Teaching English as a second language in Grade 3 rural schools

Teaching English as a second language in Grade 3 rural schools

Teaching English as a second language in Grade 3 rural schools

by

MARISA CLAUDIA LEASK

11232685

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree

MEd (Learning Support, Guidance and Counselling) in the

FACULTY OF EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY at the

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

Supervisor:

Co-supervisors:

Dr Funke Omidire

Prof Liesel Ebersöhn

Prof Deslea Konza, ECU

30 September 2014

Acknowledgements

My sincerest thanks and appreciation to the following people during my journey:

· Dr Funke Omidire, for your psychological and emotional support ensuring that I remained grounded. When in doubt you guided me back onto the right path. I have learnt so much from you.

· Prof Liesel Ebersöhn, without you this journey would never have happened. Thank you for confidence in me and all the positive comments. You make reaching for the stars seem quite possible.

· Prof Deslea Konza, although physically far, your presence is evident throughout the whole thesis. “In Teacher’s Hands” and your “Teaching Children with Reading

Difficulties” having become my go-to references on literacy information. Every teacher involved in reading should have a copy of your book.

· To my husband, Kevin, and sons, Michael and Sebastian, your support and encouragement made this journey possible. Thank you for your patience and being there for me. We have all grown from the experience.

Summary

This study aimed to describe the nature of teaching English as a second language in Grade 3 to inform language instruction. Pragmatism guided the study with Differentiated Instruction as the theoretical framework. A comparative case study, based on an embedded mixed method design, was used to observe three teachers in two remote primary schools. Qualitative data included non-participative classroom observations, face-to-face semi-structured interviews, and selected documents. Supportive quantitative data was collected by means of the Classroom Observation

Schedule-Revised (CLOS-R) to determine the effective literacy instructional practices applied.

Thematic analysis was guided by a-priori codes of effective teaching practices of English as a second language for academic purposes.

Findings provide evidence-based descriptions of foundation phase teachers’ teaching of an additional language in two rural schools. They indicate that teachers managed the behaviour of learners and provide a predictable routine. However, the classroom was not used as a resource to promote literacy development through the physical arrangement or by creating opportunities for social interaction. Instructional practice did not appear purposeful and teachers lacked awareness of the learners’ needs. The teachers did not seem to have sufficient training or experience to teach English to Grade 3 learners. Their low level of English proficiency combined with a lack of resources to support language enrichment made it difficult for them to meet the learning challenges faced by rural learners. Language instruction seemed to focus on structure, compromising the development of the independent academic language skills needed to make the transition in Grade 4 to English as the Language of Learning and Teaching. They were thus unable to fully fulfil their role as a knowledge specialist and a learner expert. The results of this study are similar to findings in the literature (Fleisch, 2008).

Key words:

Second language acquisition, instructional practice, Foundation phase, rural, Grade 3 English

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 ..................................................................................................................................................... 1

1 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY ........................................................................................................................ 1

1.1

1.2

BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................ 2

RATIONALE .................................................................................................................... 2

1.3

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY AND RESEARCH QUESTION ....................................................... 3

1.4

CONCEPT CLARIFICATION ............................................................................................... 4

1.4.1

Second language acquisition .......................................................................................... 4

1.5

1.6

1.4.2

Instructional practices .................................................................................................... 4

1.4.3

Foundation Phase........................................................................................................... 4

1.4.4

Rural .............................................................................................................................. 4

1.4.5

English in Grade 3 .......................................................................................................... 5

PARADIGMATIC LENSES .................................................................................................. 5

QUALITY CRITERIA .......................................................................................................... 7

1.7

1.8

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS ............................................................................................. 7

CHAPTER OUTLINE ......................................................................................................... 7

CHAPTER 2 ..................................................................................................................................................... 9

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................................................................ 9

2.1

SELECTION OF THE MODEL OF METHOD ANALYSIS .......................................................... 9

2.1.1

Approach ....................................................................................................................... 9

2.1.2

Design .......................................................................................................................... 14

2.1.3

Procedure .................................................................................................................... 17

2.2

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION ........................................ 18

2.2.1

Instruction.................................................................................................................... 19

2.2.2

Environment ................................................................................................................ 27

2.2.3

Role of the Teacher ...................................................................................................... 29

2.2.4

Challenges ................................................................................................................... 31

2.2.5

Conclusion.................................................................................................................... 31

CHAPTER 3 ................................................................................................................................................... 32

3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................... 32

3.1

3.2

PURPOSE STATEMENT .................................................................................................. 33

PARADIGMATIC PERSPECTIVES ..................................................................................... 33

3.2.1

Metatheoretical Paradigm ........................................................................................... 34

3.2.2

Methodological Paradigm: Embedded Mixed Methods ................................................. 35

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3.3

3.4

CONTEXT OF THE STUDY .....................................................................................................40

SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT .....................................................................................................42

3.5

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................43

3.5.1

Research process ................................................................................................................43

3.5.2

Data collection ...................................................................................................................45

3.5.3

Selection of participants .....................................................................................................45

3.5.4

Selection of documents ......................................................................................................47

3.5.5

Qualitative data collection..................................................................................................48

3.5.6

Analysis strategies of qualitative data ................................................................................52

3.6

3.7

3.5.7

Quantitative data collection ...............................................................................................52

3.5.8

Analysis strategies of quantitative data ..............................................................................53

DATA INTEGRATION

QUALITY

AND LITERATURE CONTROL .................................................................54

CRITERIA ..............................................................................................................54

3.8

3.9

3.7.1

Qualitative criteria .............................................................................................................55

3.7.2

Quantitative criteria ...........................................................................................................56

3.7.3

Mixed methods criteria ......................................................................................................57

