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- Volume 48, Issue 1, 2014
Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Volume 48, Issue 1, 2014
Volume 48, Issue 1, 2014
Innovative teaching and learning of biblical Greek : a contextualised application of Fink's taxonomy of significant learningSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 11 –29 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.1More Less
Teaching biblical Greek as compulsory module to tertiary theology students can be challenging. When students doubt the general value of studying this ancient language or experience anxiety during the learning process, they are prevented from attaining higher cognitive levels of learning with the result of students failing to master Greek efficiently. This situation emphasised the need for innovation in the classroom. An exploration of Fink's taxonomy of significant learning (Fink, 2003a) yielded a flexible, learner-centred approach that could engage students from many subject areas in deep and significant learning. The aim of this article is to illustrate how Fink's taxonomy can be applied to the teaching and learning context of biblical Greek and possibly other language modules. Two examples from the Greek classroom are also presented to attest the applicability of Fink's taxonomy as a framework for creating innovative and significant learning experiences for students.
Author Maryna ReynekeSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 31 –49 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.2More Less
South African learners perform poorly in national and international tests aimed at measuring literacy and numeracy skills. One of the reasons for their performance is a lack of critical academic language skills in English as the Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT). This is noted against the background of previously disadvantaged parents' high expectations of their children being given the opportunity to learn through medium of English, preparing them for success in a world where English is the lingua franca, and challenges faced by subject teachers with regard to language-in-education. The model for lesson planning and presentation, put forward in this article, guides the subject teacher through each step of the backward process of lesson design and the 'forward' process of lesson presentation. Its key focus is the integration of language and content instruction aimed at ensuring the effective teaching of key competencies in the Additional Language content classroom and thereby raising the quality of teaching and learning in South Africa.
Evaluating academic literacy teaching at a South African university : a case study of an academic literacy programmeSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 51 –69 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.3More Less
The official demise of apartheid in 1994 meant that historically white universities became accessible to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The poor English education received by these students at high school, however, made it difficult for them to read, write and think in English for academic purposes, an additional language to most of them. 20 years into democracy, this challenge still persists. South African universities have responded to this challenge by introducing academic English programmes to help the students bridge the English gap between high school and university. Most of these programmes require the funding provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training in the form of Teaching and Learning grants. Are the foundational and technical designs of these programmes focused on the teaching of academic literacy as it is conceptualized in the context of higher education in South Africa today? Are the teaching and learning methodologies employed in these programmes consistent with current trends in the teaching of English as a second language? Are these programmes managed and structured in a way that promotes the achievement of the very purpose for which they were formed? This paper presents a case study of an academic literacy programme offered at a South African university, whose aim was to generate answers to the questions raised above. The findings of the study reveal that the programme had shortcomings and that it needed to be redeveloped to ensure that it met students' generic academic literacy needs.
Towards transparency and accountability : the story of the Test of Academic Literacy for Postgraduate Students (TALPS)Author Avasha RambiritchSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 71 –87 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.47i2.4More Less
Unfair tests, unfair testing methods and the use of tests to restrict and deny access have ensured a negative attitude to tests. The move in the recent past (Shohamy 2001, 2008; Fulcher & Davidson 2007; McNamara & Roever 2006) has been to promote the design and development of fair tests, by test developers who are willing to be accountable for their designs. A first step in this process is to ensure that every step of the design process is documented, and that this information is available to the public. Making this information available means that test takers are now equipped with information about the test and can now ask questions about the test. Test developers become real, not just experts 'hiding behind their designs'. Importantly, this kind of transparency ensures a channel of communication, not just between test developers and other experts in the field, but also between test developers and test takers. Applied linguists should strive to ensure that the tests they design and use are fair, socially acceptable and have positive effects. This paper will illustrate that these concerns become important when one works within a framework that challenges test developers to consider questions related to every aspect of the test. In employing a framework that incorporates a concern for the empirical analyses of a test, as well as a concern for the social dimensions of language testing, one is compelled to ensure transparency and accountability in the testing process, as well as giving a voice to those often ignored, but most affected by the use of the test scores: the test-takers. In telling the story of the design and development of TALPS, this article is the first step in ensuring the transparency and accountability of the test developers of TALPS.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 89 –107 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.5More Less
The teaching of academic literacy has become critically important at South African universities in the post-apartheid period. The reason for this is that universities that were previously exclusively accessible to white students are currently within reach of non-white students. Most of these students, however, graduated from public schools where they received poor education in English, a medium of instruction at most universities. A result of this has been that the students struggle to handle the demands of university education in the language. This contributes to their failure to complete their studies in scheduled time and to drop out. As a way to deal with this challenge, Higher Education South Africa (HESA) has introduced a National Benchmark Test of academic literacy to assess the reading, writing and thinking abilities of these students to ensure their proper placement at universities. The Inter-institutional Centre for Language Development and Assessment (ICELDA), a partnership of the Universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch, North-West and Free State, has also developed a test of academic literacy known as the Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) for the same purpose. This paper was a case study of the impact, justice and fairness of this test. The findings were that the test possessed an acceptable degree of justice and fairness and that it aimed for a positive impact on the test-taker.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 109 –129 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.6More Less
All versions of a standardised test should be at similar difficulty levels. In this article, we investigate whether two versions of TAG ("Toets van Akademiese Geletterdheidsvlakke") are valid and whether they are at the same difficulty level. A group of students wrote two versions of the test within a ten-week period. We first investigated their validity in terms of sampling, scoring and construct evidence. Before comparing the tests, we checked whether the classes the study population attended had any effect on the results of the second test. We then compared the scores of the tests by means of a Rasch analysis, an equipercentile measure and a Bland-Altman plot. Test 2 proved to be easier than Test 1. Various factors may have contributed to this, and although it is hard to achieve in practice, it was clear that further work is required to ensure that TAG tests are at more or less similar difficulty levels.
