The use of multilingual glossaries in enhancing the academic achievement of Extended Degree Programme students in a mainstream subject

Jonker, Anita (2016-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: One of the explanations for South African students’ poor performance at university, is the apparent mismatch or discontinuity between the exit level of secondary education and the entry level of higher education – the so-called articulation gap. In addition to the articulation gap that has to be bridged, South African universities are faced with the specific challenge that students increasingly have to learn through the medium of English, which is often not their first language or a language in which they are sufficiently proficient. While students’ poor performance at university cannot be attributed to learning in an additional language as such, it becomes an aggravating factor when these students also come from educationally, socially and/or historically disadvantaged backgrounds. The current study was done in the Extended Degree Programme (EDP) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University which makes provision inter alia for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who often have to learn in an additional language. The research problem that gave rise to this specific study was the marked discrepancy over an extended period between EDP students’ pass rates in their mainstream subjects compared to their mainstream peers in the same period. A limited set of data indicated that students performed better in their EDP support subject, Introduction to the Humanities, when they were explicitly taught and assessed on the technical terminology of a new subject field. The current study aimed to establish through a formal empirical investigation whether systematic exposure to the multilingual subject-specific terminology of a mainstream discipline can also help to improve EDP students’ pass rates in that discipline. In addition, it aimed to identify strategies to enhance these students’ experience of success. The study was done within the critical realist paradigm which acknowledges that there are events and discourses that generate the reality of the social world. In terms of this epistemology we can only change the social world if we identify the structures that gave rise to dominant events and discourses. Once we identify these structures and change them, we can counteract inequality and injustice. Before the formal study was done in two Political Science mainstream modules, the English glossaries of the two prescribed textbooks were translated into Afrikaans and isiXhosa. EDP students with Political Science as mainstream subject were invited to attend weekly technical terminology tutorials for two terms. The teaching was aligned with the teaching and learning frameworks of the two separate Political Science modules and was based on the translated trilingual Political Science glossaries. After the intervention the EDP focus group module averages were on a par with those of mainstream students and the EDP focus group’s pass rates in both Political Science modules not only surpassed those of the control group of the same year, but were also higher than the pass rates of the mainstream students in 2013. It therefore seemed from the results of the quantitative analysis that the technical terminology intervention based on the trilingual Political Science glossaries had a positive result on EDP students’ pass rates. The qualitative study analysed the two Political Science module frameworks, semi-structured interviews with the lecturers; student questionnaires before and after the technical terminology intervention, EDP students’ written essays, as well as the test and examination papers of the two Political Science modules to establish whether students’ improved pass rates were also reflected in their experience of success. The triangulation of the results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses, showed that the qualitative analyses seemed to corroborate the results of the quantitative study. The findings of the current study thus support the hypothesis that multilingual technical (subject-specific) terminological interventions can play a significant role in improving EDP students’ pass rates in their mainstream subjects, as well as their experience of success, especially when it forms an integral part of the mainstream curriculum.