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS .................................................................................................58

CONCLUSION .....................................................................................................................59

CHAPTER 4 .........................................................................................................................................................60

4 QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS ......................................................................................................................60

4.1

Q

UALITATIVE THEMES

..............................................................................................................60

4.1.1

Theme 1: Second language instructional practices for English schools of Grade 3 learners in two rural schools ................................................................................................................60

4.2

4.1.2

Theme 2: Environment that supports English L2 learning ....................................................83

4.1.3

Theme 3: Role of the teacher in English L2 instruction .........................................................92

C

ONCLUSIONS

........................................................................................................................99

CHAPTER 5 ....................................................................................................................................................... 100

5 QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................. 100

5.1

THE CLOS-R DIMENSIONS ................................................................................................. 100

5.1.1

Respect dimension ........................................................................................................... 101

5.1.2

Knowledge dimension ...................................................................................................... 102

5.1.3

Orchestration dimension .................................................................................................. 105

5.1.4

Support dimension ........................................................................................................... 108

5.2

5.1.5

Differentiation dimension ................................................................................................. 110

CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................... 110 ii

CHAPTER 6 ....................................................................................................................................................... 111

6 INTEGRATED FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION ............................................................. 111

6.1

INTEGRATION OF FINDINGS TO ANSWER RESEARCH QUESTIONS ....................................... 111

6.1.1

What is the context in which teaching English L2 occurs in rural schools? .......................... 113

6.1.2

How do teachers in rural schools teach English as a second language? ............................. 117

6.1.3

What teacher factors influence the teaching of English L2? ............................................... 123

6.2

6.3

6.4

ANSWERING THE PRIMARY QUESTION IN RELATION TO DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION .... 131

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY ........................................................................................ 137

LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY ............................................................................................. 137

6.5

RECOMMENDATIONS ....................................................................................................... 138

6.5.1

Building teacher capacity ................................................................................................. 138

6.6

6.5.2

Building up resources ....................................................................................................... 138

6.5.3

Out-of-School Literacy activities ....................................................................................... 139

CONCLUSION AND REFLECTION ........................................................................................ 140

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................... 141

List of Appendices

APPENDIX A: Letter to Schools

APPENDIX B: Consent Forms

APPENDIX C: Transcribed Classroom Observations

APPENDIX D: Face-To-Face Semi-Structured Interviews

APPENDIX F: Photographs

APPENDIX G: Coding Process

APPENDIX H: Teachers guides iii

List of Figures

Figure 1.1 Visual model of concurrent embedded case design adapted from Ivankova et al. (2010) ...................... 6

Figure 3.1 Steps followed in the study (Adapted from Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p.23) ...............................32

Figure 3.2 Google map of the rural area where School A is located (Maps, 2010) .................................................39

Figure 3.3 Google map of the rural area where School B is located (Maps, 2010) .................................................39

Figure 3.4 Visual model of concurrent embedded case design adapted from Brady and O'Regan (2009) ..............40

Figure 3.5 Map of the rural area where Schools A and B are situated in relation to the secondary school

(Maps, 2010) ..............................................................................................................................................46

Figure 5.1 Total effective literacy practices observed from the CLOS-R dimensions ............................................ 100

List of Photographs

Photograph 3.1 Settlement where School B is situated ........................................................................................41

Photograph 3.2 Classroom in School A ................................................................................................................50

Photograph 3.3 Classroom in School B ................................................................................................................50

Photograph 4.1 English lesson plan of Teacher 1 in School A ...............................................................................65

Photograph 4.2 English lesson plan of Teacher 2 in School B................................................................................66

Photograph 4.3 English lesson plan of Teacher 1 in School A ...............................................................................66

Photograph 4.4 Exercise book of Learner 1 - School A .........................................................................................67

Photograph 4.5 Exercise book of Learner 1 - School B ..........................................................................................67

Photograph 4.6 Exercise book of Learner 1 - School A .........................................................................................68

Photograph 4.7 Learners sharing photocopies .....................................................................................................72

Photograph 4.8 Teacher 3 from School A writing on the board ............................................................................72

Photograph 4.9 Short sentence response from a learner in Teacher 1’s class. ......................................................73

Photograph 4.10 Worksheet response from a learner in Teacher 3’s class ...........................................................73

Photograph 4.11 Classroom groupings for Teachers 1, 2 and 3 ............................................................................78

Photograph 4.12 English lesson plan of Teacher 1 in School A – Assessment ........................................................81

Photograph 4.13 English lesson plan of Teacher 2 in School B – Assessment ........................................................81

Photograph 4.14 English lesson plan Teacher 3 – Assessment..............................................................................82

Photograph 4.15 School A classroom displays .....................................................................................................87

Photograph 4.16 School B classroom display .......................................................................................................88

Photograph 4.17 Environment in which the schools and community are located .................................................91

Photograph 4.18 Example of a learner's work ......................................................................................................97

Photograph 5.1 School A learners looking for words on the different wall charts in Teacher 3’s class on 12-03-2013.

