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Volume 50, Issue 1, 2016
Author Susan Coetzee-Van RooySource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp vi –vii (2016)More Less
This is the jubilee volume of the Journal for Language Teaching. In business circles, "[a] 50th anniversary adds a great deal to the credibility of a company as it proves longevity, staying power and success" (Renee). This is certainly true of the Journal for Language Teaching. The success of the journal is due to the exceptional care and loyalty of its members: the communities of language practitioners and language teachers that serve the journal in the capacity of authors, reviewers, and editorial board members. As outgoing editor, I need to extend a special work of thank you to all previous editors, guest editors, authors and reviewers that participated in the review processes of the journal from its inception. I direct your attention to the paragraph above where some of their names are presented. Other well-known editors of the journal were Professor Henk Kroes and Professor Anna Coetzee. Without the willingness, ceaseless energy and expertise of all these people and those before them, the journal would not have endured so well.
The repositioning of literature in French foreign language teaching in South Africa : performing dialogue, diversity and differenceAuthor Fiona HorneSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 11 –27 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.1More Less
The aim of this article is to address the repositioning of the literary text within the field of French Studies at tertiary level in South African universities. While language acquisition constitutes a major thrust of French at tertiary level, literature plays an important symbolic role, representing a disciplinary tradition evident in both corpus and teaching methods. Social transformation and the emergence of new teaching/learning models have seen academics inscribing new kinds of symbolic and cultural value to the literary text. The data set draws on a series of interviews conducted with academics working in the field of French Studies at university level in South Africa in 2011 and 2012. A qualitative method of analysis is used. The disciplinary "performance" described in both discourse and practice reveals that academics are distancing themselves from traditional approaches in their shift from text-centredness to learner-centredness and are carving out a new place for francophone literature in the South African context by "performing" its teaching as part of the democratic project. The emerging disciplinary ethos coincides significantly with reader reception theory and French foreign language pedagogy and further sheds light on the cultural and pedagogical roles literature can play in foreign language teaching and learning contexts.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 29 –51 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.2More Less
Language classes are expected to foster the growth in the size of students' vocabulary, first receptively and then productively. Recent test data have indicated a significant growth in students' productive - as opposed to receptive - vocabulary size in the course of one academic year (Hajiyeva, 2015a). This study investigates the relative pace of the growth in the size of productive vocabulary; it includes data for free productive vocabulary knowledge with the intention of exploring the growth in students' vocabulary after ten months of instruction. This required a measurement of the lexical richness as expressed in students' answers to examination papers. The results show that due to increased exposure to various subject-specific courses, students increase their productive vocabulary knowledge. The findings also indicate that such growth does not ensure that students' written answers to examination papers are always accurate in terms of meaning, form, associations, collocations and register. The potential implications of the findings for language teaching and learning are discussed briefly.
Author Ruth ScheepersSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 53 –77 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.3More Less
This study investigated first-year students' vocabulary knowledge using a test of 'controlled productive ability' used by Laufer and Nation (1995) in their study of lexical richness in writing. This test, and its later versions, is based on the view that vocabulary consists of various levels according to frequency of occurrence (Laufer and Nation, 1999: 35). The study explored the relationship between students' productive vocabulary knowledge and their course of study and gender, and the relationship between their productive vocabulary knowledge and their academic performance. Findings revealed that course of study and gender were indicators of vocabulary knowledge, with Literature students performing better on the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) than their Law counterparts, and women outperforming men at all levels. Correlations revealed a robust relationship between overall knowledge of vocabulary and academic performance. Multiple regressions showed that Level 3 (5000-word level) and Level 4 (University Word List [UWL]) were predictor variables for Literature and Law students respectively. These levels are significant in illuminating the link between vocabulary knowledge and academic performance, as measured by examination scores.
Author Donovan LawrenceSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 79 –101 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.4More Less
The proliferation of mobile technology presents an opportunity for (language) teachers to experiment with using mobile devices to enhance the learning process. However, research in Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) is relatively new and unexplored in South Africa, resulting in a lack of empirical evidence to guide such curriculum integration and implementation.
