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The acquisition of English academic language proficiency among grade 7 learners in South African schools

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dc.contributor.advisor Lemmer, Eleanor M. en Manyike, Tintswalo Vivian en 2009-08-25T11:01:09Z 2009-08-25T11:01:09Z 2009-08-25T11:01:09Z 2007-03-31 en
dc.identifier.citation Manyike, Tintswalo Vivian (2009) The acquisition of English academic language proficiency among grade 7 learners in South African schools, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract Language proficiency in the language of learning and teaching (LOLT) is essential for academic success. In South Africa and elsewhere, many secondary school learners lack the required academic proficiency in English, the language of learning and teaching. The English language proficiency of Xitsonga speaking Grade 7 learners was evaluated in order to suggest ways in which these learners could be helped to maximise academic success. The author investigated theories of first and second language acquisition by means of a literature study and presented an overview of language policy in South African schooling before and after 1994. A sample of Grade 7 Xitsonga speaking learners was selected from three secondary schools in the Tshwane metropolitan area, Gauteng Province. Language proficiency levels were determined by means of the Human Sciences Research Council's Standardised English Reading and Writing Proficiency Tests. These tests were also translated into Xitsonga and administered to the learners. The tests were administered a month apart in each of the schools. The tests revealed that: * there is a significant correlation between the learner's performance in the reading and writing performance test for both languages * the learners' reading and oral skills in both languages correlate * irrespective of the level of language proficiency, most learners performed poorly in their reading skills, such as, recognising inferences related to tone, punctuation, different types of discourse as well as the prevailing atmosphere. The greatest weaknesses were in learners': * failure to understand instructions, which meant that their responses to task demands were inadequate * inappropriate use of tone register and spelling errors * incorrect use of punctuation and verb tenses. The analysis of the learner's performance in both English and Xitsonga showed that these learners were generally not capable of handling the requirements of the Grade 7 curriculum. It was recommended that the learners be guided to make optimal use of existing facilities, such as, libraries. This could enhance the learners' language development. Using learners' L1 as a medium of instruction for cognitively demanding texts and intensive in-service and pre-service training for language teachers are also recommended. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xiii, 248, [31] leaves) : ill. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Language proficiency en
dc.subject South African schools en
dc.subject.ddc 372.65210968 en
dc.subject.lcsh English language -- Study and teaching (Elementary)-- Foreign speakers en
dc.subject.lcsh Tsonga (African people)-- Education (Elementary)-- South Africa en
dc.title The acquisition of English academic language proficiency among grade 7 learners in South African schools en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Educational Foundations en D.Ed. (Comparative Education) en

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