n South African Journal of Higher Education - Negotiating discourse : towards adopting a content-based instruction approach to academic literacy courses

Volume 29, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article reports on a study that was conducted on the extent to which a particular academic literacy course addressed the literacy needs of students enrolled in a foundational developmental programme at the University of the Free State (UFS), Bloemfontein, South Africa. Various factors influencing student motivation for the course were identified. The findings suggested that students do not want to engage in course materials they consider irrelevant and uninteresting, which impacted on the value they assign to the course in general. Furthermore, the students also indicated that they are unsure of what is expected of them in terms of assessment in the course. In response to the findings of the study, a more content-based instruction (CBI) approach to the literacy courses was taken at the university. The article explores the extent to which a CBI approach could, in theory, address some of the issues pertaining to student motivation for academic literacy courses in a South African higher education context.

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