Cognitive task analysis in task-based syllabus design for the teaching and learning of Kiswahili as a second language in Ugandan secondary schools

Jjingo, Caesar (2018-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The genesis of this theoretically informed dissertation is motivated by researcher’s need to explore both available and suitable conventional teaching and learning practices that are globally accepted with the aim of utilising them in Kiswahili L2 teacher-training at the School of Education, Makerere University, Uganda. In search for such conventional methods and approaches, through research literature review with respect to instructed second language acquisition in general, and by critically observing the Kiswahili teaching syllabus for lower secondary schools in Uganda, it emerged that Kiswahili pedagogies are still realised using traditional conventions of L2 teaching and learning methods. These conventions have been disproved and replaced by contemporary approaches such as task-based theories and their associated pedagogical approaches that the current study has adopted and demonstrated their applications for lower secondary schools in Uganda. The demonstration has largely been informed by Long’s (2005a) proposals that have also constituted the research design (methodology) of the current study. Using Long’s views, the study employed document analysis approach as well as researcher’s introspective and heuristic judgement techniques to generate its data i.e. the construction of (i) the overarching task theme, (ii) task description specifications (TDSs) and (iii) simulated task dialogues (STDs), as primary input in designing a task-based Kiswahili syllabus. Relatedly, Breen’s (1987a, 2001) views on task-based syllabus design principles have provided a framework on which the constructed data (TDSs) has been organised for its analysis and ultimate grading and sequencing of the designed Kiswahili pedagogical tasks. In relation to procedures of analysis, five out of forty-one TDSs and their respective STDs have purposely been selected for analysis purposes. Thus, the data has been analysed in three facets of task complexity. For example, the framework of Pica, Kanagy & Falodun (1993, 2009) has been employed to analyse the interactional complexity of the TDSs. Similarly, the views of Robinson (2001a, 2005, 2010) have provided useful insights into analysing the cognitive complexity of the TDSs. Lastly, Foster, Tonkyn & Wigglesworth’s (2000) framework, has been utilised to analyse the syntactic/ linguistics complexity of the STDs. The omission and alteration techniques as advanced by Hasan’s (1985), Henry and Roseberry’s (1998), have been utilised in decomplexifying the Kiswahili cognitive complexity features occurring in the TDSs and the decomplexification of the syntactic/linguistic complex properties exhibited in the realised STDs of the TDSs. Relatedly, the two principles from the Robinson’s (2010) SSARC model were used in grading and sequencing the various versions of cognitive and syntactic complexities occurring in the TDSs and STDs, respectively, to design Kiswahili learning tasks. Therefore, on the one hand, on the interactional feature basis, the study predominantly argues that the analysed TDSs exhibited task communication configurations of the information gap tasks. On the other hand, with regard to cognitive and syntactic analysis, the study has concluded that while the resource-directing variables of the analysed TDSs and STDs demonstrated an [-] feature, the resource-dispersing dimensions presented deviations between the [+/-] features. That is to say, as the [+/- prior knowledge] and [+/- single task] variables of TDSs and STDs of Task one, Task two and Task four exhibited the [+] feature, those of TDSs and STDs of Task three and Task five demonstrated the [-] feature, hence qualifying for their decomplexification/scaling down the complex features through the omission and alteration techniques to realised less and least cognitively and syntactically complex task version which were then sequenced from the least to the most complex task versions by using the principles of the SSARC model, as proposed by Robinson (2010). Thus, the above findings indicate to L2 Kiswahili researchers and teachers that while designing task-based syllabuses, all the task features such as cognitive variables, interactional variables as well as syntactic properties, that pose cognitive demands to the L2 learners, need to be taken into account to design a suitable syllabus that addresses the Kiswahili L2 learners’ needs such as those in Ugandan lower secondary schools. It is in this respect that the study recommends similar studies e.g. for primary schools in Uganda with the ultimate goal of gradually replacing the traditional syllabuses and their pedagogical practices with task-based syllabuses in the education system of Uganda and wider contexts for the teaching and learning of Kiswahili as an L2.