The Academy recognizes the need to communicate widely on its activities and does this through publications, conferences, lectures and media statements.
English Academy Review
The main publication of the English Academy is The English Academy Review: Southern African Journal of English Studies (EAR). This is a locally and internationally accredited journal, published twice a year, containing:
- Scholarly refereed articles on all aspects of English including English education
- Creative writing
- Reviews of significant publications
- Proceedings of the Academy
- Academy lectures
More information regarding EAR, including the submission of articles for publication, can be found here.
The Academy has published Better Than They Knew – an account of the contributions of English speakers in Southern Africa (ed. R.M. de Villiers. Cape Town: Purnell, vol. 1, 1972, vol. 2, 1974).
It has also published Guidelines on Terms and Punctuation, conference proceedings and occasional papers.
Members are informed on current activities by regular publication of the Newsletter.
Two public lectures are given annually:
- The English Academy Percy Baneshik Lecture
- The Commemorative Lecture
Among the distinguished guests who have delivered the English Academy Percy Baneshik Lecture are Prof. Es'kia Mphahlele, Prof. Njabulo Ndebele, Prof. Martin Orkin, Prof. Guy Butler, Dr Alan Paton, Mr M.C O'Dowd, Prof. Albie Sachs, His Excellency Mr Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Prof. Elwyn Jenkins, Prof. Stephen Gray, Chris van Wyk and John Matshikiza.
- The official website of Oxford dictionaries. Includes a free search of the Compact Oxford Dictionary and a free inquiry service on dictionaries, grammar, spelling, symbols, the English language, usage, words and word origins.
Words and Phrases Old and New
- A chance for entertainment and enlightment. Subscribe to this service at:
- A private website dedicated by a former Oxford staff member to The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors and The Oxford Guide to Style (the revised edition of the famous Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers). Also contains useful links.
South African Language- and Literature related
Organisations, Institutions and Websites
Teaching English Today
Dictionary Unit – Rhodes University
National English Literary Museum
- The principal institution for research into South African literature written in English.
Institute for the Study of English in Africa
- SA South African branch of the International Board on Books for the Young. The only organization devoted to children’s books in all languages in South Africa. The website includes news and a membership form for those wanting to access reviews.
South African Translators’ Institute
- Among the activities of the Institute, it administers the SATI Prizes for Outstanding Translation and Dictionaries.
Professional Editors' Group
- The national organisation for professional editors. Among its activities it produces a newsletter listing job opportunities.
Toastmasters Southern Africa
- An organization consisting of clubs of 20 members, where communication and leadership skills are enhanced. Toastmaster clubs provide a supportive environment for learning public speaking skills
Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa
Centre for the Book
- The Centre for the Book is a unit of the National Library of South Africa. Its mission is to promote a South African culture of reading, writing and publishing in all local languages, and easy access to books for all South Africans. The core functions of the Centre for the Book:
- Information and advice
- Book development
- The Centre for the Book website, the Children’s Literature Network, the Small Publisher’s Blog, the Writer’s Network Blog and E-groups and newsgroups provide daily sites for gathering and dissemination of information on books, reading, writing, publishing, libraries, book-selling and related issues. Particularly helpful are its publications on how to get one’s work published.
- The largest national literary site in South Africa, covering information, news and debate about fiction, poetry, theatre, film and more general cultural issues.
- Another South African website on literature, including news, blogs and a search facility to help you find a book at a book dealer.
Language Advisory Services
GRAMMARPHONE (English language advisory service)
To assist members of the public with grammar and usage.
Method of rendering service
Providing a telephone and e-mail advisory service.
A Cautionary Note!
We are advisors, not instructors. We don’t lay down the law so much as chart a course avoiding the rocks of grammar and syntax.
Most of our volunteers have spent many years in appropriate fields such as education and are extremely well equipped — all give their services out of love of the English language and a desire to facilitate its use and enhance its standards
Scope of service
Giving advice on grammar, pronunciation, punctuation, semantics, spelling and syntax, as well as practical guidance on matters of usage.
Drafting letters, references or other texts, editing, proofreading, translating and providing regular service to any organization — individual consultants are free to undertake such services but may well be expected to negotiate appropriate fees for them.
