n Africa Education Review - An investigation into the early literacy skills of Grade R Second-language (L2) learners in South Africa

Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1814-6627



Reading proficiency is currently a great concern for South African educators. According to the literature on reading proficiency, reading difficulties stem from early literacy development and any improvement in these early literacy skills may help improve reading proficiency. It has, however also been found that South African learners who participated in this study do not meet the standards for their age group in terms of early literacy development. <BR>Educators need to know what learners should have accomplished in terms of early literacy to support learners before they can commence with instruction in initial reading. Skills crucial for the development of literacy are underlying cognitive skills (i.e., the ability to learn deliberately), the development of symbolic representation, oral language, knowledge of literacy concepts, and behaviours and attitudes. This article looks at the skills required for early literacy development. An empirical investigation was undertaken to determine to what extent these skills were mastered by Grade R second-language (L2) learners. The empirical investigation related these skills to the sub-skills of the School Readiness Evaluation by Trained Testers (SETT) to determine the extent to which a group of Grade R learners have mastered the different skills of early literacy development. The findings paint a bleak picture, since most of the participants lack adequate proficiency regarding the skills of early literacy development.

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