The influence a reading intervention programme for grade 8 learners in their first language (Afrikaans) has on their first and second language (English) reading skills

Stofberg, Elmarie (2011-12)

Thesis (MPhil )--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: An increasing number of studies indicate that South African learners' literacy levels are deplorably low. According to one international study, the Progress in International Literacy Study (PIRLS), conducted in 2006, South African grade 4 learners' literacy levels are the lowest of the 40 countries that participated in the study. The results of the first Annual National Assessment (ANA), conducted in 2011, show that the average literacy performance of grade 3 learners in South Africa lies at 35%. Even though numerous reasons can be presented for these low literacy levels - amongst others, large classes, insufficient teacher training, insufficient educational practices (especially the fact that so little time is spent on reading instruction), and a lack of teaching material - the blame is often cast on the insufficient language proficiency of South African learners. South African learners often receive education in a language which is not their first language. A large number of learners only receive education in their first language for the first three years of their school career and thereafter English usually becomes the language of learning and teaching. It is, however, not only those learners who receive education in their second language who have low literacy skills. Learners who receive education in their first language also encounter problems. The aim of this study was to determine whether a reading intervention programme, designed on the basis of the most recent research on reading, could improve the reading comprehension skills of grade 8 learners in their first language Afrikaans and whether these skills could be transferred to their second language English. The study showed that there was a significant improvement in the participating learners' reading comprehension skills in their first language Afrikaans, as well as in their second language English, even though the reading intervention was only offered in Afrikaans. According to the results of this study, it seems that reading comprehension skills which are acquired in the first language can indeed be transferred to a second language. The implications of these findings for first and second language literacy development are discussed in the final chapter of the thesis.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Toenemende aantal studies dui daarop dat Suid-Afrikaanse leerders se geletterdheidsvlakke kommerwekkend laag is. Volgens een internasionale studie, die Progress in International Literacy Study (PIRLS), wat in 2006 gedoen is, is Suid-Afrikaanse graad 4-leerders se geletterdheidsvlakke die laagste van die 40 lande wat deelgeneem het. Die resultate van die eerste Annual National Assessment (ANA) wat in 2011 gedoen is, wys dat graad 3-leerders in Suid-Afrika se gemiddelde prestasie vir geletterdheid slegs 35% is. Hoewel talle redes vir hierdie lae geletterdheidsvlakke aangebied kan word - waaronder groot klasse, onvoldoende onderwyseropleiding, onvoldoende onderrigpraktyke (veral dat daar te min tyd aan leesonderrig bestee word) en 'n gebrek aan onderrigmateriaal - word die blaam dikwels geplaas op die onvoldoende taalvaardighede van Suid-Afrikaanse leerders. Suid-Afrikaanse leerders gaan dikwels skool in 'n taal wat nie hul eerste taal is nie. Talle leerders ontvang slegs vir die eerste drie jaar van hul skoolloopbaan onderrig in hul eerste taal en daarna word Engels gewoonlik die taal van leer en onderrig. Dit is egter nie net die leerders wat in hul tweede taal onderrig ontvang, wat lae geletterdheidsvlakke het nie. Leerders wat in hul eerste taal onderrig ontvang, ondervind ook probleme. Die doel van hierdie studie was om vas te stel of 'n leesintervensieprogram, wat geskoei is op die nuutste navorsing oor lees, die leesbegripsvaardighede van graad 8-leerders in hul eerste taal Afrikaans kan verbeter en of hierdie vaardighede oorgedra kan word op hul tweede taal Engels. Die studie het aangedui dat daar 'n beduidende verbetering in die leerders se leesbegripsvaardighede in hul eerste taal Afrikaans sowel as hul tweede taal Engels was, alhoewel die leesintervensie slegs in Afrikaans aangebied is. Volgens die resultate van die studie wil dit voorkom asof leesbegripsvaardighede wat in die eerste taal verwerf word, oorgedra kan word na 'n tweede taal. Die implikasies van hierdie bevindinge vir die ontwikkeling van geletterdheid in 'n eerste en tweede taal, word in die finale hoofstuk van die tesis bespreek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18016
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