................................................................................................................................................................. 106 iv

List of Tables

Table 3.1 School demographics (Refer to Appendix D and E)................................................................................43

Table 3.2 Research schedule ...............................................................................................................................44

Table 3.3 Strategy, sample, goal and analysis - adapted from (Creswell, Klassen, Plano Clark, & Clegg Smith) .......45

Table 4.1 Definition, themes, indicators and exclusion related to the theme of Instructional Practice ..................61

Table 4.2 Summary of data sources used for each category and indicator ............................................................62

Table 4.3 Definition, indicators and exclusions related to the category ‘explicit instruction’ .................................64

Table 4.4 Definition, indicators, exclusion and exceptions related to the category ‘opportunities to practise’ ......70

Table 4.5 Definition, indicators and exclusions related to the category ‘formative assessment’ ............................74

Table 4.6 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘scaffolding’ ..............................................76

Table 4.7 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘flexible grouping’ .....................................77

Table 4.8 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘progress monitoring assessment’ .............78

Table 4.9 Comparison CAPS assessment goals and what was assessed by the teachers ........................................80

Table 4.10 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘Feedback’ ..............................................82

Table 4.11 Definition, themes, indicators and exclusions relating to the environment theme ...............................84

Table 4.12 Summary of data sources used for each category and indicator ..........................................................85

Table 4.13 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘physical arrangements’ ..........................86

Table 4.14 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘psychological climate’ ............................................88

Table 4.15 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘economic factors’...................................................90

Table 4.16 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘literacy practices’ ...................................................91

Table 4.17 Definition, subthemes, indicators and exclusions related to the theme of the role of the teacher .......92

Table 4.18 Summary of data sources used for each category and indicator ..........................................................93

Table 4.19 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘instructional knowledge’ ........................94

Table 4.20 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘language knowledge’ .............................95

Table 4.21 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘readiness’ ..............................................96

Table 4.22 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘interest’ .................................................................98

Table 4.23 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘learner profile’ .......................................99

Table 5.1 Respect dimension instructional practice observed ............................................................................ 101

Table 5.2 Knowledge dimension instructional practices observed ...................................................................... 103

Table 5.3 Orchestration dimension instructional practice observed ................................................................... 106

Table 5.4 Support dimension instructional practices observed ........................................................................... 108

Table 5.5 Differentiation dimension instructional practice observed .................................................................. 110

Table 6.1 Integrating data types to answer the research questions .................................................................... 112

Table 6.2 Integration of the data types to answer Secondary Question 1 ........................................................... 113

Table 6.3 Integration of the data types to answer Secondary Question 2 ........................................................... 118

Table 6.4 Integration of the data types to answer Secondary Question 3 ........................................................... 124 v

Table 6.5 CLOS-R practices to support ‘instructional knowledge’ ....................................................................... 125

Table 6.6 CLOS-R practices that support language instruction ............................................................................ 127

Table 6.7 CLOS-R practices that support learner readiness................................................................................. 129

Table 6.8 CLOS-R practices that support learner interest ................................................................................... 130

Table 6.9 CLOS-R practices that support the learner’s learning profile ............................................................... 130 vi

CHAPTER 1

1 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY

The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation. Our previous system emphasized the physical and other differences of South Africans with devastating effects. We are steadily but surely introducing education that enables our children to exploit their similarities and common goals, while appreciating the strength in their diversity (Roskos,

Strickland, Haase, & Malik, 2009).

This study forms part of the Flourishing Learning Youth (FLY) project that was started in 2005 as part of a community service learning programme for Masters in Educational Psychology

(MEd) students. The project was extended to multiple inquiries regarding risk and resilience in rural schools, including: teaching literacy (Du Plessis, 2013), resilience, poverty and education

(Ebersöhn & Ferreira, 2012), teacher resilience (Coetzee, 2014; Ebersöhn & Ferreira, 2011), teachers promoting resilience (Loots, 2006; Mbongwe, 2012; Mnguni, 2007; Olivier, 2010), educational psychology services in rural schools (Malan, 2011; Van der Walt, 2013), and risk and youth (Cherrington, 2010; Ebersöhn, 2007).This is a collaborative partnership between

Ebersöhn’s Unit for Education Research in AIDS (ERA Unit), Department of Educational

Psychology (University of Pretoria), and teachers and learners

1

in a rural secondary school in remote Mpumalanga. The partnership was extended to include Foundation Phase teachers in two neighbouring schools to investigate and build teaching capacity in literacy (Du Plessis, 2013).

In the aforementioned FLY partnership cycle, the school management identified that the

English competency of the Grade 8 learners of the initial partner secondary school was not at the required level, and a literacy intervention programme with secondary school teachers was requested and implemented in partnership with the ERA Unit of researchers in FLY. A core finding from these studies (Du Plessis, 2013) was that literacy intervention with teachers had to start much earlier, namely in the Foundation Phase of feeder primary schools.

1

For the purpose of this proposal, learner will refer to schoolchild/child

1

The Department of Education (DoE) developed a National Reading Strategy to overcome the low literacy levels in schools (DoE, 2008), and in 2008 launched the Foundations for Learning Campaign with the intention of ensuring that all learners receive a solid foundation in reading, writing and calculating (DoE, 2008; Pandora, 2008). It is against this contextual background that this research was initiated.

1.1 BACKGROUND

South Africa faces numerous challenges in providing quality education for its multicultural population (N. Nel, Nel, & Hugo, 2012). These challenges are compounded by high poverty and unemployment rates, limited resources and unsupportive home environments (Van Staden,

2010). Rural schools have shown little improvement over the past few years, with specific interventions being earmarked by the Department of Education to improve the situation (DoE,

2005).

Nationally and globally, educational policies are addressing learning and the teaching of

English as a high priority (Wagner, 2011; Wyse, Andrews, & Hoffman, 2010). The language policy in South African schools operates under the structure of additive multilingualism, which promotes home language or mother tongue (L1) as the Language of Learning and Teaching

(LoLT), particularly in the first few years of schooling, while providing access to additional languages (DoE, 2011). However, English remains the LoLT for about 80% of learners from

Grade 4 onwards, despite the fact that only 9,6% of the population speak English at home

(Howie, Van Staden, Tshele, Dowse, & Zimmerman, 2012). Learners need language to gain access to the curriculum (Lucas, Villegas, & Freedson-Gonzalez, 2008), and without the necessary English language skills, language becomes a barrier to learning. This has resulted in poor academic performance, since learners do not have sufficient English proficiency to learn content.