This study was undertaken to investigate students' experiences using their mobile phones to develop Afrikaans vocabulary. As an out-of-class activity, they received mini vocabulary lessons on their mobile phones. The retention of target words was then assessed and reinforced during text-based activities.
The findings confirm that using a mobile phone as a learning tool allows learning to take place anywhere, anytime and serves as a bridge between formal and informal learning. When used for vocabulary development, the choice of app, the type of activity, the content and size of the message impact on the learning experience.
First additional language teaching in selected grade 4 - 6 classes in Western Cape urban schools : the case of AfrikaansSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 103 –121 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.5More Less
This study investigates the current state of Afrikaans First Additional Language (FAL) teaching in Gr 4 - 6 classes in Western Cape urban schools against the background of the national drive towards the promotion of multilingualism among the learners of South African schools. Based on Vygotsky's theory that learning is a process where an expert leads the child to internalise new knowledge as well as Shulman's theoretical framework that addresses the professional knowledge base of teachers, this study used a mixed methods approach to generate empirical data. The literature study provides an overview of the major methodologies relevant to FAL teaching, whilst the questionnaires, completed by Grade 4 - 6 Afrikaans FAL teachers, provided the quantitative data. For the qualitative strand of the study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with Afrikaans FAL teachers. The study showed that the teachers' knowledge of the curriculum, language policies, language teaching and learning theories as well as methodologies is extremely limited and revealed that teachers are caught up in traditional language teaching methods and strategies which do not contribute to the enhancement of learners' proficiency in the target language. It is therefore recommended that there is no single method that will ensure effective FAL teaching, but teachers should implement an eclectic approach to achieve the best results. Furthermore, initial teacher training programmes and in-service training workshops should be adapted in order to prepare teachers adequately to implement the prescribed curriculum using appropriate methodologies and strategies.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 125 –143 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.6More Less
This paper describes an exploratory study based on anecdotal evidence, investigating the need for and feasibility of establishing a formal Writing Institute Program in South Africa. These institutes are modeled on the National Writing Project (NWP) Invitational Summer Institutes, held at 200 sites in the United States (US), Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico during the June-August summer break. Several thousand teachers in the US participate each year in these invitational summer institutes, which are based on the NWP's model of teachers teaching teachers. The US Embassy's Regional English Language Office in South Africa collaborated with directors of writing projects in the United States, and South Africans were invited to attend summer institutes to explore the possibilities of duplicating the model in South Africa. Since 2008, institutes have been held in South Africa in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Limpopo, Pretoria and Durban. This paper is a report on the observed impact of the institutes at these sites, lessons learned about teacher training centres as viable homes for these sites and suggestions for future writing institutes in South Africa. Evidence is presented in the form of vignettes, which explore perceptions on the positive impact of writing institutes in South Africa.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 145 –165 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.7More Less
Formalised postgraduate writing support centres are a relatively new phenomenon at the majority of South African universities and have not yet been researched intensively. This article, which forms part of a mandated study, presents the findings of research into the nature of postgraduate writing support at a number of South African universities. In 2014, an external review into the throughput rate of undergraduate and postgraduate students at a particular South African residential university was conducted, which concluded that there was a need for more support for postgraduate students who were conducting research. (University X, 2014). Accordingly, a questionnaire was distributed to writing centres at various institutions across the country. This article describes practices relating to staffing, the availability of resources, as well as the positioning of postgraduate writing support within or separate to undergraduate writing centres. Additionally, findings are presented in terms of the different modes of delivery and the related research outputs. While this article provides an overview of current best practice at a number of university-based postgraduate writing centres, suggestions are also made concerning an ideal model for the foundation of such a writing centre at a large residential university.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50, pp 167 –181 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v50i1.8More Less
A test series usually consists of various versions of a test. Test-takers and consumers of tests expect all these versions to be at the same level of difficulty, but this is very difficult to achieve at the test design stage. In this article we suggest that the establishment of a norm for test results may be a practical solution to this problem. We illustrate how a norm can be established by investigating historical data from an Afrikaans test of Academic Literacy (TAG) and then proposing a formula to standardise results whenever a new version is written. This can easily be done by using a program such as Excel. This will enable test administrators to treat test-takers equally and fairly whenever decisions about them have to be taken.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 50 (2016)More Less