Mr Johannes Sibeko



AMA1001, LKH1000, and BCE1120.

Area of expertise / Research interests:

Digital Humanities, Corpus linguistics, Text readability, Linguistic complexity, Assessment of creative writing.


Johannes Sibeko is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Nelson Mandela University. He is currently working towards his PhD in Literature and Literary Studies with a special focus on Digital Humanities in which he is developing a metric for measuring text readability in Sesotho. He holds an MA degree in Applied Language Studies, and Honours and a junior degree in language practice. His teaching experiences include teaching English and Sesotho at the high school level and developing a curriculum for and lecturing Sesotho basic communication skills at North-West University as a junior lecturer. He currently teaches Communications. He writes about assessment, linguistic complexity, digital linguistic resources, and text readability. His co-authored paper on text readability of English exam texts won the best paper award at DHASA2022. His paper on the use of classical readability metrics for assessing text readability in Sesotho was chosen to represent African Digital Humanities centres at the European CLARIN 2022 conference. He is also engaged in the development of basic language resources, including applications such as syllabification systems for Sesotho, text corpora for Sesotho and for the eleven official languages of South Africa. He has also presented basic language resources for Sesotho at both international and national academic conferences. 

Professional profiles:


Journal publlications
  • Sibeko, J. and Van Zaanen, M. 2023. A data set of final year high school examination texts of South African home and first additional language subjects. Journal of Open Humanities Data, 9(1):9.
  • Sibeko, J. 2023. Using classical readability formulas to measure text readability in Sesotho. Selected papers from the CLARIN Annual Conference 2022. Ed. by Tomaž Erjavec and Maria Eskevich. Linköping. Electronic Conference Proceedings, 198, pp. 120–132. DOI:
  • Sibeko, J. and Setaka, M. 2022. An overview of Sesotho BLARK content. Journal of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa, 4(1): 1-12.
  • Sibeko, J. 2022. Tshebediso ya melao kabong ya dinoko tsa Sesotho. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 40(4): 494-506.
  • Sibeko, J., & Setaka, M. 2022. An overview of Sesotho BLARK content. Journal of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa, 4(01): 1-12.
  • Sibeko, J. 2022. Exploring linguistic complexity of English First Additional Language Grade 12 and Grade 11 exam texts. Journal of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa, 4(02): 1-11.
  • Sibeko, J., 2021. A comparative analysis of grade 12 English home language and English first additional language linguistic complexity. Per Linguam, 37(2): 50-64.
  • Sibeko, J., 2020. An evaluation of the assessment of creative writing essays in the Further Education and Training band. Journal for Language Teaching, 54(1): 151-173.
  • Sibeko, J., 2017. A bilingual English-Sesotho rubric explanation guide for the marking of Sesotho home language creative writing essays. Journal for Language Teaching= Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi= Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig, 51(1), pp.69-93. Available at:
Confrence Proceedings
  • Sibeko, J. 2023. Developing Sesotho Readability Assessment: Challenges and Solutions. First Workshop on Readability for Low-Resourced Languages (RLRL 2023). 5 September 2023. ONLINE.
  • Sibeko, J. and Lemeko, PA. 2023. Developing a Text Readability Corpus using Google Translate for Low-Resourced South African Indigenous Languages. Sol Plaatje University International Language Conference. 6 – 8 September 2023. Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.
  • Sibeko, J. and De Clercq, O. 2023. A Corpus-Based List of Frequently Used Words in Sesotho. Proceedings of the fourth workshop of Resources for African Indigenous Languages (RAIL), 2-6 May, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Association for Computational Linguistics.
  • Sibeko, J. and Setaka, M. 2023. Evaluating the Sesotho rule-based syllabification system on Sepedi and Setswana words. Proceedings of the fourth workshop of Resources for African Indigenous Languages (RAIL), 2-6 May, Dubrovnik, Croatia. ACL.
  • Sibeko, J. 2022. In Erjavec, T., and Eskevich, M (eds). CLARIN Annual Conference Proceedings, 10-12 October, Prague, Czechia. [PhD student paper].
  • Sibeko, J. and van Zaanen. 2022. Developing a text readability system for Sesotho based on classical readability metrics. Digital Humanities DH2022 conference: Responding to Asian Diversity. July, 25 – 29, 2022. University of Tokyo, Japan. [Short paper]. pp. 571 – 572. see
  • Sibeko, J. and van Zaanen M. 2021. An analysis of readability metrics on English exam texts. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa 2021. November 29 – December 03. Virtual Conference. [Full Paper]. Abstract available at: