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- Volume 46, Issue 2, 2012
Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Volume 46, Issue 2, 2012
Volume 46, Issue 2, 2012
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 4 –5 (2012)More Less
As a result of the substantial contribution that Prof. Albert Weideman has made over many years to the field of applied linguistics (and various others), the executive committee of the South African Association for Language Teaching decided to dedicate a special issue of the Journal for Language Teaching to him.
Using literacy narratives to scaffold academic literacy in the Bachelor of Education : a pedagogical frameworkAuthor Adelia CarstensSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 9 –25 (2012)More Less
The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework that might serve as a foundation for designing and developing academic literacy curricula for pre-service teachers. First, the main challenges that face course designers and lecturers of academic literacy in teacher education programmes are outlined. This is followed by an overview of theoretical approaches that might underpin the framework. Two applications of multimodal narrative pedagogy in composition classrooms are then discussed. Subsequently, the proposed framework, which infuses narrative pedagogy and a particular version of transformative pedagogies into a new literacies model, is presented and discussed. The application of the framework is demonstrated through the analysis of a literacy self-narrative by a South African scholar. I conclude the article by reflecting on the benefits of the framework in response to the challenges stated at the beginning of the paper.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 27 –41 (2012)More Less
The research data used in this article are drawn from a study conducted in a business faculty at a Historically Black South African University during 2009 and 2010. A comparison was made in the study between two groups of first-year students: a group that had passed all their modules and a group that had failed some of their modules at the end of their first year of study. The aim was to investigate factors that had an impact on the successful completion of the first year of study by problematising the perception that those students from disadvantaged backgrounds or under-resourced schools are necessarily disadvantaged and destined to fail. In this article the focus is on the successful group of students and their mastery of academic discourse situated in the complexity of social and academic interaction. The findings indicate that the inter-relatedness of personal, academic, social and institutional factors mirror the inter-related way in which the students had experienced them. These findings further underline the fact that successful learning is a complex and multi-layered process that is ongoing and that needs to be monitored, sustained and evaluated throughout students' study careers. The students' personal perspectives on academic study provided not only evidence that the development of academic literacy is socially situated and constructed but also showed how successful students manage their academic learning to mitigate under-preparedness and adverse personal circumstances.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 43 –56 (2012)More Less
Hierdie artikel lewer verslag oor 'n empiriese ondersoek wat onderneem is om te bepaal of daar 'n daling in die akademiese geletterdheidsvlakke van eerstejaarstudente in Suid-Afrika is aangesien dit die indruk is wat geskep word deur die populêre media sowel as wetenskaplike publikasies. In 2007 het Van der Slik en Weideman in 'n soortgelyke ondersoek bevind dat daar nie 'n daling in geletterdheidsvlakke onder eerstejaarstudente te bespeur is nie. Daar was egter beperkinge aan die genoemde ondersoek en vir doeleindes van hierdie artikel is daar gepoog om enkele van hierdie beperkinge aan te spreek. Die Toets van Akademiese Geletterdheidsvlakke (TAG) is as meetinstrument gebruik en 'n analise van variansie (ANOVA) is as statistiese tegniek aangewend. Die analises het in teenstelling met die 2007-studie wel 'n daling aangetoon, ondanks die feit dat dit nie besonder groot is nie. Hierdie artikel lewer dus nie net 'n bydrae tot die diskoers oor deurvloeikoerse en eerstejaarsondersteuning in Suid-Afrika nie. Dit kan ook gebruik word as bron vir ingeligte besluitneming oor kwessies soos taalbeplanning en taalondersteuning.
This article reports on an empirical study undertaken to determine whether a decline is evident in the academic literacy levels of first year students in South Africa as this is the impression often created by the popular media and scientific publications. In a similar study in 2007, Van der Slik and Weideman found no evidence of a deterioration of literacy levels. There were, however, limitations to their investigation and for purposes of this article some of these limitations were addressed. The Toets van Akademiese Geletterdheidsvlakke (TAG) was used as measuring instrument and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) employed as statistical technique. The analyses, in contrast to the 2007 study, indicate a decrease, albeit not substantive. This article thus not only contributes to the discourse on throughput rates and first year support in South Africa. It could also be used as a source of information for informed decision making on issues such as language planning and language support.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 58 –72 (2012)More Less
The transition from secondary to tertiary education is not just a change of physical environment, but it is also a change of culture. It has been shown that first year students' academic performance and their motivation to stay in school partly depend on how well they integrate into the university environment. In other words, students have to interact with their community through the reigning academic discourse, i.e., they must learn this community's communicative currency: the norms, standards, procedures and linguistic forms that constitute academic discourse.
