First additional language teaching in selected Grade 4 - 6 classes in Western Cape urban schools : the case of Afrikaans

Thornhill, Christa (2014-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate and describe the current state of Afrikaans FAL teaching in selected Gr 4 – 6 classes in Western Cape urban schools. This was done by presenting an overview of the literature relevant to FAL teaching and FAL curricula as well as the results from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with Gr 4 – 6 teachers. This study does not offer a quick-fix solution to the problems in the Afrikaans FAL classrooms, but the researcher believes that the findings will highlight the daily challenges Afrikaans FAL teachers have to face and that all role players will become actively involved in improving the state of Afrikaans FAL teaching in the Western Cape. The relevance of this study lies in the national drive towards the promotion of multilingualism among the general population and especially in education. Feedback from student teachers returning from practice teaching indicated that not enough time is allocated by schools for the instruction of Afrikaans FAL; greatly differing methodologies as well as teaching and learning materials are being used in Afrikaans FAL classes; and learner and teacher Afrikaans proficiency varies from class to class. A theoretical framework for language teaching and learning, a literature study pertaining to first additional language teaching nationally and internationally, and an analysis of South African FAL curricula support the research. Constructivism, social constructivism and teacher knowledge were identified as the underpinning theories for language teaching and learning. The literature study provides an overview of all the major methodologies relevant to FAL teaching and the researcher concluded that there is no single method or approach that will ensure effective FAL teaching, but that teachers should implement an eclectic approach to achieve the best results. This study used a mixed methods approach to generate empirical data; 125 questionnaires, completed by Grade 4 – 6 Afrikaans FAL teachers, provided the quantitative data. For the qualitative strand of the study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 Afrikaans FAL teachers. The data of these interviews were used as triangulation, to confirm or disconfirm and elaborate on the results of the questionnaires. One of the major factors impacting negatively on the teaching and learning of Afrikaans FAL is the negative attitude towards Afrikaans among many learners and their parents. Teachers are not equipped with teaching strategies and techniques to manage these negative attitudes. The results show that many teachers still follow a teacher-centred approach to teaching, which is an indication that learners are not given enough opportunities to develop their communicative competence through interaction with others. Another factor affecting Afrikaans FAL teaching negatively is that not all schools implement the prescriptions of the various language policies and curricula as they should. The study also investigated the use of appropriate and relevant learning and teaching support materials (LTSM) in the FAL classroom. The results showed that most teachers still mainly use the textbook as teaching resource. There is a dire need for appropriate Afrikaans LTSM for FAL. The expectation is that, in the age of technology we find ourselves in today, learners’ interest will be stimulated through the use of technological teaching aids. Teachers should therefore have access to, and use, a variety of media and technological teaching aids and be able to integrate them effectively into their language teaching. The findings of the study revealed teachers are caught up in traditional language teaching methods and strategies which do not contribute to the enhancement of learners’ proficiency in the target language. The study also closely examined the different types of knowledge that a language teacher should have. The results showed that the teachers’ knowledge of the curriculum, language policies, language teaching and learning theories as well as methodologies is extremely limited. Therefore a new method or approach is needed, which is why this study recommends that the HEIs and the WCED ensure that initial teacher training programmes and in-service training workshops are upgraded and adapted in order to prepare the teachers adequately to implement the prescribed curriculum using appropriate methodologies and strategies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om die huidige stand van Afrikaans Eerste Addisionele Taal (EAT) onderrig in gekose Gr 4 – 