Research interests: Second language teaching and learning; sociolinguistics.
Tessa Dowling is a Senior Lecturer in the African Languages and Literatures Section. She holds a PhD in African Languages from the University of Cape Town where she is responsible for, and lectures in, the Xhosa Communication Major (Xhosa 2nd Language Stream).
She has twice won the South African Journal of African Languages award for best linguistics article and has also received the Provincial Arts and Culture Award for the promotion of multilingualism through the official languages.
She has successfully supervised both MA and PhD students, some of whom have gone on to study and work at European and British universities.
From 1997 to 2008 Tessa was Director of African Voices, a multimedia development company. Her company produced the CD-ROM and textbook “Speak Xhosa With Us” which was given top marks by Yale University’s Software Review panel and is still considered a classic resource for learning Xhosa.
She is an active researcher, particularly in the field of African languages in the media and language change in Xhosa (see publications).
Tessa has appeared on television and radio on the topic of the teaching and learning African languages as second languages at schools.