This article eclectically summarizes five studies which try to contribute to a better understanding of academic acculturation by first year students of English language and literature studying English as a foreign language. We hope to contribute to the discussion of well-being and well-feeling of freshmen in their process of acculturation on the basis of their own introspections.
Butterfly effects in reading? The relationship between decoding and comprehension in Grade 6 high poverty schoolsAuthor Elizabeth J. PretoriusSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 74 –95 (2012)More Less
Using the metaphor of butterfly effects, this paper considers how literacy inequalities in comprehension performance amongst Grade 6 learners in high poverty schools can be linked to skills that should have been developed in earlier stages of reading development. The reading comprehension skills of Grade 6 learners in the home language, Northern Sotho, and in English in two disadvantaged primary schools were assessed over a 2-year period, using large group pen-and-paper tests. A smaller sample of learners were then also tested individually for decoding skills each year to see if decoding competence could shed light on the comprehension levels and differential reading effects amongst learners. Strong correlations were found between three measures of decoding skill and reading comprehension. Oral reading fluency emerged as a strong predictor of comprehension. The pedagogical implications of these findings for early reading instruction in South African classrooms are briefly discussed.
Source: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 97 –106 (2012)More Less
Taking a dynamic systems perspective on second language development, this paper argues that development is change over time, which is never stable and has no end state. Moreover, time can be defined at different scales: from the millisecond, minute, week and year to the lifespan. At all scales we can see change over time in language development at different levels of granularity; however, the time scale and level of granularity we use determines to a great extent what we find. What seems a change at one level may be nothing more than natural variation at another one.
Challenging Messick : proposing a theoretical framework for understanding fundamental concepts in language testingAuthor Avasha RambiritchSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 108 –121 (2012)More Less
As applied linguists, an important part of our work constitutes the design of language courses, language tests and sometimes even language policies. Clearly, these applied linguistic artefacts, especially language tests (which are the focus of this article) have far-reaching, sometimes negative, effects on our students. As applied linguists what is there in the literature on language testing to guide the work we do, to ensure that our designs have some positive effect? What have the experts in the field of language testing presented us with to ensure that important questions related to the social dimension in testing (issues related to transparency, integrity, accountability, fairness and ethics) are not ignored in the design and administration of language tests? What this article will attempt to do is to show that questions about the social dimension of language testing cannot be adequately answered by Messick (1980; 1989a; 1989b), a conventionally accepted expert in the field. Instead these questions can be answered in a "third idea, other than validity" (Weideman 2009: 239), as outlined by Weideman, an idea that does not foreground one concept but rather identifies a number of fundamental considerations for language testing.
Facing up to literacy : perceptions and performance in a test of academic literacy for postgraduate studentsAuthor Colleen Du PlessisSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 123 –139 (2012)More Less
Language proficiency and academic literacy tests such as the National Benchmark Test (NBT) and Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) are already well established assessment instruments that are widely used at universities in South Africa to assess the literacy levels of first-entry students. A more recent initiative has been the institution of language testing at postgraduate level as a means of identifying students at risk of not completing their academic studies at that more advanced level. This article examines the face validity of the Test of Academic Literacy for Postgraduate Students (TALPS) amongst a cohort of postgraduate students at the University of the Free State and the perceptions of these students as to their own levels of academic literacy. A correlation is made with the students' actual performance in the TALPS as an initial step towards gaining a measure of understanding of the low levels of academic literacy of some postgraduate students. The results of the study show that, although most of the students consider the TALPS to be fair and accurate, there is a major discrepancy between the perceptions of their own academic literacy levels and their actual test performance. Possible reasons for the disparity are gleaned from the responses provided by the students in the survey questionnaire and an analysis of their test scores. It would seem that the academic literacy levels of students may not increase substantially during the undergraduate phase of study, a phenomenon that reflects back on language issues, course electives and undergraduate teaching and assessment practices.
Author Johann L. Van der WaltSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 141 –155 (2012)More Less
In this article, I discuss how the quality of language tests can be determined by means of a validation process. In the past, the quality of language tests was often determined by examining their reliability, content validity and reflection of real-world tasks. There have also been attempts to define the language ability construct, but this has proved to be a divisive issue. Attempts at validation were often unsystematic and ad hoc, reflecting a "toolkit" approach. Recent work in validation suggests an argument-based approach, which focuses on both the interpretation and uses of test scores. One of the main proponents of this approach is Michael T. Kane. I outline and assess his approach to validation and discuss and evaluate the most common inferences in language testing, such as sampling, scoring, generalization, extrapolation, explanation and utilization/decision-making. This approach allows for a systematic approach to the evaluation of tests, but requires further refinement in language testing and assessment.
