Exploring strategies teachers use to develop literacy skills among English First Additional Language learners in the Foundation Phase

Authors

  • Dr Roy Venketsamy University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Sophie Sibanda University of Pretoria, South Africa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v39.i2.18

Keywords:

Literacy skills, English first additional language, Foundation phase, Learning/teaching strategies

Abstract

Teachers play a significant role in literacy development. They are responsible for using different approaches to develop literacy skills among learners whose mother tongue is not the same as the language of learning and teaching in schools. This article aims to explore strategies teachers use to develop literacy skills among English First Additional Language learners. A qualitative case study was conducted that involved focus group interviews to gain in-depth knowledge of the strategies teachers use in their classes to develop literacy skills. For this article, Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development is used as a theoretical framework. The participants were six foundation phase teachers from one district in Gauteng. The data gathered showed that teachers are trying to use strategies described in the curriculum policy document. Teachers were unaware that they were using some of the most contemporary strategies in their classes such as balanced-literacy approach, play-based approach and evidence-based approach. Findings showed that teachers had good knowledge and understanding of literacy however, they were experiencing some challenges. They cited lack of support from knowledgeable others and appropriate teacher development and training. The study recommends that teachers need continuous training and development, literacy text should be contextualised and continued support from the school heads of department, curriculum advisors and subject specialist. It also recommends an in-depth knowledge, understanding and implementation of the curriculum policy.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Anstey, M. & Bull, G. 2010. Helping teachers to explore multimodal texts. Curriculum Leadership Journal, 8(16): 1–3.

Biggs, J.B. 2011. Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Bracefield, C. & Woodgate, F. 2020. Early literacy and the teacher’s role. He Kupu – The Word, 6(3): 14–19.

Cherry, K. 2020. The zone of proximal development as defined by Vygotsky. Available at https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-zone-of-proximal-development-2796034. [Accessed 28 April 2020].

Creswell, J.W. 2014. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approach, 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Dennis, L.R. & Horn, R. 2011. Strategies for supporting early literacy development. Young Exceptional Children, 14(3): 29–40 https://doi.org/10.1177/1096250611420553.

Denzin, N.K. 2012. Triangulation 2.0. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 6(2): 80–88. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689812437186.

Department of Basic Education (DBE). 2011. National curriculum statement (NCS): Curriculum and assessment policy statement (CAPS). Foundation Phase Grades 1–3: English Second Additional Language. Pretoria: Government Printer.

Department of Basic Education (DBE). 2014. Report on the annual national assessment of 2014. Grades 1 to 6 & 9. Pretoria. Government Printers.

Department of Basic Education (DBE). 2017. The early grade reading study summary report. Pretoria: Government Printers.

Department of Education (DoE). 2008. Teaching reading in the early grades. A teacher's handbook. Pretoria: Government Printers.

Department of Education (DoE). 1997. Language in education policy. Pretoria. Government Printers.

Dreyer, .M. 2017. Addressing barriers to learning in first additional language (second language) In M.D. Magano, S. Mohapi and D. Robinson (Eds.). Realigning teacher training in the 21st century (pp.203–216). UK: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Du Plessis, E. 2020. Student teachers’ perceptions, experience, and challenges regarding learner-centred teaching. South African Journal of Education, 40(1): 1–10. https://doi.org/10.15700/saje.v40n1a1631

Excell, L. & Linington, V. 2011. Move to literacy. Fanning emergent literacy in early childhood education in a pedagogy of play. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 1(2): 27–45. https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/83/29. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v1i2.83

Fleer, M. 2015. Pedagogical positioning in play – teachers being inside and outside of children’s imaginary play. Early Child Development and Care, 185(11–12): 1801–1814. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2015.1028393.

Greenhill, V. & Petroe S. 2010. 2lst century knowledge and skills in educator preparation. London: Pearson.

Gryphon House. 2018. What is symbolic play? Classroom management. Available at https://www.gryphonhouse.com/resources/what-is-symbolic-play.

Howie, S.J., Combrinck, C., Roux, K., Tshele, M., Mokoena, G.M. & Palane, M.N. 2017. PIRLS Literacy 2016 progress in international reading literacy study 2016: South African children’s reading literacy achievement. Pretoria: Centre for Evaluation and Assessment. https://doi.org/10.15700/saje.v40n1a1631.

Kennedy, E., Dunphy, E., Dwyer, B., Hayes, G., McPhillips, T., Marsch, J., O'Connor, M. & Shiel, G. 2012. Literacy in early childhood and primary education (3–8 years). Commissioned research report. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Dublin. https://ncca.ie/media/2137/literacy_in_early_childhood_and_primary_education_3-8_years.pdf.

Le, H., Janssen, J. & Wubbels, T. 2016. Collaborative learning practices: teacher and student perceived obstacles to effective student collaboration. Cambridge Journal of Education, 48(1): 103-122 https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2016.1259389.

