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n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Towards informed decision making : the importance of baseline academic literacy assessment in promoting responsible university access and support

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Abstract

Low levels of academic literacy in the language(s) of teaching and learning are regarded as one of the main reasons for a lack of academic success amongst undergraduate students. Indeed, at Unisa, current concerns about the predictive validity of the National Senior Certificate has motivated a need for a reliable and valid instrument, used under standardised conditions, to measure the academic literacy levels of first year students. The aims of this project were to gather diagnostic data and empirical evidence about the current levels of academic literacy of prospective students of Unisa, and to identify specific reasons for their poor performance during the NQF5 in-service training. A quantitative research approach in the form of an interrupted time-series design was followed. A simple random sample of students, who underwent in-service training in 2009, was drawn, and the Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) was employed as measuring instrument. T-tests were performed on the data to compare the actual differences between the pre- and post-test scores and regression analyses were used to determine the correlation between the two tests. The article concludes with recommendations on how language tests, like TALL, can assist higher education to make more informed, and thus responsible, decisions about issues of access.

Lae vlakke van akademiese geletterdheid in die onderrig- en leertaal, of -tale, word beskou as een van die hoofredes vir gebrek aan akademiese sukses by voorgraadse studente. By Unisa het die heersende kommer oor die voorspellingsgeldigheid van die Nasionale Senior Sertifikaat inderdaad gelei tot 'n behoefte aan 'n betroubare en geldige instrument wat in vasgestelde omstandighede gebruik kan word om akademiese geletterdheidsvlakke onder eerstejaarstudente te meet. Die oogmerke met hierdie projek was om diagnostiese data en empiriese getuienis oor die bestaande akademiese geletterdheidsvlakke onder voornemende studente aan Unisa te versamel, en om spesifieke redes vir hulle swak prestasie tydens NKR 5-indiensopleiding uit te wys. 'n Kwantitatiewe navorsingsbenadering in die vorm van 'n onderbroketydreeks- ontwerp is gebruik. 'n Eenvoudige ewekansige steekproef is geneem van studente wat in 2009 indiensopleiding ondergaan het, en die Toets van Akademiese Geletterdheidsvlakke (TAG) is as meetinstrument gebruik. T-toetse is op die data uitgevoer om die werklike verskille tussen die voortoets- en natoetstellings te vergelyk, terwyl regressieontledings uitgevoer is om die korrelasie tussen die twee toetse te bepaal. Die artikel sluit af met aanbevelings oor hoe taaltoetse soos TAG hoër onderwys van hulp kan wees om meer ingeligte - en gevolglik meer verantwoordelike - besluite oor toelatingskwessies te neem.

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/content/langt/45/1/EJC59998
2011-06-01
2016-12-08
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