A Narrative Enrichment Programme in literacy development of Afrikaans speaking Grade 3 learners in monolingual rural schools

Brand, Irene (2015-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is motivated by existing information on the discontinuity between home literacy practices and school literacy expectations of learners who typically speak a local variety of their mothertongue which is in various ways different from the standardised language of learning and teaching (LoLT). In this particular case the study refers to Afrikaans as a home language and language in education. The main concern is that these learners typically perform below par in standardised South African literacy tests such as the Annual National Assessment (ANA) and the Systemic Evaluation Test. They show slower achievement of literacy milestones, higher school drop-out rates and less achievement of access to higher learning opportunities (Lahire, 1995; Siegel, 2007). A Narrative Enrichment Programme was developed as a means of investigating questions concerning learners’ levels of language awareness, their understanding and use of different spoken and written genres, registers and varieties of Afrikaans (including their own), and their general appreciation for spoken and written forms of language in narrative and in other everyday uses. The purpose of such an investigation is to better understand the apparent discontinuity between home language practices and school language expectations, and to suggest new ways of addressing difficulties that arise in literacy development as a result of such discontinuity. The first part of the Narrative Enrichment Programme provided learners with an enriched reading, listening and writing environment in which they could engage with novel stories and work towards producing their own little books. The second part of the programme consisted of supporting exercises that addressed narrative structure issues that arose in the course of the first part. Specifically, exercises of picture-sequencing, picture-sentence matching and an exercise called Beginning, Middle and End were used to assess how learners recount the various components and the chronology of a story that was presented to them in the form of a set of topically connected pictures, and in a longer narrative that was read to them. Findings show that learners have a keen appreciation of the spoken form of language in that they loved listening to the stories. One group showed special enthusiasm for retelling stories that they had heard at home. Another aspect of the programme to which learners responded enthusiastically, was the activity of illustrating little books; this they appeared to enjoy more than writing them. Enthusiastic responses of learners are attended to because learning is much more likely to proceed successfully if learners enjoy the developmental activities. Levels of linguistic awareness with regards to genre, register and grammatical aspects such as spelling differed from learner to learner. Learners showed varying degrees of dependence on the already familiar genres of fables and fairy tales. Regarding writing conventions they also showed varying degrees of awareness of (e.g.) appropriate punctuation. Interesting examples of regional language use which included phonological awareness of the spoken form are discussed in considerable detail. There were unexpected findings regarding the influence that learners’ life experiences have on their narrative products. The picture sequencing activities reflected learners’ use of familiar everyday events and artefacts rather than reference to ones unfamiliar to them, which were apparently intended in the set of pictures. The rich and varied data that was collected, illustrates theoretical positions regarding the different kinds of habitus learners encounter, the ways in which educational systems privilege some linguistic resources above others, the connections between language and identity, and the ways in which new forms of literacy may assist in better facilitating learners’ emerging literacy and the learning that such literacy should facilitate.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie is gemotiveer deur inligting oor die diskontinuïteit tussen tuisgebaseerde geletterdheidspraktyke en skoolgeletterdheidsverwagtinge van leerders wat tipies ’n plaaslike variant van hulle moedertaal praat, wat op verskeie maniere verskil van die gestandardiseerde taal wat as medium van onderrig gebruik word. In hierdie geval verwys die studie na Afrikaans as huistaal en taal-in-onderrig. Die kwessies wat hier ter sake is, is dat hierdie leerders tipies benede die verwagtinge presteer in gestandaardiseerde Suid Afrikaanse geletterdheidstoetse soos die Jaarlikse Nasionale Assessering (ANA) en die Sistemiese Evalueringstoets. Hulle bereik geletterdheidsmylpale stadiger as die norm, vertoon hoër skooluitsaksyfers en minder van hulle behaal toegang tot hoër onderwysgeleenthede (Lahire, 1995; Siegel, 2007). ʼn Narratiewe Verrykingsprogram is ontwikkel as ʼn instrument om vrae te ondersoek wat verband hou met leerders se vlakke van taalbewustheid, hulle begrip en gebruik van verskillende gesproke en geskrewe genres, registers en variante van Afrikaans (insluitend hulle eie), en hul algemene waardering vir gesproke en geskrewe vorme van taal in narratief en in ander alledaagse gebruike. Die doel van so 'n ondersoek is om die ooglopende diskontinuïteit tussen huistaalpraktyke en skooltaalverwagtinge beter te verstaan, en om voorstelle te ontwikkel vir die aanspreek van probleme wat in geletterdheisontwikkeling ontstaan as gevolg van so ʼn diskontinuïteit. Die eerste deel van die Narratiewe Verrykingsprogram het leerders voorsien van 'n verrykte omgewing waarin hulle aktief betrokke kon raak by nuwe verhale en kon werk aan die produksie van hul eie klein boekies. Die tweede deel van die program het bestaan uit ondersteuningsoefeninge wat spesifiek kwessies van narratiefstruktuur wat in die eerste deel na vore gekom het, aangespreek het. Meer spesifiek, prentorganiseringsoefeninge, die verbind van sinne aan illustrasies, en 'n oefening genaamd “Begin, Middel en Einde” is gebruik om na te gaan hoe leerders rekenskap gee van die verskillende komponente en die chronologie van ’n verhaal wat aan hulle voorgehou is in die vorm van ʼn stel tematies verwante illustrasies, en in ʼn langer narratief wat aan hulle voorgelees is. Bevindinge toon dat leerders waardering vir die gesproke vorm van taal het, soos geïllustreer in hulle luistergereedheid as stories voorgelees word. Een groep het entoesiasme getoon vir die oorvertel van stories wat hulle by die huis gehoor het. ’n Ander aspek van die program waarop leerders met entoesiasme gereageer het, was die aktiwiteit van illustrasie van hulle boekies; hulle het kennelik die aanbied van visuele illustrasies meer geniet as die skryfproses. Entoesiasme van leerders is as belangrik beskou omdat leerprosesse baie meer waarskynlik geslaagd sal wees as leerders die ontwikkelingsaktiwiteit geniet. Vlakke van taalbewustheid ten opsigte van genre, register en grammatikale aspekte soos spelling, verskil van een leerder tot ’n volgende. Leerders het verskillende grade van afhanklikheid getoon van die fabel- en sprokiegenres. Betreffende skryfkonvensies het hulle wisselende grade van bewustheid getoon van (bv.) gepaste leestekengebruik. Interessante voorbeelde van die gebruik van streektaal, wat fonologiese bewussyn van die gesproke vorm insluit, word in besonderhede bespreek. Daar was onvoorsiene bevindinge betreffende die invloed wat leerders se lewenservaringe op hulle narratiewe produkte gehad het. Die prentordeningsaktiwiteite het leerders se gebruik van bekende alledaagse gebeure en artefakte gereflekteer; hulle het nie verwys na wat vir hulle onbekend was nie al het die stel prente oënskynlik iets anders beoog as wat die leerders daarvan gemaak het. Die ryk en gevarieerde data wat versamel is, illustreer teoretiese posisies rakende die verskillende soorte habitus waarmee leerders gekonfronteer word, die wyse waarop onderwyssisteme party soorte taalvaardighede bo ander reken, die verbande tussen taal en identiteit, en die maniere waarop nuwe vorme van geletterdheid ingespan kan word om leerders se ontluikende geletterdheid en die leergeleenthede wat sodanige geletterdheid fasiliteer, te bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98066
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