1.2 RATIONALE

Student achievement is determined by what the teacher and the learner do in the classroom

(Hattie, 2003; Reynolds, 1998). Therefore, teachers are key contributors to improving the teaching of English in South Africa, particularly in the Foundation Phase (Fleisch, 2008). The assessment results of Progress in International Reading Literacy Studies (PIRLS) 2011,

2

according to Howie et al. (2012), reinforce the need for instructional practices to address the difficulties many learners experience with the English language in primary school.

Furthermore, there is concern about the scant research into the schooling conditions that either promote or impede the teaching of English in South African primary-school classrooms

(Howie et al., 2008). These authors state that without empirical information, particularly qualitative research, there is no useable resource for the planning and monitoring of future literacy development initiatives in schools or to aid teacher education. Gambrell, Morrow, and

Mazzoni (2011) agree that more research in classrooms is needed and emphasise that although the curriculum has detailed the process of defining tasks and achievement goals, schools are doomed to fail because the baseline of where learners, teachers and managers are in the process has not been measured.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY AND RESEARCH QUESTION

The purpose of this study was to describe the nature of teaching English as a second language

(L2) in Grade 3 in two rural schools. In descriptive research the variables in a specific population are not manipulated (Seabi, 2012). To enhance the research, a comparative case study based on embedded mixed-method principles was used, combining a mainly qualitative study with supplementary quantitative data (Ivankova, Creswell, & Plano Clark, 2010). The quantitative data were embedded in the qualitative case study. The questions that guided this research are as follows:

Primary Question:

How can a description of the nature of teaching English as a second language in Grade 3 in two rural schools inform language instruction?

Secondary Question 1:

What is the context in which teaching English L2 occurs in rural schools?

Secondary Question 2:

How do teachers in rural schools teach English as a second language?

Secondary Question 3:

What teacher factors influence the teaching of English L2?

3

1.4 CONCEPT CLARIFICATION

The key concepts that relate to the study are summarised below and are discussed in more detail in Chapter 2.

1.4.1 SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

In South Africa, learning English is taught as a second language, rather than as a foreign language. This is because English plays a “role in education, business and government”; whereas in cases of English being taught as a foreign language, there is “limited opportunity for

use outside the classroom” (Richards, Platt, Platt, & Candlin, 1992, p. 180). Second Language

Acquisition (SLA) is defined as both learning and acquisition for the purpose of this study

(Ellis, 2012).

1.4.2 INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES

Literacy instructional practice is the relationship between theory and research on teaching instruction (pedagogy), and learning theory and linguistics as they are realised in the classroom

(Murray & Christison, 2010). It is a “continuum of strategic and procedural choices”

(Thornbury, 2011, p. 191) made by the teacher in creating the opportunities for literacy learning

(Pretorius & Machet, 2004a) ensuring that learners are actively engaged (O'Meara, 2011).

1.4.3 FOUNDATION PHASE

Howie et al. (2012) describe the Foundation Phase as consisting of Grade 1 to Grade 3 where the learner’s age varies from seven to nine, and teaching focuses on Literacy, Numeracy and

Life Orientation.

1.4.4 RURAL

In this study, the term rural is used according to the Department of Education's definition, which includes specific environmental features as identified by Statistics South Africa that challenge the delivery of schooling and the provision of quality education to learners (DoE,

2005). The environmental features that prevent quality education include the following:

· Distance to town – the schools are far from the nearest town.

· Topography – the roads leading to the school are dirt roads and are in a poor condition.

· Settlement patterns – small village.

4

· Access to communications and information technologies (telephones, radio, television, computers) – limited.

· Transport infrastructure – learners have to walk to school or come by taxi.

· Access to services and facilities (electricity, water, sanitation) – limited.

· Health, educational and economic status of the community – low employment rate in a socioeconomically poor community.

· Access to lifelong learning opportunities – limited.

· Social conditions in the community – many of the learners live with grandparents

(DoE, 2005, p. 9; Makiwane, Makoae, Botsis, & Vawda, 2012).

1.4.5 ENGLISH IN GRADE 3

In Grade 3, English is taught as a second language, providing learners with the “cognitive

academic skills necessary for thinking and learning, which will enable them to learn effectively

across the curriculum” (N. Nel, 2011, p. 169). These skills should enable learners to make the transition of English as L2 to the LoLT (DoE, 2011).

1.5 PARADIGMATIC LENSES

The connection between methodology and epistemology, as well as between methodology and methods, guided the choice of paradigm (Morgan, 2007). I adopted a pragmatic lens, enabling a

focus on the research question, and the use of whatever method or methods that could contribute to an understanding of the issue under investigation (Mackenzie & Knipe, 2006). Pragmatism arises from actions, situations and consequences rather than antecedent conditions (Creswell,

2009). The data collected describes the actions of the teachers in teaching English in a rural context to determine how language is acquired by the learners. The research process was aimed at describing what was observed in the Grade 3 classes (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008). The metatheory is discussed more comprehensively in Chapter 3.

Differentiated Instruction (DI) was used as the theoretical framework to guide the study and the data-analysis process, and is recommended by the DoE (DoE, 2011). As an instructional approach it is designed to serve “all learners from culturally, linguistically, and academically

diverse backgrounds within the current context of the general education classroom

(Santamaria, 2009, p. 216). It is also recommended as an instructional method for learners who

5

are learning in English, which is not their home language (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). I will engage in the theoretical framework in greater depth in Chapter 2.

