n South African Journal of Higher Education - Embedded observation of English for Specific Purposes students in South African instructional settings

Volume 29, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Observation can afford the researcher an opportunity to observe events as they spontaneously occur. It could be used to observe students' and lecturers' behaviours in a variety of settings and to collect data on how they use language. This is also a means of assessing what students either have or have not learned. Thus, classroom observation is one of the mechanisms for achieving effective teaching and learning. This article describes real-time observation of ten English and Study Skills (ESS) English for Specific Purposes (ESP) lectures to underprepared science students. Embedded observation was one of the mechanisms employed to evaluate the ESS course. The students were taught a science ESP course integrated in a Bachelor of Science Extended Degree Programme (BSc EDP) curriculum at the University of Limpopo (UL), Turfloop Campus, Sovenga, South Africa. The researcher used an observation scheme to reveal strengths and weaknesses in the lectures, and by extension, the ESS content.

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