Ian Raper holds a masters degree from Wits University and a doctorate from RAU (now the University of Johannesburg). He taught for several years at English medium schools in Johannesburg, namely Highlands North and Damelin College, before being seconded as a senior lecturer to the Johannesburg College of Education, where he worked for seven years. He spent a year at the Education Bureau in Pretoria, and was a member of provincial setworks, syllabus and matric examination panels. He later held a post at the University of South Africa (senior lecturer) and was recruited by the newly established University of Venda (professor, head of department and later dean). He was recruited during a sabbatical in 1995 as head of the Bureau for Scientific Publications, publishing 21 research journals for scientific societies. Currently he teaches and workshops poets informally on Saturday afternoons, has published a biography of opera legend Mimi Coertse: in English "A Life to Sing" and in Afrikaans "'n Stem vir Suid-Afrika". He has compiled two anthologies, one on request by Pretoria poets: Verskeurings; the other an ebook on CD (Klikspringer), produced a volume of his own poetry (Oorlopers, published by Cordis Trust), and gives monthly talks on poets and poetry in Pretoria. He owns Rosslyn Press Publishers, www.rosslynpublishers.com. While in Venda, Ian realised that the greatest obstacle for his students to secondary and university learning was, and still is, the medium of instruction: English. He founded a non-racial English language school in Thohoyandou. At this school, Liivha, as well as at the University and at teachers' colleges, it was possible to research the needs of African Language speaking students using English as a medium of instruction.