The study was conducted using a mixed-methods methodological paradigm, specifically a concurrent embedded mixed-methods design. This allowed for the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative strategies to have a better understanding of the research problem (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). It also allowed for contextual interpretation and flexibility in choosing the best strategies to address the research questions (Ivankova et al.,

2010). Figure 1.1 presents the research design and the process followed to collect, analyse and interpret the data, and is discussed in detail in Chapter 3.

Visual model of concurrent embedded case study

Comparative Case Study

Qualitative data collection and analysis

Quantitative data collection and analysis

Qual

(Quan) results are compared and

interpreted

Qualitative data collection and analysis

Quantitative data collection and analysis

Qualitative data collection and analysis

Quantitative data collection and analysis

Qual

(Quan) results are compared and

interpreted

Qual

(Quan) results are compared and

interpreted

Figure 1.1 Visual model of concurrent embedded case design adapted from Ivankova et al.

(2010)

6

1.6 QUALITY CRITERIA

In deciding on the criteria, the traditional qualitative and quantitative research criteria were used, as well as addressing specific criteria that relate to the mixed-methods process (Creswell &

Plano Clark, 2011). Transferability, credibility, dependability and confirmability were the quality criteria that were applied to this study (Rule & John, 2011). The strategies employed included the exploration of multiple cases and the choice of the correct instrument to measure effective second language instruction (Rule & John, 2011). For the mixed-methods criteria, I tried to address quality throughout the whole design, where each step of the research process is validated (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Moreover, I have attempted to minimise the potential threats to validity during data collection, analysis and interpretation, specific to the different mixed-method typologies (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011).

1.7 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

De Vos (2002) points out that research studies cannot be conducted without considering` the ethical issues relevant to the protection of the human respondents within the research concerned.

Ethical considerations must guide every step of the research (cited by Northway in Flick, 2009).

In Chapter 3, I explain how I address the most important considerations in qualitative research, which, according to Flick (2009), are: informed consent, avoiding harm to the participants in collecting data, doing justice to participants in analysing data, confidentiality in writing the research, and problems of context in qualitative data and research.

1.8 CHAPTER OUTLINE

Chapter 1 provided an overview of the study through contextualisation by providing the background and defining the key concepts used. The purpose of the research and the questions were stated, followed by an explanation of the research paradigm and methodologies used to guide the study. In Chapter 2, a summary of the theories that influence SLA, using a model of method analysis is presented. This model organises the main themes of learning a second language and provides insight into the instructional practices used by teachers. The research paradigm and methodology used to collect, analyse and interpret the data are discussed in

Chapter 3. The quality criteria used to inform the research processes and the ethical considerations that guided the research are also addressed in this chapter. The qualitative findings in terms of the themes identified by the data and the theory are presented in Chapter 4.

7

Analysis of the quantitative findings – the instructional practices observed in the classrooms using the Classroom Observation Schedule-Revised (CLOS-R) is provided in Chapter 5. A descriptive analysis is provided for the different dimensions. Chapter 6 presents an integration of the qualitative and quantitative data to answer the research questions. The contributions of the study and recommendations are also discussed.

8

2 LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPTER 2

Language is not everything in education, but without language, everything is nothing in

education (Cited by Wolff in Alidou et al., 2006).

The review of the literature on the nature of teaching English as a second language in this study draws from the theory and research in three areas: teaching instruction (pedagogy), learning theory, and linguistics. The aim of this chapter is to present the relationship between these theories as they are realised in the classroom (Murray & Christison, 2010). The chapter is divided into two main sections: an overview of the literature pertaining to Second Language

Acquisition (SLA) and the theoretical model used to guide this research, which is Differentiated

Instruction (DI). The model for method analysis as proposed by Richards and Rodgers (2001) was used to organise the main themes of SLA. In this way it is used to define the typology rather than test a theory (Mouton, 2001) of effective language-teaching practices suitable for Grade 3 learners of English in a rural school.

2.1 SELECTION OF THE MODEL OF METHOD ANALYSIS

The model of method analysis (Richards and Rodgers (2001) was selected, as it takes a broad perspective of not only how language is taught, but also addresses the what, why and who questions of Second Language (L2) instruction (Thornbury, 2011). It introduces the concept of methodology in language instruction, thereby recognising the limitation of using a narrow method of language instruction that is not holistic in its approach. The model applies three levels of analysis: approach, design and procedure as criteria that influence the choices made by the teacher to teach L2 (Richards & Rodgers, 2001).

2.1.1 APPROACH

Teaching is guiding and facilitating learning (Brown, 2007) and the teachers’ beliefs about the nature of language and language learning inform the type of instruction used in the classroom

(G. Hall, 2011). Although specific theories of language development provide the basis for

9

certain teaching methods, while other methods are aligned with specific theories on language, the link is not always direct (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). As such, these authors suggest that the first level of analysis should examine the theoretical principles associated with language theory and learning theory, as they relate specifically to language instruction (Richards & Rodgers,

2001) but not to a specific method or approach.

Theories of language

Research on SLA has been characterised by the knowledge a learner has of the target language

(Ellis, 2012) and has been defined and explained differently over the years. The four main theoretical views of language that inform instructional methods in language are: the structural, functional, interactional and critical discourse theories (Larsen-Freeman, 2011; Richards &

Rodgers, 2001). Each theoretical view will be briefly discussed in terms of how language proficiency is defined and how second language (L2) is acquired.

The Structuralist View

Saussure, the founder of linguistics, defined language as consisting of parole, observable language, and langue, unobservable language ability (Brown, 2007). Later structural linguists focused predominately on parole and defined language as consisting of “phonemes, lexemes and

morphemes” that are grouped together “to form words, phrases and sentences complying with

certain rules” (Larsen-Freeman, 2011, p. 157). Language from this perspective is seen as a system of structurally related elements that are combined to create meaning (Richards, 2006).