6 klasse in Wes-Kaapse stedelike skole te ondersoek en beskryf. Dit is gedoen by wyse van die aanbieding van ’n oorsig van die betrokke literatuur oor EAT-onderrig en EAT-kurrikula, asook die resultate van vraelyste en semigestruktureerde onderhoude met Gr 4 – 6-onderwysers. Hierdie studie bied nie ’n kitsoplossing vir die probleme in die Afrikaans EAT klaskamers nie, maar die navorser glo dat die bevindinge die uitdagings wat Afrikaans EAT-onderwysers daagliks trotseer, sal beklemtoon en dat alle rolspelers aktief betrokke sal raak om die stand van Afrikaans EAT onderrig in die Wes-Kaap te verbeter. Die toepaslikheid van hierdie studie is gesetel in die nasionale klem op die bevordering van meertaligheid onder die algemene pupliek en veral in die onderwys. Studente terugvoer na die praktiese onderwys dui daarop dat nie genoeg tyd aan die onderrig van Afrkaans EAT in skole bewillig word nie en dat daar ‘n groot verskeidenheid onderrigmetodes en onderrig- en leerhulpmiddels in Afrikaans EAT-klasse aangewend word. Leerders en onderwysers se vaardigheid in Afrikaans wissel ook van klas tot klas. Die navorsing is ondersteun deur ‘n teoretiese raamwerk van taalonderrig en –leer, ‘n literatuurstudie van eerste addisionele taalonderrig, nasionaal sowel as internasionaal, asook ‘n analise van Suid-Afrikaanse EAT-kurrikula. Konstruktivisme. sosio-konstruktivisme en onderwyser kennis is geïdentifiseer as die teoretiese begronding vir taalonderrig en –leer. Die literatuurstudie gee ‘n oorsig van al die belangrike en relevante EAT-metodieke. Die navorser het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat nie een enkele metode of benadering effektiewe EAT-onderrig kan verseker nie, maar dat onderwysers ‘n eklektiese benadering behoort te volg om die beste resultate te verseker. Hierdie studie het ‘n gemengde navorsingsbenadering gevolg ten einde empiriese data te genereer. Die kwantatiewe data is ingesamel by wyse van talle vraelyste wat deur Gr 4 – 6 Afrikaans EAT-onderwysers voltooi is. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is met 17 Afrikaans EAT-onderwysers gevoer ten einde die kwalitatiewe data in te samel. Die data van hierdie onderhoude is gebruik as tri-angulasie om die resultate van die vraelyste te bevestig of te weerspreek. Een van die belangrikste faktore wat die onderrig en leer van Afrikaans EAT negatief beïnvloed, is baie leerders en ouers se negatiewe houding teenoor Afrikaans. Onderwysers is nie toegerus met die nodige onderrigstrategieë en –tegnieke om hierdie negatiewe houdings aan te spreek nie. Die resultate wys daarop dat baie onderwysers steeds ’n onderwyser-gerigte benadering volg wat daartoe lei dat die leerders nie genoegsame geleentheide kry om hulle kommunikatiewe vaardighede by wyse van interaksie met ander te ontwikkel nie. ‘n Ander faktor wat Afrikaans EAT-onderrig negatief beïnvloed, is die feit dat nie alle skole die voorskrifte van die verskillende taalbeleide en kurrikula implementeer soos van hulle verwag word nie. Hierdie studie het ook die gebruik van gepaste en relevante onderrig- en leerondersteuningsmateriaal in die EAT-klaskamer ondersoek. Die resultate het daarop gedui dat die meeste onderwysers nog steeds die handboek as belangrikste onderrighulpmiddel gebruik. Daar bestaan ‘n geweldige behoefte na gepaste Afrikaanse onderrig- en leermateriaal vir EAT. In die tegnologiese era waarin ons ons bevind, bestaan die verwagting dat leerders se belangstelling gestimuleer sal word deur die gebruik van tegnologiese onderrigmateriaal. Onderwysers behoort dus toegang te hê tot en ‘n wye verskeidenheid media en tegnologiese onderrigmateriaal te kan gebruik en in staat wees om dit suksesvol te integreer in hulle taalonderrig. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie het gewys dat onderwysers vasgevang is in tradisionele taalonderrigmetodes en –strategieë wat nie bydra tot die ontwikkeling van die leerders se vaardigheid in die teikentaal nie. Die verskillende soorte kennis waaroor ‘n taalonderwyser behoort te beskik is ook onder die vergrootglas geplaas. Die resultate het getoon dat die onderwysers se kennis van die kurrikulum, taalbeleid, taalonderrig en –leerteorieë en metodieke uiters beperk is. Daar is dus ‘n behoefte aan ‘n nuwe metode of benadering en daarom beveel hierdie studie aan dat onderwyseropleidingsprogramme en indiensopleidingswerkswinkels opgegradeer en aangepas word deur die Hoëronderwysinstellings en die WKOD om te verseker dat onderwysers voldoende voorberei word om gepaste metodieke en strategieë toe te pas in die implementering van die voorgeskrewe kurrikula.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95918
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