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- Volume 46, Issue 1, 2012
Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Volume 46, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 46, Issue 1, 2012
Author Anne BakerSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46 (2012)More Less
As in the first edition of 2011, the main focus in this volume is academic literacy, whether it be the primary school teacher encouraging learners to read or making grammar teaching palatable, the high school teacher preparing learners for essay writing at university level, or the university lecturer honing the English language skills of English second language students in specific fields of study.
The continual conundrum of the "language across the curriculum" issue : lessons from the Bullock report (1975) for South African higher education todaySource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 7 –28 (2012)More Less
The link between language and learning and how to develop language across the curriculum is a persisting theme in education research over time. In this article, the first in a series, we wish to contribute to the current vibrant debate about language issues in higher education - both internationally and locally. It primarily aims at providing a critical historical review of the conundrum of the "language across the curriculum" issue and its implications for the South African higher education sector. This is done by critically comparing current local circumstances to lessons learnt from the original context where the notion of "language across the curriculum" was presented to improve the quality of education in schools in the United Kingdom in the mid-1970's. The premise behind this is that "to interpret the developments within afield competently, one needs a sense of its history" (Weideman, 2011: IX). Adding a very specific historical perspective is thus, and indeed, a necessary point of departure as it may enable South African practitioners and policy makers to: (a) evaluate if all relevant information is considered in decision making today, and (b) situate strands of current thinking in a framework that could clarify assumptions and implications potentially accepted uncritically today.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 30 –44 (2012)More Less
This article explores the gap between school and university writing in terms of creative writing done at school level, as specified in the relevant policy documents and the requirements of academic literacy at university. This article also involves an empirical study in which a questionnaire aimed at first year university students determined the extent of essay instruction at school. This was followed by an interview with a subject specialist for Afrikaans Home Language. It was found that despite the fact that departmental policies require teachers to teach different types of essay writing they are not taught effectively. It is clear that teachers may require training in terms of teaching different types of essays and that the Department of Education should monitor and separately assess modes of writing, such as expository and argumentative essays that could contribute to improving academic literacy.
Author Desiree ScholtzSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 46 –58 (2012)More Less
Proficiency tests are being used more extensively at institutions of higher learning for selection, placement, for diagnostic purposes and as a means of early identification for first year entering students who might be at risk of under-performance. Given that at some institutions a high premium is placed on these test results, one of the issues at stake is the extent to which the generic test content relates to curriculum practices in the various disciplines. This article focuses on three Engineering diplomas and explores the extent to which the test specifications of the National Benchmark Test in academic literacy relate to reading and writing practices in the discipline. The contention is that there should be a relationship between the test specifications and academic literacy practices at first year level in order to provide the data necessary to appropriately place and support students who might be at risk of under-performance.
To what extent do science ESP learning materials fit the purpose for which they have been devised? An evaluation in terms of Cronje's (1993) criteriaAuthor L. Junia NgoepeSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 60 –73 (2012)More Less
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) learning materials are devised to meet identified language needs of a specific group of students. They also reflect a view of the nature of language and learning, and foster collaboration among lecturers in a specific programme. These materials are situation-specific and form the backbone of a course. Since materials can be judged for a particular purpose, they warrant to be evaluated on a regular basis. As part of an ESP course evaluation, English and Study Skills (ESS) materials were evaluated in terms of Cronje's (1993) adapted criteria. The findings thereof can be used to improve the teaching of the ESP course and enhance the performance of the target students.
Endorsing cultural relevance whilst scaffolding academic literacies in a particular English for Pharmacy courseAuthor Maureen KlosSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 75 –87 (2012)More Less
In this article, the writer investigates the experience of a group of learners who were given academic language support in the context of a topic that was culturally relevant to them. These multicultural learners were registered for their first year of study for a South African Pharmacy degree. The scaffolding of reading and writing texts on the topic of traditional healing systems was included in the English for Pharmacy course, although this was not a topic covered in any of learners' content subjects. Supported deconstruction as well as reconstruction of texts about the indigenous healing therapies of Africa and China, for example, was included in the English course, with the aim of facilitating learner access to and success in the mastery of scientific textual conventions. The learners of the case study brought individual cultural identities to a higher educational environment that often did not acknowledge diverse cultural roots. Thus, a culturally relevant topic was included in the English learning situation to motivate the learners in the negotiation of meaning via scientific language patterns that were appropriate to the context of their pharmacy studies. The learners were supported in the negotiation of culturally familiar meaning via complex English textual patterns that were also used in degree specific subjects such as: Pharmacology, Pharmacy Practice and Anatomy and Physiology. The research described in this article followed a phenomenological approach that entailed qualitative data collected from the learners who wrote reflection papers, took part in informal interviews and wrote a scientific report on the topic of traditional healing.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 88 –102 (2012)More Less
This paper describes an alternative approach to the teaching of concepts related to the English curriculum, namely literature, writing summaries and grammar. It combines a shift in the theory of school learning development by a combination with a psychological theory of development. The research was conducted over the period of six months with a class of 20 Grade 10 girls at a private convent school. A method was designed which included the concepts of "mediation", "the zone of proximal development," "the double move", using the classical interpretations. In this paper, the research on grammar is described; specifically, parts of speech. The result of this teaching experiment was a very high level of English grammar learning in the classroom.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 104 –115 (2012)More Less
This paper discusses the development of foreign language policy in higher education in the United States (US) and indicates gaps in the study of foreign languages in higher education in that country. A discussion of current policy, provision, programmes and funding of foreign languages in higher education are presented, focusing on Title VI: The provision of the National Defense Education Act associated with foreign language study. The most recent policy for the teaching of modern foreign languages in higher education and the motivation behind such policy-making in the US are explored in detail. The extension of the teaching of Mandarin inspired by rapid economic development in China and strengthened by the demands of the language 'market' and the national strategy of the US is investigated. Concrete recommendations for the policy and provision of Mandarin instruction in higher education are proposed. Finally, the status of Mandarin in the study of foreign languages in the US is indicated: the teaching of Mandarin lags behind some European languages and is generally taught at elementary level.
