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Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer - latest Issue
Volume 32, Issue 2, 2016
Author Maryna ReynekeSource: Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer 32, pp 1 –14 (2016)More Less
Education systems of the 21st century face the challenge of reflecting the needs of an extremely dynamic global society. Of paramount importance is students' aptitude for life-long learning; a quality that needs to be fostered and enhanced by sustainable assessment practices that focus on promoting learning instead of merely testing existing knowledge and skills. Within any contemporary educational system, school-based assessment (SBA) may be utilised to promote higher-order thinking skills. SBA is especially valuable in English language learning which involves the acquisition of a variety of linguistic and communication skills. In the South African system, however, SBA in English classrooms seems to amount to nothing more than regular summative testing, grading and record keeping of marks to satisfy bureaucracy and prepare candidates for high-stakes examinations.
Constructing and rolling out the new South African Sign Language (SASL) curriculum - reflexive critiqueSource: Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer 32, pp 15 –29 (2016)More Less
South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world protecting the linguistic and cultural rights of Deaf people. However, there is a huge gap between policies and reality in schools for Deaf learners in South Africa. In this paper we critically unpack and reflexively explore the linguistic and cultural issues that emerged during the process of creating and implementing the new South African Sign Language (SASL) curriculum. This curriculum was produced as a result of a landmark court case. We use an ethnographic framework based on our own reflections, discussions with Deaf people, notes from meetings, and discussions with the other team members. Why and how did the process that started off with so much energy, excitement and goodwill break down? We argue that a key reason for this breakdown is inadequate linguistic knowledge and cultural sensitivity in relation to SASL and Deaf cultural identity. The paper concludes with an outline of lessons learnt.
Unlocking later developing language skills in older children by means of focused language stimulationSource: Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer 32, pp 30 –46 (2016)More Less
Certain language structures and skills continue to develop after the age of school entry. The present study sought to establish whether directly targeting the development of such complex language structures and skills in comprehension and production can be successful among older, school-going children. The data for the present study comprise four case studies of children with language learning problems, including language comprehension problems: one 5, one 6, and two 7 years of age. Relevant parts of the Receptive and Expressive Activities for Language Therapy (Southwood & Van Dulm, 2012) were used during six to eight language stimulation sessions. Substantial gains were seen when comparing pre- and post-stimulation language assessment results on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation (Seymour, Roeper, & De Villiers, 2005). The implication is that direct targeting of specific later developing language structures and skills can render the desired results, well after their usual age of acquisition, even among children with language comprehension problems and within a limited number of sessions. Given the relationship between language skills and the development of reading skills, the findings have implications for the literacy development of Foundation Phase learners who enter school with underdeveloped language skills.
Source: Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer 32, pp 47 –65 (2016)More Less
Pre-school literacy teaching in Early Childhood Education (ECD) inclusive classrooms is crucial in preparing learners for the transition to formal literacy teaching and learning. This article describes a collaborative exploratory research project between a university in South Africa and one in China, in order to gain an overview of early literacy teaching and learning in the two countries. In the case of South Africa, the focus was on Grade R literacy teaching and learning. Teacher participants in three rural schools, three township schools and four inner city schools in Mpumalanga and Gauteng were purposively selected. Data were gathered by means of open-ended questions in a questionnaire, individual interviews with Heads of Departments (HOD) and classroom observations. Coding, categorising and identifying themes were manually conducted. Persistent challenges were identified of which limited resources, low socio-economic conditions, English as the language of learning and teaching (LoLT), inadequate teaching strategies used to implement the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) and barriers to learning were highlighted. This overview of early literacy teaching and learning in South Africa served as a precursor for the second phase of the project between the two countries.
Source: Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer 32, pp 66 –81 (2016)More Less
The present study examines the relationship between productive knowledge of collocations and academic literacy among first year students at North-West University. Participants were administered a collocation test, the items of which were selected from Nation's (2006) word frequency bands, i.e. the 2000-word, 3000-word, 5000-word bands; and the Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000). The scores from the collocation test were compared to those from the Test of Academic Literacy Levels (version administered in 2012). The results of this study indicate that, overall, knowledge of collocations is significantly correlated with academic literacy, which is also observed at each of the frequency bands from which the items were selected. These results support Nizonkiza's (2014) findings that a significant correlation between mastery of collocations of words from the Academic Word List and academic literacy exists; which is extended here to words from other frequency bands. They also confirm previous findings that productive knowledge of collocations increases alongside overall proficiency (cf. Gitsaki, 1999; Bonk, 2001; Eyckmans et al., 2004; Boers et al., 2006; Nizonkiza, 2011; among others). This study therefore concludes that growth in productive knowledge of collocations may entail growth in academic literacy; suggesting that productive use of collocations is linked to academic literacy to a considerable extent. In light of these findings, teaching strategies aimed to assist first year students meet academic demands posed by higher education and avenues to explore for further research are discussed. Especially, we suggest adopting a productive oriented approach to teaching collocations, which we believe may prove useful.
Author Thoko BatyiSource: Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer 32, pp 82 –94 (2016)More Less
Students' academic writing literacies are required to express their knowledge, as academic writing is the common mode of assessment in higher education. 28 isiXhosa-speaking first-year diploma students, who failed an academic literacies admission test evaluating the level of their academic writing literacies in the Business faculty, participated once a week over a period of eight months in a course including the practice of code meshing. In the June and November Tourism Communication tests, which also evaluated their academic writing literacies, there was a significant difference in the mean scores when compared to the admission test in the Business faculty. Their academic writing had also improved, according to their assignment marks. The researcher in this project provides evidence that code meshing as a bi/multilingual strategy could be used to improve academic writing literacies in students.
Source: Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning = Per Linguam : Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer 32, pp 95 –108 (2016)More Less
This article focuses on and explores the issue of teaching students to write with some level of fluency. In light of this, it investigates the use of expressive writing which can develop as the mainstay approach to help students improve their academic writing skills. Teaching students to write with confidence is always a daunting undertaking for any teacher, even more so when they are at a tertiary level. This study was conducted over a semester where a qualitative methodology was used to study autobiographical writing, journal entries and personal-response writing. Our results show that students' writing improved over a continuum of writing tasks of an evolutionary/daily living nature, through which we explored their self-expression. The study is predicated on the dynamics and fall-outs of L2 writing at a tertiary setting in Cape Town. The data provided by the fourteen participants featured in our study were meant to identify the kinds of strategies that could assist L2 students with English Language writing tasks. By the same token, the study was meant to offer useful insights into the educational practice and prevalence of writing for self-expression.