Language proficiency is equated with the correct application of grammar rules (Larsen-

Freeman, 2011). In class, learners are taught these elements through different types of patternpractice drills (Thornbury, 2011). Second language acquisition is seen as controlled by external factors and the learner as a passive recipient (Rock, Gregg, Ellis, & Gable, 2008) of learning language form.

The Functionalist View

Although grammatical competence is an important dimension of language learning, mastering the rules does not provide learners with the skills for meaningful communication (Richards,

2006). This has led to a move towards language as being defined in terms of communicative competency, a term coined by Hymes (Brown, 2007; Larsen-Freeman, 2011). The functionalists regarded language instruction as providing learners with verbal and text input to realise the meaning potential of language for communication (Larsen-Freeman, 2011). The emphasis in

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language instruction is to develop fluency within a specific context, with grammar being learnt implicitly (Richards, 2006). According to Larsen-Freeman (2011), this suggests that using one method does not lead to learners acquiring sufficient skills to communicate and apply grammar rules accurately (e.g. audio-lingual over communicative language teaching (Brown, 2007).

However, that being said, the use of the functional or structural definition of language is inadequate for the context of this research.

The Interactionist View

Language, as defined by interactions, is most applicable to this research. Interactionists recognise the importance of both language as a communicative tool and language guided by grammar rules that must be applied correctly. Included in the definition of language is a third dimension, which is interaction. Larsen-Freeman (2011) and Brown (2007) explain that interaction is both a cognitive and a social function. Cognitively, language is seen as an integrated system consisting of speaking, reading, listening and writing (Richards & Rodgers,

2001), where competency in one form of language can be transferred to another to facilitate learning and understanding of abstract concepts (Lerner & Johns, 2009). From a socialinteraction perspective, learning is a cooperative process (Brown, 2007) that occurs through social action and interaction (Orega, 2011). Instruction must be meaningful to the learner, built on previous knowledge and allow for reflection (Larsen-Freeman, 2011). The knowledge and experience the learner brings to the classroom and the context in which learning occurs, needs to be included in language instruction (Donald, Lazarus, & Lolwana, 2010).

Critical Theory

Although critical theory is not used in this research, the historical background that forms the basis of the language policy in education in South Africa requires acknowledgement thereof. A discussion on language would be incomplete without including the critical discourse perspective

(Larsen-Freeman, 2011). From this perspective language functionality has been associated with a political agenda which in some literature is seen as a tool for empowering the learner (Ball,

2010), and in other literature a mechanism of domination through globalisation (Currin &

Pretorius, 2010). Critical theory applies a problem-solving approach to language instruction, encouraging learners to have a better understanding of the context in which they live by engaging learners in dialogues of real-life issues (Larsen-Freeman, 2011).

In South Africa, language and education is a “highly politicised and contested” subject

(Probyn, 2001, p. 254) and is reinforced by the Constitution, which recognises eleven official

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languages and promotes mother-tongue education (Howie et al., 2012). However, English is seen as a prestigious language, and parents prefer their children to be taught in English rather than in their home language (N. Nel, 2011). Therefore, while English is spoken by only 9,6% of

South Africans, it is the Language of Learning and Tuition (LoLT) of 80% of learners from

Grade 4 onwards (Howie et al., 2012). Parents believe that learning English will provide their children with economic, political and social access (Probyn, 2001).

In conclusion, Hansen (1995) make the additional point that irrespective of what definition is used, it is how language is defined in the curriculum and its pedagogical purpose that will influence how it is taught in the classroom. The theoretical framework used in this research takes cognisance of this and will be discussed later in the chapter.

Theory of language learning

Before discussing the theory of learning an L2, it is important that the distinction between learning a second language and a foreign language be pointed out more clearly. Learning

English as a second language differs from learning a foreign language in that the former,

English plays a “role in education, business and government”, whereas in the latter there is

limited opportunity for use outside the classroom” (Richards et al., 1992, p. 180). The theories discussed are based on SLA and not on learning a foreign language.

Richards and Rodgers (2001) recommend analysing the language-learning theories in terms of the cognitive and linguistic processes and the conditions that allow for successful learning to take place. Learning L2 is more complex than L1, since language proficiencies, context and the effects of language transference need to be considered (Grabe & Stoller, 2011).

The theories of the behaviourists, nativists and interactionists will be explained in terms of the above and how L2 is taught in the classroom.

Behaviourist Approach

The behaviourists, notably Skinner, view language as behaviour that is learnt through shaping by selective reinforcement requiring memorisation and dialogue practice (Larsen-Freeman,

2011). Following the pattern of stimulus, response and reinforcement, language is learnt by accurately repeating language forms (G. Hall, 2011). Both L1 and L2 are learnt the same way, and errors in L2 are attributed to structural differences in language (Orega, 2011). Learners are able to transfer their learning from L1 to L2 (Ball, 2010). Behaviourism emphasises the importance of quality input in language learning and the use of the target language exclusively during instruction (G. Hall, 2011). Immersion programmes, where all instruction is in the target

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language, have shown to be effective in language learning and increasing academic performance

(Goglin, 2011). However, as Ball (2010) cautions, this should only be considered when L2 is a majority language, making it an inappropriate theory for the context of this research.

Nativist Approach

Contrary to the behaviourist view, the nativist (or innate) approach, as proposed initially by

Chomsky, posits that language acquisition is innate (Larsen-Freeman, 2011). People are therefore born with a genetic predisposition to learning language that is activated when exposed to language in their environment (Brown, 2007).

The innate approach has not contributed to language instruction per se, but it has inspired considerable research on language learning as an internal process (G. Hall, 2011).

