Browsing by Author "King, Carly"
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- ItemExploring the use of visual aids as tool to understanding subject specific terminology in life sciences(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-12) King, Carly; Daniels, Doria; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT : In many South African schools the language needs of an increasingly diverse and multilingual learner population presents one of the greatest challenges to teaching and learning. This challenge stems from learners being taught in languages in which they are not necessarily conversant. In a subject such as Life Sciences, the already challenging situation of trying to master basic language skills is further complicated by specialist scientific vocabulary. The identified research problem was that Grade 10 learners who are taught in a language other than their mother tongue are disadvantaged by their inability to master the terminology and basic concepts in the Life Sciences curriculum. I argued that second language students’ comprehension could be improved with the use of visual materials during lessons. A programme was implemented for a purposively selected group of Grade 10 learners using a participatory action research design. Visual aids were utilised as a tool to facilitate students’ understanding of Life Sciences. Over a period of four weeks the group of Grade 10 learners taking Life Sciences and being taught in a language other than their mother tongue, took part in the programme after school. The teaching strategy introduced a variety of visual tools to facilitate comprehension during experiments and demonstrations. The aim with the visual stimulation and activities was to encourage student-centered learning. In addition, this was done to bridge the language barrier and to enable students to access information in a practical way. The findings show that communication among learners improved through peer mediation where students helped one another to make appropriate connections. The group work subsequently stimulated interaction and provided opportunities for conversation and mediation among peers. Students took charge of their own learning, which gave them a greater sense of independence and allowed them to construct their own knowledge based on their experiences. This in turn led to improved cognition, as learners began to develop a better understanding of the subject matter, which ultimately allowed them to build more comprehensive cognitive structures and enhanced their retention of information.