During the recent 2016 LSSA/SAALA/SAALT Conference, the SAALT life time award for language teaching was bestowed on Professor Johan M. Lenake. In her tribute to him, Professor Susan Coetzee-Van Rooy gave a brief overview of Professor Lenake’s achievements. 

Also read the NWU news item:

Taalveteraan word vereer vir ʼn leeftyd van onderrig

Professor Lenake was born on 15 January 1929. He obtained the BA degree majoring in Southern Sotho and Psychology in 1962 and the BA Honours degree in African languages in 1964 from UNISA. The title of his MA degree in African languages was, “B.M. Khaketla as Dramakunstenaar and he obtained this from UNISA in 1973. In 1983 he obtained the PhD in African languages from UNISA and the title of his thesis was, “The Poetry of K E Ntsane.

​Professor Lenake taught Southern Sotho for a period of 43 years. During this long career as an outstanding Southern Sotho teacher, he filled positions at all levels. He was a language teacher for 8 years at schools in Theunnissen and Frankfort. He was the principal of a school for 4 years in Fouriesburg. He started to work as a language assistant at UNISA in 1963. He held this position for 16 years. He was promoted to senior lecturer at UNISA in 1979 and held this position for 6 years. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and to full professor in 1987 and he held this position until 1993 when he retired from UNISA.

After 1993 he held various positions as African languages consultant, among other places, at the North-West University’s Vaal Triangle campus. At 87 years of age, he teaches communication Southern Sotho at the NWU and he is a member of the Committee for Advanced Degrees for African languages. During his working career, professor Lenake developed 16 school books and 14 academic books for use in Southern Sotho teaching and learning. Professor Lenake also worked as a language practitioner and he published 5 translations of works into Southern Sotho and a host of Afrikaans and English language teaching material used at schools.

SAALT is proud to be associated with this exemplary multilingual language teacher and language practitioner. 

Susan Coetzee-Van Rooy
Outgoing Editor: SAALT Journal for Language Teaching. 

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