Reflections on a research initiative aimed at enhancing the role of African languages in education in South AfricaAuthor Rosemary Wildsmith-CromartySource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 157 –170 (2012)More Less
In the South African educational domain, there are an increasing number of initiatives which attempt to address the inequities in the system by providing support in an African language at various levels. Many of these initiatives use translation of texts in various subject areas as a major method of support which necessarily involves terminology development. This article puts forward the argument that although linguistic and conceptual development are inextricably linked, provision of translations, terms and word lists may not be sufficient to encourage 'deep' learning of the key concepts in the disciplinary content areas. The challenges arising out of the present educational context in South Africa require a more holistic approach, including language provision and management, professional translation and back translation, more inclusive methods of terminology development with richer contextualization and the enrichment of teachers' pedagogic content knowledge. The argument arises out of a re-examination of the findings from research into the development of two multilingual resource books for use by teachers of mathematics and science at secondary school level. These resources were developed in order to facilitate understanding of key concepts in the mathematics and science disciplines and will undergo a re-appraisal of the extent of their effectiveness in meeting these aims.
Author Danie StraussSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 172 –189 (2012)More Less
This contribution commences with a substantiation of the claim made by Weideman regarding the inevitable "philosophical base" of linguistics by showing that the question what a special science is, is not itself specific scientific in nature. Moreover, modal abstraction, as the distinctive feature of scientific thinking, also confirms the philosophical foundation of the various academic disciplines. The philosophical paradigm of Weideman enables an appreciation of the uniqueness of aspects and the coherence between them. Ultimately the argument proceeds from a non-reductionist ontology. While appreciating what was discovered by one-sided (reductionist) approaches in the history of linguistics, one at once also has to recognize undeniable states of affairs. By expanding this perspective, in order to include the intertwinement of modal aspects and (natural and social) entities and processes, the functional and structural conditions for the uniqueness of language and regarding the exceptional human ability to speak, are highlighted.
Author Alan DaviesSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 191 –201 (2012)More Less
Reporting on his study of the Menomini Indians of Wisconsin, Leonard Bloomfield notes that "some persons are felt to be better models of conduct and speech than others" (Bloomfield 1927:396). Bloomfield was surprised to find such normative attitudes even in "a small community of people speaking a uniform language ... without schools or writing" (Bloomfield 1927:394) and eventually decided that "this may be a generally human state of affairs, true in every group and applicable to all languages" (Bloomfield 1927:396). In this paper, I consider the case of English, the disputes about ownership, norms and models which come together in the arguments about the native speaker (Davies 2003). What the Bloomfield quote above suggests is that even when there is no official standard, there is always a norm. I ask the question: which model should be used to develop an official standard for a language/dialect/variety that has no official standard? Can the native speaker, however marginalized, be ignored? In support of my argument, I discuss five current critiques of the native speaker: World Englishes, négritude and the anglophone response, English as a Lingua Franca, judgements by Native Speaker (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) raters of second language (L2) performance, second language acquisition research and the unbridgeable gulf and conclude by distinguishing between the real and the idealized native speaker, which, in the case of English, is an instantiation of the Standard Language.
Author Diane Larsen-FreemanSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 203 –204 (2012)More Less
I first met Albert Weideman in 1996 at the 11th World Congress of Applied Linguistics (AILA) in Jyväskylä, Finland. Albert was one of the first South Africans I had ever encountered, and he proved to be a worthy representative. I have learned much from Albert over the years as I have watched him in his many accomplished roles. A self-described "philosopher," Albert Weideman is that. However, he also operates skillfully out of the ivory tower and in the world; he is, in short, a rare combination of an academic and an entrepreneur.
Author Hendrik HartSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46 (2012)More Less
I have known Albert Weideman for close to 40 years as friend, colleague, lover of language, and scholar dedicated to investigating language, or anything else for that matter, as a contextualized reality and therefore unknowable except in all of its rich internal and external relations.
Author Christo Van RensburgSource: Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig 46, pp 206 –207 (2012)More Less
Sou mens sê die onselfsugtige skep van geleenthede vir verdienstelike mense, die bemiddel van beurse vir jongmense, die afstaan van besluitneming met delegeer, die vestig van selfvertroue met bemagtiging, het te make met iemand wat in die konteks van die bekende Afrika-idioom optree? Al te seker.