Continuous assessment for tertiary-level language teaching : an aid for learners to monitor their progress?Author Vanessa EversonSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 117 –135 (2012)More Less
In 2004, based on the findings of scholarly enquiry, the French Section of the University of Cape Town decided to prioritise continuous assessment to measure language acquisition, partly with a view to enabling students to monitor their progress more effectively. In a spirit of quality control (De Ketele, 2003), the purpose of this article is to review that decision. Firstly, by way of context, attention is given to some of the scholarship pertinent to summative and formative assessment which underpinned the adoption of continuous assessment. Secondly, the article interrogates the notion that continuous assessment facilitates learner awareness of progress by presenting and examining the reactions of undergraduate students of French at the University of Cape Town over the last three years.
Le contrôle continu pour évaluer l'enseignement des langues au niveau universitaire permet-il aux apprenants de suivre leurs progrès?
En 2004, en conformité avec des recherches en matière pédagogique et didactique, la section de français de l'université du Cap a adopté le système de contrôle continu pour évaluer l'acquisition linguistique de ses étudiants en vue de leur permettre, entre autres, de mieux suivre leurs progrès. Dans un désir d'amélioration de la qualité des enseignements dispensés (De Ketele, 2003), le but de cet article est de passer en revue cette décision. Dans un premier temps et en guise de contexte, nous évoquerons les recherches pertinentes à l'évaluation formative et sommative qui justifiaient l'adoption du contrôle continu. Dans un deuxième temps, nous interrogerons la notion que le contrôle continu favorise la prise de conscience par l'apprenant des progrès qu'il fait en analysant les réactions face aux modalités d'évaluation émises par les étudiants de français de l'université du Cap pendant les trois dernières années.
Taalonderwysers as lesers van kinderliteratuur en hoe dit leerders se ingesteldheid teenoor lees kan beïnvloedAuthor Michael Le CordeurSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 137 –156 (2012)More Less
Sedert die instelling van 'n Nasionale Leesstrategie vir Suid-Afrika (DvBO 2008b) is kommer uitgespreek oor die manier waarop kinderliteratuur in die skool gebruik word. Die gevoel bestaan dat assessering van leesbegrip domineer oor lees vir plesier en dat dit kan lei tot 'n afname daarin om boeke vir plesier te lees. Op dié manier kry onafhanklike lees, wat krities belangrik is vir die kognitiewe ontwikkeling van elke kind, nie die gewenste aandag in die moderne klaskamer nie. Maar onderwysers is eenparig in hul kommentaar dat huidige ontwikkelingsbeleide vir onderwysers te generies is en nie die nodige ondersteuning aan onderwysers bied nie. Dit is veral kommerwekkend dat sommige skole nie onafhanklike lees by leerders aanmoedig nie weens die oormatige klem op prestasietoetse. Verder, onderwysers se kennis en gebruik van kinderliteratuur is beperk vanweë 'n gebrek aan tyd om self vir plesier te lees. Hierdie studie is onderneem teen die agtergrond dat verskeie studies oor leerders se houding teenoor lees en hul kennis van literatuur onderneem is, maar weinig navorsing gedoen is oor taalonderwysers se kennis en gebruik van literatuur en hoe dit tot die kweek van 'n leeskultuur kan bydra.
Language teachers as readers of children's literature and how it can influence learners' attitude towards reading
Since the inception of a National Reading Strategy for South Africa (DvBO 2008b) concerns were raised about how children's literature is being used in the classroom. There is a sense that assessment and comprehension dominate over reading for pleasure and that children's literature is being subjected to assessment only. This may lead to reduced pleasure in the text. In this way independent reading, which is of critical importance to the cognitive development of every child, does not receive the desired attention in the modern classroom. However, teachers are unanimous in suggesting that current teacher development policies are too generic and do not provide the needed support to teachers. Of particular concern is the fact that some schools are not promoting children's independent reading as too much emphasis is placed on tests. Teachers' confidence in knowing and using children's literature is limited by their lack of time to read for pleasure. While studies of children's attitudes to reading and knowledge of literature have been undertaken widely, few studies have documented teachers' knowledge and use of literature and how this can contribute to a culture of reading.