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Een van die verklarings vir die swak prestasie van Suid-Afrikaanse studente op universiteit, hou verband met die klaarblyklike diskontinuïteit tussen die uittreevlak van sekondêre onderwys en die intreevlak van hoër onderwys – die sogenaamde artikulasiegaping. Afgesien van die artikulasiegaping wat oorbrug moet word, staar Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite boonop die uitdaging in die gesig dat studente toenemend in Engels moet leer, wat dikwels nie hul moedertaal is nie en ook nie ‘n taal wat hulle voldoende beheers nie. Hoewel studente se swak prestasie op universiteit nie sonder meer daaraan toegeskryf kan word dat hulle in ‘n addisionele taal leer nie, is dit ‘n verswarende faktor indien hierdie studente ook afkomstig is uit opvoedkundig, maatskaplik en/of histories benadeelde agtergronde. Hierdie studie is gedoen in die Verlengde Graadprogram (VGP) in die Fakulteit Lettere en Sosiale Wetenskappe, Universiteit Stellenbosch wat onder meer voorsiening maak vir studente uit benadeelde agtergronde, waar sulke studente dikwels ook in ‘n addisionele taal moet leer. Die navorsingsprobleem wat aanleiding gegee het tot hierdie studie, was die merkbare verskil wat oor ‘n geruime tyd waargeneem is tussen VGP-studente en hoofstroomstudente se slaagsyfers in hul hoofstroomvakke. ‘n Beperkte datastel het getoon dat VGP-studente beter presteer in hul VGP-steunvak, Inleiding tot die Geesteswetenskappe, wanneer hulle eksplisiet geleer en geassesseer word oor die tegniese terminologie van ‘n nuwe vakgebied. Die doel van die studie was om deur middel van ‘n formele empiriese ondersoek vas te stel of sistematiese blootstelling aan veeltalige vakspesifieke terminologie van ‘n hoofstroomdissipline, daartoe kan bydra om VGP-studente se slaagsyfers in daardie dissipline te verbeter. Verder was die studie daarop gemik om strategieë te identifiseer om hierdie studente se ervaring van sukses te verbeter. Die studie is gedoen binne die raamwerk van kritiese realisme, wat aanvoer dat daar gebeure en diskoerse is wat daartoe bydra om die werklikheid van die sosiale wêreld te skep. Volgens hierdie epistemologie kan ons slegs die sosiale wêreld verander as ons die strukture identifiseer wat tot oorheersende gebeure en diskoerse aanleiding gegee het. Eers wanneer ons hierdie strukture identifiseer en verander, kan ons ongelykheid en ongeregtigheid teenwerk. Voordat die studie in twee hoofstroommodules in Politieke Wetenskap gedoen is, is die Engelse woordelyste van die twee voorgeskrewe handboeke in Afrikaans en isiXhosa vertaal. VGP-studente met Politieke Wetenskap as hoofvak is genooi om vir twee kwartale lank weekliks tegniese terminologie tutoriale by te woon. Die onderrig is belyn met die leer- en onderrigraamwerke van die twee Politieke Wetenskapmodules en is gebaseer op die vertaalde drietalige Politieke Wetenskapwoordelyste. Na die intervensie was die VGP-fokusgroep se module-gemiddeldes op ‘n vergelykbare vlak met dié van hoofstroomstudente en die slaagsyfers van die VGP-fokusgroep in albei Politieke Wetenskapmodules het nie net dié van die kontrolegroep wat nie in 2013 aan die intervensie blootgestel is nie, oortref nie, maar was ook hoër as die slaagsyfers van die hoofstroomstudente in 2013. Die resultate van die kwantitatiewe ontleding het getoon dat die itegniese terminologie intervensie gebaseer op die drietalige Politieke Wetenskapwoordelyste ‘n positiewe uitwerking op VGP-studente se slaagsyfers gehad het. Die kwalitatiewe analise het die volgende ingesluit: die twee Politieke Wetenskapmoduleraamwerke, semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met die dosente, studentevraelyste voor en na die tegniese terminologie intervensie, VGP-studente se geskrewe opstelle, asook die toets- en eksamenvraestelle van die twee Politieke Wetenskapmodules. Die doel hiermee was om vas te stel of studente se verbeterde slaagsyfers ook weerspieël is in hul ervaring van sukses. Die triangulering van die resultate van die kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe ontledings het getoon dat die kwalitatiewe ontleding die resultate van die kwantitatiewe ontleding bevestig. Die bevindings van hierdie studie bied dus ondersteuning vir die hipotese dat veeltalige tegniese (vakspesifieke) terminologiese intervensies ‘n belangrike rol in die verbetering van VGP-studente se slaagsyfers in hul hoofstroomvakke, sowel as hul ervaring van sukses, kan speel, veral wanneer dit ‘n integrale deel van die hoofstroomkurrikulum vorm.

