informally, researchers remain alert in all contexts for useful information and insights that will inform their daily practice, their research, and spark off innovative and creative ideas for new avenues of research

Website of the Month


The question of mother-tongue education in South Africa remains a vexed one. On the one hand, it seems reasonable and desirable that learners should be able to receive education in their mother tongue, if they so wish. On the other hand, there are some very real difficulties involved in the implementation of this ideal. The purpose of this paper is to clarify what these difficulties are, and then to suggest what needs to be done to overcome them. The intention is neither to argue for or against the notion of mother-tongue education in the South African context, nor to consider whether its implementation is practically possible, but simply to spell out what courses of action need to be undertaken if the idea is to be seriously pursued.

Further reading

Recent journal articles

mother tongue education south africa

Recent news items

mother tongue education

About the Monthly Current Awareness Page

The year is marked with many special days, weeks, and months dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about important issues.

This monthly post, compiled by the Information Search Librarians Team, will note special dates and themes, and draw your attention to possibly interesting cross-disciplinary topical references intended to inform and to inspire ideas for research.

Selected Noteworthy Days

Chavonnes Battery Museum

1 Dec 2017 – 31 Mar 2018

Chavonnes Battery Museum, V&A Waterfront

The Chavonnes Battery Museum showcases the Archaeological Ruins of a Dutch East India Company Fort, buried for 140 years, and is also host to a robust schedule of international photographic exhibitions, rich in content, and relevant in terms of contemporary thinking and topics.

Light Space Life: Architectural Exhibition by SAOTA

logo architecture

7 Dec 2017 - 2 Mar 2018

THE ARCHITECT pop up gallery, Cape Town

With work in 86 countries, the exhibition highlights SAOTA’s past, present and future work around the globe.

The Colour Purple

31 Jan - 4 Mar

Mandela Theatre, Braamfontein

The South African première production of the Tony Award Winning Musical, The Colour Purple, opens at the Joburg Theatre.

Unisa International Voice Competition 2018

23 Jan - 3 Feb

ZK Matthews Great Hall - UNISA
Classical and Jazz vocalists of all nationalities are invited to enter this prestigious event.

World Wetlands Day 2018logo wetlands day

2 Feb

The future of humanity depends on wetlands. They purify and replenish our water, and provide the fish and rice that feed billions. Wetlands act as a natural sponge against flooding and drought, and protect our coastlines. They burst with biodiversity, and are a vital means of storing carbon. The Department of Environmental Affairs is responsible for the South African Wetlands Conservation Programme. By 2012, about 115 000 wetlands, covering over four million ha and comprising close to 4% of the country's surface area, had been mapped in South Africa.

My Father’s Coat

7 Feb

South African National Museum of Military History, Randburg

My Father’s Coat, by renowned speaker Michael Charton, is an epic narrative of South Africa into five bite-size stories as told from the individual viewpoints of five prominent and directly interlinked protagonists spanning 200 turbulent years: Mzilikazi, Kruger, Rhodes, Smuts and Mandela. 

The Annual Ubuntu Awardslogo ubuntu

10 Feb

The annual Ubuntu Awards were launched to celebrate South African citizens who play an active role in projecting a positive image of South Africa internationally.

This year’s awards are themed “Honouring Madiba; a global champion of human rights, peace and reconciliation.”

World Day of Social Justicelogo social justice

20 Feb

World Day of Social Justice recognises the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion, employment, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.

International Mother Language Daylogo international mother language day

21 Feb

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62). International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

Design Indaba Festival 2018

21 Feb – 24 Feb

Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town

The Design Indaba Conference brings together the people using design and innovation to create a better world.

In the Media

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Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, please visit the archive:




Looking for Upcoming 2018 Conferences?

If you are looking for 2018's forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden Oldies


National or Mother Language in Beginning Reading: A Comparative Studyby Nancy Modiano. Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 1968), pp. 32-43

The dilemma of the mother tongue: Prospects for bilingual education in South Africaby F BandaLanguage culture and curriculum, Vol. 13, Is.1, 2000, pp. 51-66

Incomplete journeys: Code-switching and other language practices in mathematics, science and English language classrooms in South Africaby M Setati et al. Language and education, Vol.16, Is.2, 2002