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- Volume 33, Issue 1, 2002
Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Volume 33, Issue 1, 2002
Volume 33, Issue 1, 2002
Editorial preface : an introduction to literacy in the African learning environment : challenges and changesAuthor Elizabeth J. PretoriusSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp V –XII (2002)More Less
Extracted from text ... v Editorial preface: An introduction to Literacy in the African learning environment: challenges and changes The year 2001 was declared the Year of the Reader and the Minister of Education, Kader Asmal, called for attention to be focused on reading. The official title for this reading campaign is Masifunde Sonke - Building a nation of readers (Masifunde Sonke means 'Let us read together'). The South African National Literacy Initiative (SANLI) was launched to address literacy problems and to develop a culture of reading and writing. The mission of this campaign is to engage whole communities in a national effort to ..
Author M.P. MachetSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 1 –24 (2002)More Less
This article looks at the marginalisation of South African children from disadvantaged backgrounds in terms of the literacy environment and the possible negative effects of this on their learning and retention of literacy. The strategy of using family literacy programmes to help parents and educators to address this issue is discussed. Practical advice on setting up a family literacy programme is given, as well as an outline of some of the successful programmes that have been used in South Africa.
Author B. Buchorn-StollSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 25 –48 (2002)More Less
The research discussed in this article investigated a class of South African pre-primary children who began the school year with limited or no English in a school where English was the language of instruction. This study examined the effect of storybook reading, specifically interactive storybook reading, on the development of English second language (ESL) with a group of Grade 0 children.
Author A. SmythSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 49 –69 (2002)More Less
The majority of children in South Africa do not use their home language for learning. In the past, these children were forced to make a transition to English after four years of schooling, resulting in the stifling of the development of their home languages. It would seem that the maintenance and development of learners' home languages is a major factor in successful bilingual programmes. This is linked to the crucial relationship between language and thought and the role which this plays in the growth of concepts, both everyday and scientific, in cognitive development. It is suggested that unless scientific concepts and the abstract literacy skills necessary for successful learning are developed in learners' home languages, these learners are seriously disadvantaged. Ways of incorporating scientific concept development and cognitive academic language skills in home language courses are investigated.
Author B. SolarshSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 70 –110 (2002)More Less
Oral reasoning is a well-documented precursor to text-based reasoning, and is a skill fundamental to successful text analysis, and hence academic progress (Hanson & Pearson 1983; Shiro 1994). This study aimed to analyse errors in the oral reasoning of rural Zulu-speaking children, using an adapted version of McCormick's (1992) model of error analysis for text-based reasoning. A culture-fair test, The Test of Ability to Explain for Zulu-speaking Children (TATE-ZC) (Solarsh 2001) was developed and administered to 292 rural Zulu-speaking primary school children, 7 - 12 years in KwaZulu-Natal. This test analyses oral / verbal thinking skills in terms of five categories, namely, ability to explain inferences, ability to determine cause, ability to answer a negative why-question, ability to determine a solution and ability to give an answer to avoid a problem. Results were analysed in terms of statistically significant stages of development in thinking skills, as well as in terms of the types of errors made by the children. Statistical results of the TATE-ZC indicated that rural Zulu-speaking children did not progress annually in the development of abstract thinking skills during the primary school phase. In addition, errors most frequently made related to processing the question, responding to only a portion of the question, failure to use background information to infer and difficulty with pronoun referents. These patterns were noted to be similar to children identified as poor readers'. It was concluded that verbal reasoning is a precursor to text-based reasoning which is fundamental to academic progress.
Are the children still swimming up the waterfall? A look at literacy development in the new curriculumAuthor C.A. MacdonaldSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 111 –141 (2002)More Less
In 1990 the Threshold report (1990) laid bare the inadequacies of an education system that failed to support the linguistic and conceptual challenges that black primary school children faced when they made the transition from their primary language to English as a the language of learning and teaching. Now, ten years later, the same author considers the lot of black primary school children to see whether the linguistic and conceptual challenges facing these children are being met under the new educational dispensation. The author argues that weaknesses in the new curriculum, at both a theoretical and a practical level, have led to the neglect of basic literacy and numeracy development in the Foundation and Intermediate Phases.
Author Kate ParrySource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 142 –168 (2002)More Less
Extracted from text ... 142 Literacy for development? A community library project in Uganda Kate Parry Hunter College, City University of New York firstname.lastname@example.org INTRODUCTION The notions of literacy and development are frequently bracketed together in discourse about the problems of world poverty. Both are seen as desiderata, and it is generally assumed that there is a causal relationship between them: that literacy is not only an indicator of, but also a precondition for, development. This relationship, however, is highly problematic, not only because literacy cannot be disentangled from other factors (see Street 1984) but also because the terms themselves are highly contentious. To ..
Author E.J. PretoriusSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 169 –196 (2002)More Less
The two studies reported in this article investigated the relationship between reading skill and academic performance at undergraduate level. The findings showed clear and consistent differences in reading ability between the different academic groups, with reading skills improving the higher the academic group. The findings indicate that many additional language (AL) students have serious reading comprehension problems, which means that they have ineffective and limited access to the rich sources of declarative knowledge provided by print-based materials in the learning context. Reading is important in the learning context not only because it affords readers independent access to information in an increasingly information-driven society, but more importantly because it is a powerful learning tool, a means of constructing meaning and acquiring new knowledge. If developing countries aim to produce independent learners, then serious attention will need to be given to improving the reading skills of students and to creating a culture of reading. Reading is not simply an additional tool that students need at tertiary level - it constitutes the very process whereby learning occurs.
Source: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 197 –225 (2002)More Less
When recognition of even a small number of words in written communication is delayed, jumbled or blocked - which frequently happens when individuals are learning disabled - the text becomes fragmented and the message soon disintegrates. Further barriers to comprehending written text arise when the learner with a learning disability comes from a disadvantaged environment. Educators in mainstream schools feel severely challenged when they need to address the difficulties of all such learners in an inclusive educational setting which grants limited opportunity for individual attention.<br> Understanding a passage in print rests on far more than the sum of the meanings of the words constituting the text. It is argued that asset-based learning support for reading comprehension in a constructivist vein, i.e. making meaning by means of holistic, interactive processing which utilises each learner's unique base of knowledge, skills and abilities in idiosyncratic ways, renders positive results, even with learners with specific learning disabilities. Imaging is one constructive method of supporting the development of reading comprehension - but its techniques should be adapted to meet the needs of particular learners. The article reports on the development of imaging as a technique of learning support for reading comprehension with learners with a learning disability. A small-group case study was conducted with five learners from a disadvantaged environment, in Grades 4 - 6, in a special school for learners with learning disabilities.
Author F.A. VaccarinoSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 33, pp 226 –240 (2002)More Less
As the title of this article suggests, the significance of literacy programmes within correctional services is considered. The article provides a glimpse of who the individuals serving a sentence are, and identifies some of the stressors of living in correctional services. It briefly looks at the learning environment in corrections for those who want to further their education. It examines teacher training programmes which provide inmates with teaching skills to assist fellow inmates in becoming literate. Finally, it considers the implications for a non-literate individual serving a sentence and raises the question of what happens when an inmate is released, probably with no vocational skills, little work experience and the additional burden of having a criminal record.