ISISHWANKATHELO: Enye yeenkcazelo zokwenza kakubi eyunivesithi kwabafundi baseMzantsi Afrika, ibalelwa ekungalinganini okanye ekungadibanini okuphakathi kwenqanaba lokuphuma kwimfundo yasesekondari nenqanaba lokungena kwimfundo ephakamileyo – into ebizwa njengesithuba esingadibaniyo. Ukongeza kwisithuba esingadibaniyo ekufanele yoyiswe, iiyunivesithi zaseMzantsi Afrika zijamelene nomngeni okhethekileyo wokuba abafundi kufuneka bafunde ngesiNgesi, engasilulo ulwimi lwabo lokuqala okanye ulwimi abanobugcina obaneleyo kulo. Ngelixa ukwenza kakubi kwabafundi eyunivesithi kungenakubalelwa kulwimi olongezelelweyo, le nto iba ngumbandela oyandisayo le meko imbi xa aba bafundi bavela kwiimvelaphi ezihlelelekileyo ngokwemfundo, ngokwentlalo kunye/okanye nangokwembali yabo. Esi sifundo senziwe kwi-Nkqubo yeSidanga eyoNgezelelweyo (i-EDP), kwiYunivesithi yaseStellenbosch elungiselelwe okt. abafundi abaphuma kwiimvelaphi ezihlelelekileyo, ekufuneka befunde ulwimi olongezelelweyo. Ingxaki yophando eyaba nomvuka wesi sifundo sithile yaba ngumahluko ophawulekayo ngaphezu kwexesha elandisiweyo phakathi kweqondo lokupasa kwabafundi be-EDP kwizifundo zabo ezikuluhlu oluphambili kunaxa kuthelekiswa kubafundi abakwizifundo ezikuluhlu oluphambili olufanayo. Uluhlu oluthile lwedatha lubonise ukuba abafundi benze ngcono kwisifundo sabo senkxaso ye-EDP, Intshayelelo kweze-Humanities, xa befundiswa kwaye behlolwa kwisigama sobugcisa sesifundo esitsha. Esi sifundo sijonge ekumiseleni isifundo esisesikweni esikholose ngamava malunga nokuba ukwaziswa kwisigama sesifundo esithile esilwimi-ninzi sesifundo esikuluhlu oluphambili kunganceda kuphucule iqondo lokuphumelela kwabafundi be-EDP kweso sifundo. Ukongeza koko, sijonge ekwalatheni amaqhinga-cebo okuqinisa amava empumelelo aba bafundi. Isifundo senziwa ngaphakathi kwento ekuthiwa yi-critical realist paradigm evumayo ukuba kukho imicimbi neengxoxo ezivelisa unyaniseko lwehlabathi lencoko esiphila kulo. Ngokwale thiyori yolwazi (epistemology) singalitshintsha ihlabathi lencoko kuphela ukuba salatha izakhiwo ezinika iziphumo kulo micimbi neengxoxo. Sakuba sizalathle ezi zakhiwo saza sazitshintsha, singaphikisana nokungalingani nokungabikho kobulungisa. Phambi kokuba kwenziwe isifundo esisesikweni kwiimodyuli ezimbini ezikuluhlu oluphambili kwiNzululwazi yezoPolitiko, kwaye kwaguqulelwa kwisiAfrikaans nesiXhosa iincwadi ezimbini uludwe lwamagama esiNgesi. Abafundi be-EDP abanesifundo esikuluhlu oluphambili kwiNzululwazi yezoPolitiko bamenywa ukuba baze kwii-tutorial zesigama sobugcisa kangangeeveki ezimbini kumaxesha amabini onyaka. Ukufundiswa kwalungelelaniswa nezakhelo zokufundisa nokufunda zeemodyuli ezimbini ezahlukeneyo zeNzululwazi yezoPolitiko kwaye oko kwasekwa kuluhlu lwamagama aguqulelwe kwiilwimi ezintathu zeNzululwazi yezoPolitiko. Emva kongenelelo iiavareji zeqela ekugxilwe kulo le-EDP zazilingana nezo zabafundi abakuluhlu lwezifundo oluphambili kwaye iqondo lokuphumelela leqela ekugxilwe kulo le-EDP kuzo zombini iimodyuli zange zizigqithe nje ezo zeqela elilawulwayo lonyaka omnye, koko namaqondo okuphumelela abafundi abakuluhlu lwezifundo oluphambili ayengaphezulu kunango-2013. Ngoko ke kubonakala ngokweziphumo zohlahlelo lobuninzi ungenelelo lwesigama sobugcisa esisekwe kuluhlu lwamagama alwimi-ntathu obuNzululwazi yezoPolitiko abe neziphumo ezakhayo kwiqondo lokuphumelela kwabafundi be-EDP. Isifundo sohlobo sahlahlela izakhelo zeemodyuli ezimbini zeNzululwazi yezoPolitiko; udliwano-ndlebe olwakheke ngokuphakathi kunye nabahlohli; uluhlu lwemibuzo yabafundi ngaphambi nasemva kongenelelo lwesigama sobugcisa, iincoko ezibhaliweyo zabafundi be-EDP, kwakunye namaphepha eemvavanyo naweemviwo zeemodyuli ezimbini zeNzululwazi yezoPolitiko ukufumanisa ukuba ingaba amaqondo okuphumelela aphucukileyo abafundi ayabonakala na kumava wabo empumelelo. Ukususela ekwenziweni unxantathu (triangulation) kwezifundo zohlahlelo lobuninzi nolohlobo, uhlahlelo lobuninzi lubonakala luzixhasa iziphumo zesifundo sobuninzi. Izigwebo zophando lwesi sifundo ngoko ke ziyayingqina ingqikelelo yokuba inkxaso yesigama esilwimi-ninzi sezifundo ingadlala indima ebalulekileyo ekuphuculeni amaqondo okuphumelela kwabafundi be-EDP kwizifundo zabo abakuluhlu lwezifundo oluphambili, kwakunye namava wabo empumelelo, ingakumbi xa oko kusenza inxenye efunekayo yekharityhulam yezifundo ezikuluhlu oluphambili.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100130
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