Doing homework, drafting answers to quizzes, contests and crosswords, and accepting (or allowing the Academy to accept) legal responsibility for advice given.
Spoken and Written English
English can be spoken with a variety of accents, and no language judgements can be made about them. We provide advice on written English only. There is an international standard for writing English, and in South Africa we use the standard based on British usage in grammar, spelling and punctuation.
There are, of course, many Englishes. We strive to offer information about the written form of English used in South Africa, which is based on British usage. Several Web sites give detailed lists of differences in spelling and grammar between British English and American English,
Many of the points of usage that we are asked about are discussed in the English Academy booklet, Guidelines on Terms and Punctuation. Copies may be ordered from the English Academy Office.
Contents: -ize/-ise; the ampersand (&); the solidus (/); hyphens and the compounding of words; abbreviations and the use of the full stop; capital letters
Other sources of help
We have listed sources that you can consult yourself under Links and Recommended Reading. Click here to be transferred to these sections.
Spread of service
As shown in the schedule below. We are always seeking to enroll new consultants, particularly in areas where little or no help is currently being given.
See list of Counsellors below
This list includes both new works and editions of standard works. Many of them are available in public libraries. If you can’t locate what you are looking for, try your nearest university library.
- Crystal, David. Who Cares about English Usage? Penguin Books, 1984.
- Fowler, H.W. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. 2nd ed., rev. Sir Ernest Gowers. Clarendon Press, 1965.
- Partridge, Eric. Usage and Abusage. Penguin Books, 1981.
- Peters, Pam. The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
- Quirk, Randolph. The Use of English. London: Longmans, 1969.
- Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. Oxford University Press, 2005.
- Straus, Jane. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation (10th ed.) Jossey-Bass, 2008.
- Truss, Lynne. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. 2003.
History of the Language
- Baugh, Albert C., and Thomas Cable. A History of the English Language. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978.
- Bryson, Bill. The Mother Tongue: English and How it got that way. HarperCollins, 1990.
- Crystal, David. The English Language. Penguin Books, 1978.
- McArthur, Tom. The English Languages. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
- Mesthrie, Rajend, ed. Language in South Africa. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
- The Chambers Dictionary (12th ed.) Chambers Harrap, 2011.
- A Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles. Oxford University Press, 1996. (This work is currently out of print, but is available in many larger libraries.)
- Hoad, T.F. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. Oxford University Press, 1986.
- The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.) Prepared by J.A. Simpson and E.C. S. Weiner. 10 vols. Clarendon Press, 1989. (This major reference work is accessible in the larger reference libraries, and available to subscribers online and on CD.)
- Oxford South African Concise Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2010.
- The Economist Style Guide (10th ed.) The Economist, 2010.
- Peck, John and Martin Coyle. The Student’s Guide to Writing: Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling. Macmillan, 1999.
- Strunk, William and E.B. White. The Elements of Style (4th ed.) 1918. Longman, 2000.
- New Hart’s Rules, Oxford University Press, 2005.
- Zinsser, William K. On Writing Well. Harper Collins, 2006.
- Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) University of Chicago Press, 2010.
- MHRA Style Guide (3rd ed.) Modern Humanities Research Association, 2013.
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) Modern Language Association, 2009.
- MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.) Modern Language Association, 2008.
Handbooks for editing and indexing
- Booth, Pat. Indexing: The Manual of Good Practice. K.G. Saur, 2001.
- Browne, Renni and Dave King. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (2nd ed.) William Morrow, 2004.
- Einsohn, Amy. The Copyeditor’s Handbook (3rd ed.) Denver Publishing Institute, 2011.
- Indexing for Southern Africa. Ed. Jacqueline A Kalley, Elna Schoeman, Marlene Burger. University of South Africa, 2005.
- New Oxford Style Manual. Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Recommendations: The preparation of indexes to books, periodicals and other publications. British Standards Institute, 1974.
Teaching English today
Teaching English Today
In 2010, the Academy launched an online magazine for English Teachers. While the site is active on an ongoing basis, two 'editions' are published each year. The articles provide a mix of practical advice and discussions on matters related to English teaching. The Editor is Dr Malcolm Venter. Contributions are welcome and may be submitted at any time by email to the Editor.