About the Open Educational Resource Term Bank
The purpose of the Open Resource Term Bank (OERTB) project is to support the collaborative development and dissemination of terminological resources, and thereby promoting the use of African languages in teaching and learning at higher education institutions. More specifically, the project is aimed at promoting the African languages as vehicles for comprehending threshold concepts in academic disciplines through practices such as translanguaging – the process and practice of shuttling between students’ home languages and English to facilitate comprehension, foster social cohesion and recognise students' linguistic identities.
Core activities include: keeping up with audit lists; consolidating existing terminological products; identifying gaps in subject fields; building subject specific corpora (in English) in identified subject fields; semi-automatic extraction of term-, linguistic-, and encyclopaedic information; verification of terminological information by subject field experts; defining concepts and adding other terminological data by subject field experts; translating terminological data into the 10 other official languages of South Africa; verification by language boards; entering the data into the database; incorporating feedback; and researching strategies on how to use terminology products that are available online in learning environments and to measure the effectiveness thereof.
The primary beneficiaries of the project are students, who will be afforded the opportunity to access key concepts in their different subject fields through the medium of their home languages. Giving these students free access to an internet-based terminology data bank, which contains not only term equivalents for key concepts in the African languages, but also well-crafted conceptual definitions, should aid in the conceptualisation of subject content. Rigorous terminology development and effective terminology management will contribute to the development of the African languages as languages of higher functions, including scientific discourse.
OERTB is a DHET-funded project that is being developed by the University of Pretoria (UP) and the University of Cape Town (UCT), under the leadership of Professors Adelia Carstens, Elsabé Taljard and Mbulungeni Madiba. Many South African universities are collaborating with UP and UCT. The website has been developed by TshwaneDJe and implemented using the tlTerm Terminology Software and TLex Online platform developed by David Joffe and Malcolm MacLeod.