Chomsky’s work led to the Universal Grammar theory of language acquisition (Larsen-

Freeman, 2011), which hypothesises that language learning develops from structures and processes with which the learner is born (Richards et al., 1992).

The nativist/innate theorists explain the transfer of L1 to L2 in terms of the

Interlanguage Hypothesis (Koda, 2011). This hypothesis assumes language development to be internal (G. Hall, 2011) and that L1 and L2 develop in tandem (Orega, 2011). Within these models, communicative and linguistic strategies in SLA highlight the importance of learning opportunities and quality input (Ball, 2010).

Underlying this theory is the view that language learning is not an outcome of explicit instruction that focuses on forms or functions, but rather that learning occurs through implicit understanding operating at an unconscious level (Orega, 2011). Krashen’s Monitor Model addresses this and emphasises the need for comprehensible input when in a relaxed state of mind

(G. Hall, 2011; Orega, 2011). Krashen claimed that language acquisition and language learning are mutually exclusive processes that cannot operate together (A. M. B. Ferreira, Jordaan, &

Pillay, 2009). Language acquisition comes from exposure to spoken language and learning is the conscious study of grammatical rules (Richards et al., 1992).

Although Krashen’s model has been criticised as being vaguely defined and does not lend itself to proper empirical investigation (Orega, 2011), it highlights the need to take into consideration the role of learning and the importance of the learning process, which is attended to in the cognitive processing and constructivist models (Brown, 2007; Orega, 2011).

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Interactionist Approach

The interactionists (cognitive and constructivist) combine innate and environmental factors and define language learning through interactive communications (A. M. B. Ferreira et al., 2009; G.

Hall, 2011). This theory aligns itself well with the interactionist definition of language, since language learning is seen as the product of the ongoing interactions between the learner and the environment (A. M. B. Ferreira et al., 2009; Larsen-Freeman, 2011). The learner, the teacher and the sociocultural context all form part of the learning process and contribute towards it

(Tsui, 2011). These assumptions of language learning accordingly form the basis of DI.

Input, cognitive processing and output form part of the learning process (Lerner &

Johns, 2009). However, the manner in which learning occurs is defined differently by cognitive theory and constructivism (Orega, 2011). For cognitivists, interactions activate the internal cognitive processes for learning to occur, while for constructivists, learning is constructed through social activity (G. Hall, 2011). From the cognitive and constructivist perspective there is no differentiation between learning and acquisition (Brown, 2007), as both processes occur simultaneously (Ellis, 2012; G. Hall, 2011). The role of L1 is seen as a resource for learning L2 (G. Hall, 2011), and both languages can be used in classroom instruction to facilitate learning. Research findings support the development of L1 together with L2, particularly in younger learners (August, Goldenberg, Saunders, & Dressler, 2010).

Interactionist learning theory can be described as learner-centred, recognising that

English is taught within a wide range of contexts, and the learner’s needs are dependent on the context in which learning occurs (Hansen, 1995). In meeting the needs of the learner, strategies are used by the teacher to facilitate learning (Lerner & Johns, 2009). These strategies and the role of L1 during the English lesson form part of the data analysis and interpretation processes, which will be expanded in the second part of the chapter.

2.1.2 DESIGN

The next level of analysis is defined by Richards and Rodgers (2001, p. 24) as “what links

theory with practice”. Therefore the process of curriculum design is applied as a method of analysis with the aim being to inform language instruction in the classroom (G. Hall, 2011;

Richards & Rodgers, 2001). The process of curriculum design is discussed in more detail according to goals and objectives, content and organisation, activities (Stern, 1992), stakeholder roles (Murray & Christison, 2010), and materials.

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Determining the curriculum framework

The point of departure in any design process is to define the theoretical framework within which it is positioned. This is determined by who formulates the goals of language instruction (Hanson et al., 2007). The goals guide the content of the syllabus, instructional methods and texts used in the classroom (Murray & Christison, 2010). The process of curriculum design as a determinant of language instruction will be explained below.

Goals and objectives

The goals and objectives of the syllabus guide instruction and assessment practices used in the classroom (G. Hall, 2011). The three broad types of syllabi (Richards & Rodgers, 2001) are

·

a product-orientated syllabus, which focuses on accuracy and pays particular attention to grammar instruction or communicative fluency (Thornbury, 2011);

·

a process-orientated syllabus, which defines the objectives not in terms of linguistic outcomes, but in terms of the learning process (Richards & Rodgers,

2001); and

·

a multidimensional syllabus, which is a hybrid of the two methods (G. Hall, 2011).

In South Africa a multidimensional syllabus is used to teach English as L2 and takes into account both product and process. The Grade 3 learners must be able to read and write well in

English to make the transition to English as the LoLT (DoE, 2011). The learner’s knowledge of

English should provide learners with “cognitive academic skills necessary for thinking and

learning which will enable them to learn effectively across the curriculum” (N. Nel, 2011, p.

169). Language instruction therefore needs to focus on developing linguistic competence and literacy skills for comprehension (Grabe, 2009). In brief, the goal of instruction is for the learner to achieve academic competency in L2 (Brisk, 2010; N. Nel, 2011). However, for learners to achieve academic competency, assessment needs to include process, allowing for a more interactive, non-static assessment approach to meet the needs of the learner and inform instruction (Omidire, Bouwer, & Jordaan, 2011).

Content and organisation

The selection of linguistic and subject matter shapes the content of the syllabus, the organisational principles and the presentation (G. Hall, 2011). Achieving academic competency through a multidimensional syllabus requires the combining of different content and objectives

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(G. Hall, 2011; Stern, 1992). This is also referred to as an integrated curriculum that explores the relationship of concepts across different subjects (Hansen, 1995). According to Rothenberg and Fisher (2007), the content and how English instruction is organised requires development of:

· language proficiency;

· content knowledge; and

· integrating language and content.

