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Frieda Coetzee

Frieda Coetzee

Frieda Coetzee’s sociolinguistic research at the University of Cape Town centres around Kaaps  ̶   one of the most widely spoken Afrikaans language varieties in Cape Town. Her PhD research focuses on language practices around children born to adolescent mothers. Frieda’s interest in Kaaps was initially sparked by her Honours Dissertation, titled, ‘Switching to Son-taal’, a project investigating the linguistic devices employed by the editorial team of the leading tabloid newspaper, the Son, to mirror Kaaps – the language of the paper’s target market.   


Frieda obtained her Master’s Degree (with distinction) in a project exploring ‘grassroots’ family literacy practices in a bilingual (Kaaps/English) socio-economically marginalised neighbourhood in Cape Town. ‘Local and translocal literacies in an ‘urban’ village’ included a neighbourhood survey and ethnographic research in extended family households. The dissertation provided insight into reading practices, as well as the literacies produced for the informal economic sector (including the Linguistic Landscape), religious literacies, and digital literacies by adolescents. 


Frieda’s engagement in this neighbourhood led to her PhD research: an ethnography of language socialization and family language policies around infants born to adolescent mothers    ̶   a previously under-researched family constellation in these fields of study.


Undergraduate and post-graduate level lecturing at UCT have included courses on language socialization, language and gender, as well as narrative analysis. She has presented her research at numerous international conferences and workshops supported by grants from UCT and the Centre for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (University of Oslo). Frieda hails from the Eastern Cape, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Literature, and Sociology at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.


Recent Publications


Coetzee, F.  (2018): Hy leer dit nie hier nie (‘He doesn't learn it here’): talking about children's swearing in extended families in multilingual South Africa.  International Journal of Multilingualism. Special Issue Multilingual families: Aspirations and Challenges. Volume 15 (3). ). (Q1 publication)


Álvarez-Mosquera, P. & Coetzee, F.  (2017): “It makes it legit”: local semiotic perceptions of the linguistic landscape in a market in Soshanguve, South Africa, Social Semiotics. Volume 8 (4). (Q1 publication)


Interests and Current Research Projects

PhD Project: Language socialization practices and family language policies around children born to adolescent mothers in socio-economically marginalized neighbourhoods in Cape Town.


Interests: Multilingualism, Language Socialization, Family Language Policy, Linguistic Landscapes, Digital Literacies, Narrative Analysis


Consultation Times

By appointment


Contact Details

Office address: Room 22, Beattie Building, Upper Campus

Telephone: n/a

Email address: friedacoetzee@gmail.com