“Beyond the immediacy”: Axiological experiences of engineering students during the “new normal”

Keywords: writing centres, scientific report writing, soft skills for engineers, electrical engineering, axiological condensation, scientific discourse Ubuntu, pedagogy of wholeness


Writing Centre Intervention (WCI) in the faculty is a pedagogical resource to facilitate the students’ academic literacy development. In our universities, literacy development focuses mainly on enhancing students’ cognitive, linguistic and epistemological experiences – with little attention given to the psycho-social and ontological dimensions of learning, especially in the science related fields such as electrical engineering. This paper draws on Academic Literacies, Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory to study the axiological experiences of first year electrical engineering students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). The participants for the study were drawn from the students who participated in the WCI, a collaborative, interdisciplinary project designed to help electrical engineering first year students to develop “soft skills” alongside technical-scientific knowledge. Since the workshops were facilitated under Covid-19 lock down restrictions, blended learning was employed. Interviews were conducted via MS Teams. The participants’ utterances demonstrated a mixed bag of emotions, an ideological shift, albeit at different degrees, and strong attitudes toward the learning of the engineering “soft skills”. Therefore, the study calls for a pedagogy of wholeness wherein the epistemological, spiritual, axiological and ontological dimensions of learning are attended to and activated in order to move students’ perceptions “beyond the immediacy” of the current experience.


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Author Biographies

Thembinkosi Mtonjeni, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Thembinkosi Mtonjeni is an Academic Literacy Lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). He has the experience of working in the Writing Centre for more than two decades (since 2001). He is passionate about the student’s academic literacy development, decolonisation of curriculum and the cultivation of student’s disposition for dialectical and dialogical thinking. His research interests range from student writing, academic literacies, translanguaging methodologies, Euclidean Geometry, decoloniality, African Philosophy of Ubuntu to decolonial linguistics.

Puleng Sefalane-Nkohla , Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Puleng Sefalane- Nkohla is working at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) as an Academic Literacy Lecturer in the Writing Centre with vast experience in leading and coordinating the Writing Centre at CPUT. Her research interests are in student writing in higher education, second language writing, academic development of students and leadership in higher education.

How to Cite
Mtonjeni, T., & Sefalane-Nkohla , P. (2023). “Beyond the immediacy”: Axiological experiences of engineering students during the “new normal”. Journal for Language Teaching , 57(1), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.56285/jltVol57iss1a5264