Do the Academic and Quantitative Literacy tests of the National Benchmark Tests have discriminant validity?Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 131 –147 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.7More Less
The massification of higher education since the last decade of the 20th century has resulted in an unprecedented influx of students to universities throughout the world. In South Africa, the advent of democracy in 1994 has added impetus to this phenomenon. As a result of the poor quality of education offered at the schools they attended, however, most of the students entering universities in the country are underprepared to handle the demands of higher education in English, the language of teaching and learning at these institutions and a second language to most students. This is the case even for students who obtain good results in their high school exit examinations. Higher Education South Africa (HESA) has introduced a set of tests known as the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) to assess the level of academic preparedness of the students entering universities for the first time. The NBTs comprise three tests of Academic Literacy (AL), Quantitative Literacy (QL) and Maths Literacy (ML). As their names imply, the three tests are aimed at measuring three different knowledge/skills domains that are key to student success at university. It is important therefore that performance in these tests exhibits evidence of the difference that these domains entail. The aim of this study was to establish if two of these tests, namely, the AL and QL tests possessed discriminant validity. The results revealed that the tests lack discriminant validity.
The relationship between productive knowledge of collocations and academic literacy in tertiary level studentsSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 149 –171 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.8More Less
This research explores tertiary level L2 students' mastery of the collocations pertaining to the Academic Word List (AWL) and the extent to which their knowledge of collocations grows alongside their academic literacy. A collocation test modelled on Laufer and Nation (1999), with target words selected from Coxhead's (2000) AWL was administered to students from the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. Results indicate that these collocations pose problems for L2 students. This finding supports and complements Nesselhauf's (2005) and Laufer and Waldman's (2011) findings that collocations are challenging for L2 students, even at advanced levels. Furthermore, scores in the collocation test correlate significantly with the Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL), indicating that knowledge of collocations corresponds to students' academic literacy. The pedagogical consequences these results have for the widespread attempt to improve tertiary level students' use of collocations in writing are discussed.
Hierdie navorsing ondersoek die mate waartoe L2-studente op tersiêre vlak die kollokasies wat gelys word in die Akademiese Woordelys (AWL) bemeester en tot watter mate hulle kennis van kollokasies verbeter namate hulle akademiese geletterdheid verbeter. 'n Kollokasietoets gebaseer op die van Laufer en Nation (1999) met teikenwoorde wat geselekteer is uit Coxhead (2000) se AWL is aan studente van die Noordwes-Universiteit, Potchefstroom Kampus gegee. Die resultate toon dat kollokasies probleme veroorsaak vir L2-studente. Hierdie bevindinge is ondersteunend en aanvullend tot Nesselhauf (2005) en Laufer en Waldman (2011) se bevindinge dat kollokasies 'n uitdaging stel aan L2 studente, selfs aan dié op 'n gevorderde vlak. Verder kom die puntetellings van die kollokasietoetse sterk ooreen met die puntetellings wat studente behaal vir toetse wat akademiese geletterdheid evalueer (TAG). Hierdie resultaat dui aan dat kennis van kollokasies korreleer met studente se akademiese geletterdheid. Die artikel sluit af met 'n bespreking van die pedagogiese implikasies wat die resultate inhou vir die wydverspreide poging om studente op tersiêre vlak se gebruik van kollokasies in skryfwerk te verbeter.
The relationship between socio-affective factors and reading proficiency : implications for tertiary reading instructionSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 173 –213 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jlt.v48i1.9More Less
Research in the field of reading literacy has focussed predominantly on the foundation phase and primary and secondary levels. In addition, these studies in reading literacy are predominantly cognitive-oriented. As a result, information on academic reading at tertiary level is sparse; even more so with regard to socio-affective factors and students' reading proficiency. This paper explores the relationship between tertiary-level students' socio-affective profile and their reading proficiency. The Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) was used to measure students' reading proficiency, and ANOVA tests were applied to analyse and yield data on students' reading background, reading habits, social literacy and several motivational components. The results and the data so obtained indicated a robust relationship between these socio-affective factors and students' reading proficiency. The paper discusses the research findings and their implications for instructing tertiary-level students in a way that would ensure successful academic reading.
Complex classroom encounters: A South African Perspective, Rinelle Evans & Ailie Cleghorn : book reviewAuthor Casey BurkholderSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 48, pp 215 –217 (2014)More Less
When multilingual learners enter the primary classroom, are they being welcomed at the classroom door? Or, are learners asked to check their home language practices at the door? In Evans and Cleghorn's (2012) Complex Classroom Encounters, they look to the case of classrooms in South Africa and Quebec, Canada to explore the messages that are being transmitted to young learners, and critique a deficit "view towards learners whose non-dominant home languages differ from that of the school" (p. xvii). Evans and Cleghorn introduce the reader to the notion of 'welcoming' learners to school through the metaphor of the classroom door, which they approach through a systematic discussion of South African and Quebecer youth language and linguistic practices. In their description of the intricate intersections between identities, dominant and marginalized languages, and classrooms, Evans and Cleghorn make the reader think critically about the ways in which we 'welcome' and alienate learners into the primary classroom. What makes the primary classroom welcoming, and how do we alienate young learner's language and linguistic practices? In their collection of articles, Evans and Cleghorn articulate the complexities between exitsing and desired inclusive educational practices in South African classrooms and beyond.