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- Volume 35, Issue 2_3, 2001
Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Volume 35, Issue 2_3, 2001
Volume 35, Issue 2_3, 2001
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 97 –109 (2001)More Less
Reflective language teachers systematically use their own classrooms as windows to a better understanding of the learning and teaching that occurs there. Insights gained from this self-initiated inquiry, often referred to as action research, can be translated into more effective teaching practices. Action research with an emphasis on reading can play an important role in heightening a teacher.s understanding of reading, in general, and the effectiveness of reading instruction, more specifically. To explore the role of action research within second language (L2) reading classrooms, we introduce key concepts related to L2 reading that can inform principled action research; an understanding of the complexities of reading processes reveals a wide range of issues common to reading classrooms that can be investigated through action research. Then we describe an easy to use 12-step action research process, which is followed by the description of three sample action research projects, two focusing on vocabulary and one on strategic reading. These sample projects illustrate ways in which the 12- step process can be translated into practice, suggest options that teachers have available to them that extend well beyond traditional language skills areas, and reveal the benefits of action research for language teachers in a range of instructional settings.
Language and composition awareness in the pedagogy of the humanities and the social sciences learning area in schools : a teacher workshop inquirySource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 110 –124 (2001)More Less
This article reports on an inquiry into a teacher development workshop that focused on creating a disposition of language and writing composition awareness in the teaching of History as component of the Human and Social Sciences (HSS) in the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) curriculum of Gauteng Department of Education schools. The workshop was planned as the action component of an action research inquiry (and the concomitant intervention) into teachers. conceptions of themselves as educators of essay writing in the HSS learning area. The inquiry focused on the teaching of writing skills in the .research essay., which is now a component of the curriculum in HSS. The findings show that the teachers believed that they had hardly any essay writing competence themselves. They also showed little awareness of the skills involved in writing a research essay in the appropriate expository and argumentative style and in research essay format. In their assessment of an essay text they focused on students. reproduction of somewhat disconnected facts as the main criterion for gauging competence and understanding. One of the 11 teachers in the sample focused on language, but only at the level of grammar and spelling, with no recognition of the use of argument and analysis as procedural understanding devices embodied in language. There was no indication of awareness of the format of a research essay, the argumentative and discursive components of such an essay, or the use of research evidence to problematise the topic of the essay . all of which are requirements for research essay writing. In addition, the teachers viewed themselves as transferring agents of knowledge and rejected the notion that they should be teachers of writing. We argue that the teachers. views of knowledge as transferable and of learning as management of information are evident in their views of teaching writing composition and that this has serious implications for the loss of learning opportunities in the research essay component of the curriculum.
Author G.E. PienaarSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 125 –137 (2001)More Less
One of the greatest challenges facing educators worldwide today, is that of how to produce learners who are critical thinkers. In South Africa the realisation that critical thinking is both an important life skill and educational concept, gained prominence in 1995 when the White Paper 'Education and Training in a Democratic South Africa' stated: 'The Curriculum, teaching methods and textbooks at all levels and in all programmes of education and training, should encourage independent and critical thought.' These principles were translated into a plan of action when the development of critical thinking skills was adopted as one of the twelve critical outcomes of the South African Qualifications Authority in 1998. This paper confirms that the link between critical thinking and the language classroom is strong. However, there are still very few ideas regarding implementation, particularly in the language classroom. This paper is an attempt at addressing this issue. The major aspects of critical thinking were identified, and a number of ideas for the implementation of these critical thinking sub-skills in the language classroom are given.
Author Anna J. HugoSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 138 –146 (2001)More Less
Reading is the main mode used by learners, including students at tertiary level, to study. In South Africa there are many students studying at tertiary level whose language abilities and reading skills are not in line with the academic demands posed by their studies. Lecturers realise that several students have the potential to make a success of their studies, but because of the lack of necessary reading skills and study skills they do not realise this potential. In the teaching situation lecturers should plan for their students' learning processes, as well as their reading abilities. Mathewson's affective reading model suggests that reading is more than a cognitive process and embodies affective components as well. Lecturers should therefore plan strategies for both the cognitive and the affective domain to enhance the reading abilities of their students. Reading strategies for the affective domain which could be used by lecturers include the following: the use of affective mobilisers, motivation and self motivation, own choice of reading content and vocabulary, reward, a learner centered approach, modelling, the Internet and for English second speakers the personal gain to master literacy in a second language.
Author Ambrose B. ChimbgandaSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 147 –159 (2001)More Less
This paper presents quantitative and qualitative results of an evaluation of the Communication and Study Skills (CSS) course offered to BSc first year students of the University of Botswana. The main purpose of the evaluation was to gather baseline data that would inform the process of syllabus innovation and teaching. The researcher utilized data triangulation that combined various pieces of evidence derived from questionnaire responses of 120 students and 8 lecturers who participated in the study. The results showed that many participants were happy with the present course organization, interest value of the materials, and the quality of teaching as well as the usefulness of the course. However, students did not rate the course highly in terms of the achievement of the main objective of trying to help them become autonomous learners, and neither did they feel sufficiently motivated to do the course. In designing any new syllabus, the researcher recommends the preservation of the best elements of the existing syllabus, and the inclusion of students. suggestions on the language skills that enhance their academic performance.
Author Theophilus MookoSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 160 –169 (2001)More Less
The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of two teaching techniques: guided peer feedback and guided self-assessment. The study seeks to establish whether the provision of any of these two treatments in an ESL composition class affects the quality of students. compositions. Data for this study comes from compositions written by students in two classes in one of the community junior secondary schools in Botswana. All the writing was done during class time. Results of this investigation suggest that guided peer feedback seems superior to guided self-assessment in assisting in the reduction of micro-level errors.
Letting the L1 in by the back door : code switching and translation in Science, Mathematics and Biology classesSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 170 –181 (2001)More Less
Code switching, or 'mixing languages', is often frowned upon and where English is used as a language of learning and teaching, the exclusive use of English is promoted as the best way to help students deal with subject matter. The methodology of teaching foreign or additional languages to intermediate and advanced classes generally support the consistent and exclusive use of the target language and such teachers often complain that teachers of other subjects 'use the vernacular', thereby disadvantaging their students. Moreover, in South Africa, multilingual classrooms are an excellent excuse for not switching to an L1 or a <i>lingua franca</i>, because which one should be used? And isn't it true that all teachers are and should be language teachers (read: English language teachers)? This article argues that it is important for all teachers, including English language teachers, to make the mind shift and see first languages or street language as a resource in their teaching. The focus in this case will be on the teaching of Science, Mathematics and Biology. It is argued that teachers will need specific guidance as to the occasion and methods by means of which they can use other languages responsibly so that they do not disadvantage their students in final examinations that are usually written in English. Since English language teachers traditionally accuse teachers of other subjects of not speaking English consistently and exclusively, suggestions will be made regarding the role that language teachers can play in raising awareness of productive and responsible code switching and translation in subjects like mathematics and science.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 35, pp 185 –193 (2001)More Less