Our author team is made up of five teachers, each of whom has more than 25 years teaching experience in our respective fields.
We have all been heads of department at our schools; we have all had experience of teaching learners from communities in which English is not the mother tongue; we all have a passion for our subjects and wish to share this with others.
Most importantly, we have all observed first-hand the negative impact on a child's education when he or she cannot form concepts in the mother tongue or does not understand the learning material.
These dictionaries are our contribution to a solution to the problems confronting maths and science education in our country.
I taught physical science at Promat College (Mamelodi ) followed by 13 years at Pretoria Boys' High School (as Head of Science Department for 6 years). I then spent a decade at the University of Pretoria, running maths and science programmes for teachers and learners at township schools.
I hold a BSC (Hons), post-grad HED in maths and science education and Master's degree in Education (M Ed).
My first employment was as a water-treatment chemist and microbiologist, but I found my calling in education, particularly when supporting learning/teaching communities through the Teacher Mentorship Programme for mathematics and physical science teachers and the bilingual dictionary project for learners whose first language is not English.
My teaching experiences include schools in Pinetown and Kimberley, then Glenstantia Primary in Pretoria, teaching Maths for more than 10 years and Computer Literacy. I am currently teaching and Head of Department of Technology at St Mary's DSG, Junior School, in Pretoria.
I obtained my teaching qualifications at Natal Training College, and followed this with the HDE and FDE diplomas.
I taught senior mathematics and physical science at CITICOL, and senior mathematics at Pretoria High School for Girls before becoming mathematics mentor for TMP (the Teacher Mentorship Programme) at the University of Pretoria. In this time I provided active individualised teacher support on all issues relating to those teachers' classroom experiences, and the negative impact of learners' poor English language proficiency became apparent.
My current role is at the University of the Free State, where I am involved in teacher development, curriculum development for formal ACE qualifications and FETC mathematics teachers, developing and moderating assessment tasks and examination papers, tutor training and presenting short courses in mathematics teaching.
Netta Van Lingen
I have taught maths and science at various High Schools, including as Head of Physical Science; I have also taught Engineering Maths and Science at Ellisras Technical College. After several years as a Senior Experimental Official at Nucor I returned to education and joined TMP (Teacher Mentorship Programme) at University of Pretoria as a science mentor to teachers at township schools, then ran an in-service teacher training programme for all Grade 8 - 12 science teachers in Mamelodi (requested by GDE facilitators). Through all this I realised that the learners' poor language proficiency was an additional hindrance in their physical sciences performance.
My qualifications include a BSc, Post-Grad HED in maths and science education and diploma in Health Physics. I am currently Head of Physical Science at Overkruin High School.
My teaching career spans various schools in Western Cape and Gauteng, with ten year stints at Arcadia Primary School (including as Head of Department - Senior Primary) and at Waterkloof Primary School teaching mainly English and Natural Science.
My qualifications include a Bachelor of Primary Education (BPrimEd) from the University of Cape Town, a degree undertaken after a year in Australia as a Rotary exchange student.
African Language Translations
All translations were done by two companies, Translation World (http://www.translationworld.co.za/) and Language Inc (http://www.language-inc.org/). Both of these companies are registered with SATI, the South African Translators' Institute (http://translators.org.za/sati).
The Staff Profile for Translation World is described as follows: "Our language practitioners team represents the best that the language practicing field has to offer. They are highly qualified professionals and have extensive experience in their field. Every member of our translation and localization team is a trained expert and the majority of them have at least a decade of proven performance in the translation industry. The majority of them hold post graduate university qualifications such as honours, master's and doctorate degrees. They are also mother-tongue speakers of the languages they work with."
Language Inc is "a bespoke translation service provider … an international footprint across five continents with various international clients making use of our superb quality (and) services… We have extensive experience in scientific, technical, … academic and educational texts, … Not only is every Language Inc. service provider a mother-tongue speaker with tertiary education, but all of our specialists have years of experience. Since language services need to be accurate we only use the best professionals to deliver top quality translation services".
The translation of the Science Dictionary into Afrikaans was done by one of the original authors, Netta van Lingen, while the Maths translation was done by Hanlie Verwey (who has years of experience in Maths teaching in Afrikaans at the University of Pretoria) in conjunction with Lizel Meyer, an original author of the dictionary.