RESEP PhD student, Nangamso Mtsatse (27), was recently in the news when the International Literacy Association (ILA) named her as one of the world’s top 30 rising young leaders (under 30 years of age) in the literacy field. ILA is a global organisation that advocates for evidence-based literacy instruction and equitable educational policies.


Mtsatse, who has been a registered PhD student at Stellenbosch University since 2018, says she is humbled and thankful for the opportunity to contribute to and be recognised in her field of research.


Mtsatse’s passion is to improve mother-tongue reading. Her PhD research focuses on reading literacy for African languages in the Foundation Phase. More specifically, the research explores the pedagogy of African languages and the most effective teaching methodology to teach African languages in contrast with the typical Western approach to teaching English. She also will be exploring the quality and validity of reading assessments used for African languages. This research is closely linked to her involvement in Funda Wande, a project that focuses on an evidence-based way of teaching reading in African languages. Her PhD supervisors are RESEP’s Dr Nic Spaull, Funda Wande project director, and Prof. Jonathan Jansen of the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University.