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ontwikkeling van hierdie teoretiese gebaseerde proefskrif is gemotiveer deur die navorser se behoefte om ‘n ondersoek te doen van soveel beskikbare en gepaste konvensionele onderrig en leerpraktyke wat wêreldwyd erken word met die doel om die insigte aan te wend in die onderwyseropleiding van Kiswahili tweedetaal onderwysers in die skool vir Opvoedkunde, Makarere Universiteit, Uganda. In die ondersoek na sodanige konvensionele benaderings en metodes deur navorsingsliteratuur oorsig met betrekking tot onderrigte tweedetaalverwerwing, in die algemeen, en deur kritiese waarneming van die Kiswahili syllabus vir laer sekondere skole in Uganda, het dit aan die lig gekom dat Kiswahili pedagogiete nog plaasvind deur die gebruik van tradisionele konvensies van tweedetaalonderrig en leermetodes, wat as ondoeltreffend bewys is en vervang is deur kontemporêre benaderings soos die Taakgebaseerde toerie en die geassosieerde benaderings daarvan, het die proefskrif hulle toepassing aanvaar en gedemonstreer vir laer sekondêre skole in Uganda. Hierdie demonstrasie is grootliks gebaseer op die voorstelle van Long (2005a), wat ook die basis gevorm het vir die navorsingsontwerp van hierdie studie. Deur gebruik te maak van Lang se voorstelle het die studie ‘n document-analiese benadering gevolg geintegreer met die navorser se introspektiewe en heuristiese oordee tegniek, om data te genereer, in die besonder, (i) die konstruksie van die oorkoepelende tema (ii) taakbeskrywing spesifikasies, en (iii) gesimuleerde taakbeskrywings, as primêre input vir die ontwerp van ‘n taakgebaseerde Kiswahili syllabus. Verbandhoudend, het Breen (1987a, 2001) se beskouings oor taakgebaseerde ontwerpbeginsels ‘n raamwerk voorsien waarbinne die konstruksie van die data (taakbeskrywingspesifikasies) georganiseer is vir analise en gradering en ordening, met betrekking tot prosedures vir analise, is vyf uit een-en-veertig van die taakbeskrywing spesifikasies en die respektiewelike gesimuleerde taakbeskrywings, doelmatig geselekteer vir die doel voor ontleding. Daarvolgens is die data ge-analiseerd in terme van die fasette van kompleksiteit. Byvoorbeeld, die raamwerk van Pica, Kanagy & Falodun (1993, 2009) is aangewend in die analise van die interaksie kompleksiteit van die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies. Soortgelyk, het die perspektiewe van Robinson (2001a, 2005, 2010) bruikbare insigte gebied vir die analise van die kognitiewe kompleksiteit van die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies. Laastens is Foster, Tonkyn & Wigglesworth (2000) se raamwerk aangewend in die analise van die sintaktiese kompleksiteit van die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies. Die weglating en alternasie tegnieke soos voorgestel deur Hasan (1985) se teorie e nook die van Henry & Rosenberg (1998) is aangewen in die dekompletisifisering van die Kiswahili kognitiewe kompleksiteit kenmerke van die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies, as ook vir die dekompleksifisering van die sintaktiese kompleksiteit kenmerke van die gestimuleerde taakbeskrywings en die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies. Verbandhoudend is die twee beginsels van Robinson (2010) se SSARC model aangewen in die gradering en ordening van verskillende weergawes van kognitiewe en sintaktiese kompleksiteit van die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies en die gesimuleerde taakbskrywings om leertake vir die ontwerp van Kiswahili leertake. Gevolglik, enersyds, op grond van die interaksiekenmerke basis argumenteer die studied at die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies konfigurasies vertoon van informasie-gaping take. Andersyds, met betrekking tot die kognitiewe en sintaktiese analises, het die studie bevind dat terwyl die bron-gerigte veranderlikes van die ge-analiseerde taakbeskrywingspesifikasies en gesimuleerde taakbeskrywings die [-] kenmerke vertoon, die bronverspreidings dimensies wisselings vertoon tussen [+/-] kenmerke. Dit wil sê, die [+/- voorafkennis] en [+/- enkeltaakveranderlikes] word vertoon in die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies en gesimuleerde taakbeskrywings van Taak een terwyl Taak twee en Taak vier die [+] kenmerk vertoon, en Taak vier en Taak vyf die [-] kenmerk demonstreer in die taakbeskrywingspesifikasies en gesimuleerde taakbeskrywings, Aldus aanduiding gee vir die moontlikheid van dekompleksifisering/afskaling van die kompleksiteitkenmerke deur weglating en alterasie tegniek vir die lewering van minder en munuskomplekse kognitiewe en sintaktiese taakweergawes wat dan georden kan word. Vanaf die minste tot die mees komplek pedagosiese taak weergawes deur gebruik van die beginsels van die SSARC model voorgestel deur Robinson (2010) Die bogenoemde bevindings dui vir Kiswahili tweedetaalnavorsers en onderwysers aan dat in die proses van die ontwerp van taakgebaseerde sillabusse al die taakkenmerke insluitende kognitiewe, vernaderlikes, interaksie veranderlikes asook komplekse sintaktiese kenmerke wat kognitiewe eise stel vir tweedetaalleerders van Kiswahili in berekening gebring moet word in die ontwerp van ‘n gepaste syllabus wat die behoeftes van Kiswahili tweedetaalleerdersaanspreek, soos die leerders in laer sekondêre skole in Uganda.

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