Maharajh, L.R., Nkosi, T. and Mkhize, M.C. 2017. Teachers’ experiences in the implementation of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) in three primary schools in KwaZulu Natal. Africa’s Public Service Delivery and Performance Review, 4(2): 371–388. https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v4i3.120

McAllum, R. 2014. Reciprocal teaching: critical reflection on practice. Kairaranga, 15(1): 26–35.

McCarthy, J. 2015. Student-centred learning: It starts with the teacher. Available at https://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-centered-learning-starts-with-teacher-john-mccarthy.

Meyer, K. 2010. Diving into reading: revisiting reciprocal teaching in the middle years. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, 18(1): 41–52.

Mielonen, A.M. & Paterson, W. 2009. Developing literacy through play. Journal of Inquiry & Action in Education, 3(1): 15–32.

Mishra, R.K. 2013. Vygotskian perspective of teaching-learning. International Journal of Applied Research, 1(1): 21–28.

Morrow, L. & Gambrell, L. (Eds.). (2011). Best practices in literacy instruction, 4th ed. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Mudzielwana, N.P., Joubert, I., Phatudi, N.C. & Cycil, G. 2012. Teaching reading comprehension to Foundation Phase Tshivenda-speaking learners. Journal of Educational Studies, 11(1): 67–84.

Nugent, M., Gannon, L., Mullan, Y & O’ Rouke, D. 2016. A balanced approach to literacy development in the early years. National Education Psychological Services (NEPS). Available at https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/Balanced-Approach-to-Literacy-Development-in-the-Early-Years-.pdf.

Persaud, C. 2019. Pedagogy: What educators need to know. Available at https://tophat.com/blog/pedagogy/.

Pourshafie, T. & Murray-Harvery, R. 2013. Facilitating problem-based learning in teacher education getting the challenge right. Journal of Education for Teaching, 39(2): 169–180 https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2013.765190.

Pretorius, E., Jackson, M., McKay, V., Murray, S., Spaull, N. 2015. Teaching reading and writing in the foundation phase: A concept note. Cape Town. The University of Stellenbosch.

Salehi, M. & Vafakhah, S. 2013. A comparative study of reciprocal teaching only (RTO) and explicit teaching of strategies before reciprocal teaching (ET-RT) on reading. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 7(2):148–155.

Samuels, A., Shorter, B. & Plaut, F. 2012. A critical dictionary of Jungian analysis. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203713822

Servant-Miklos, V.F.C. 2018. Problem-solving skills versus knowledge acquisition. The historical dispute that split problem-based learning into two camps. Health Sciences Education, 24, 619–653. https://linkspringer.com/article/10.1007/s10459-018-9835-0.

Siaulys, K. 2013. A balanced literacy approach to the classroom. Unpublished thesis. Liberty University.

Tani, R. & & Ghaemi, F. 2011. Implications of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development (ZDP) in teacher education: ZPTD and self-scaffolding. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences, 29: 1549–1554. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.11.396

Taylor, F. 2013. Listening to Romanian teenagers: Lessons in motivation and ELT methodology. In E. Ushioda (Ed). International Perspectives on Motivation (pp.35–59). London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137000873_3

Tompkins, G.E. 2013. Language arts, patterns of practice, 8th ed. Upper Saddle River. NJ. Pearson Education, Inc.

Victoria Education Department. 2020. Literacy teaching toolkit: Guided reading. Available at https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/english/literacy/readingviewing/Pages/teachingpracguided.aspx.

Viswambharan, A.P. & Priya, K.R. 2016. Documentary analysis as a qualitative methodology to explore disaster mental health: Insights from analysing a documentary on communal riots. Qualitative Research, 16(1): 43–59. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794114567494

Vygotsky, L. 1976. Play and its role in the mental development of the child. Soviet Psychology, 5(3): 6–18. https://doi.org/10.2753/RPO1061-040505036

Wenger, K. 2014. Problem-based learning and information literacy. A natural partnership. Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice, 2(2): 142–154. https://doi.org/10.5195/PALRAP.2014.61

Yin, R.K. 2018. Case study research and applications: Design and methods, 6th ed. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Zinn, S., Stilwell, C. & Hoskins, R. 2015. Information literacy education in the South African classroom: Reflections from teachers’ journals in the Western Cape Province. Libri, 66(1): 31–44. https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2015-0102

Zosh, J.M., Hopkins, E.J., Jensen, H., Liu, C., Neale, D., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Solis, S.L. & Whitebread, D. 2017. Learning through play: A review of the evidence (white paper). Denmark: The LEGO Foundation.

Published

2021-06-11

How to Cite

Venketsamy, R., & Sibanda, S. (2021). Exploring strategies teachers use to develop literacy skills among English First Additional Language learners in the Foundation Phase. Perspectives in Education, 39(2), 253-266. https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v39.i2.18

Issue

Section

Research articles