Types of learning and teaching activities

The selection of activities during instruction will help to realise the goals and objectives of the syllabus (Murray & Christison, 2010). Activities are not simply something the learner does but are linked to learning and content (Hernandez, 2003). The activities used in the classroom must be research-based or strategies that the teacher knows to be effective to provide the learner with the best opportunity to achieve (O'Meara, 2011) by developing language proficiency and content knowledge.

Learner roles

In the Richards and Rodgers (2001) model of method analysis the roles of the learner and teacher are analysed in terms of their contribution to the learning process. Learner-centred instructional practices are better suited to diverse classrooms (Hansen, 1995). The learner is seen as an active agent, and the teacher facilitates learning using cognitive and social strategies to regulate their learning (Orega, 2011). It also allows the teacher to take the learner’s age and language proficiency into account during instruction (O'Meara, 2011).

Teacher roles

Richards and Rodgers (2001) equate the role of the teacher in instructional systems to status and function. These roles hinge on the knowledge the teacher has about the learner, the curriculum and the universal design (Walton, 2011).

The interactionist theory of learning sees the role of the teacher as a facilitator, creating opportunities to help learners bridge gaps in understanding and skill (Tomlinson & Edison,

2003). Aligned with facilitation is providing an environment where the learner feels safe enough to make mistakes and to engage with other learners (N. Nel, 2011). To fulfil this role, the teacher must be a knowledge specialist.

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As a knowledge specialist, the teacher has a good understanding of childhood developmental stages to ensure that information is presented and practised at the right cognitive and affect level (Murray & Christison, 2010). This knowledge is framed by the teacher’s assumptions of learning theory and language theory (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). To be effective as a language teacher, the teacher’s subject-area skills need to be good (Rock et al.,

2008). In this study, the teachers would ideally be proficient in both the home language

(siSwati) and in English. This would enable them to share language commonalities and differences with the learners, enabling the transfer of L1 knowledge to L2 (N. Nel, 2011).

The status of the teacher can be defined in terms of the control the teacher has over the learning process in determining the objectives, the content and creating the conditions for successful learning (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). The teacher must know the curriculum to understand the content of the subject and the curriculum across the different grades (Walton,

2011). Classroom management is also important to create a safe environment where learners feel comfortable to participate and engage in learning activities.

Materials

Materials are anything that assist instruction and vary according to context and the goals that have to be achieved (G. Hall, 2011). There are usually three kinds of materials: text-based, taskbased, and objects from ‘real life’ (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). The learning goals will determine the type of materials used. N. Nel (2011, p. 173) recommends that the learner be provided with “bilingual texts, dual language CD-ROMS and taped stories in other languages” as well. The use of materials formed part of the observations during the research and is discussed in the data analysis and interpretation chapters.

2.1.3 PROCEDURE

Procedure as a level of analysis, according to Richards and Rodgers (2001, p. 31), encompasses how the “tasks and activities of methods are integrated into lessons and used as a basis for

teaching and learning”. Planning and preparation are essential for instructional delivery, to ensure that learners are actively engaged throughout instruction and to support the teacher in meeting the needs of the learner (O'Meara, 2011). This is a recursive process in which the teacher uses information about the learner and the efficacy of previous activities and tasks to plan lessons (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). Rock et al. (2008) explain that every lesson must

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have a beginning, middle and end. Instructions should be presented at a pace that ensures understanding.

In summary, language instruction should not be seen as a dichotomy or practised in absolute terms (Brown, 2007); rather it should be applied as a “continuum of strategic and

procedural choices” (Thornbury, 2011, p. 191). The teacher creates the opportunities for literacy learning (Zimmerman, Howie, & Smit, 2011), and achievement is determined by what the teacher and the learner do in the classroom (Fleisch, 2008). Therefore, teachers are key contributors to improving literacy in South Africa, particularly in the Foundation Phase (DoE,

2005; Fleisch, 2008). In the next section the theoretical model of DI, which guides this research, is explained, using the method of analysis with particular emphasis on the role of the teacher in facilitating language learning.

2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION

The ‘one-size fits all’ approach to instruction is no longer appropriate for diverse classrooms, as learners’ needs do not fall within the middle range (Hipsky, 2011; N. Nel & Nel, 2012; Rock et al., 2008). The literacy achievement level of learners in rural areas is significantly lower than that of their urban peers (Howie et al., 2012). Differentiated Instruction is one way in which teachers can provide learners with the academic support to bridge this gap (Santamaria, 2009).

Although initially DI was seen to help ‘special needs’ learners, it has evolved to serve learners across the intellectual spectrum and more recently “all learners from culturally,

linguistically, and academically diverse backgrounds within the current context of the general

education classroom” (Santamaria, 2009, p. 216). It is also recommended as an instructional method for learners who are learning in English, which is not their home language (Rothenberg

& Fisher, 2007).

Differentiated Instruction can be defined as “an approach to teaching in which teachers

proactively modify curricula, teaching methods, resources, learning activities and student products to address the diverse needs of individual students and small groups of students to

maximise the learning opportunity for each student in the classroom (Tomlinson et al., 2003, p.

121). It was chosen as a theoretical model based on the following:

·

The teacher is seen as central to DI (Rock et al., 2008).

·

It does not presume an effective teaching model, but instead is seen as responding to the needs of the class, as well as the context within which the learner is situated

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(Tomlinson & Edison, 2003), making it particularly suitable for diverse contexts (N.

Nel & Nel, 2012).

·

It allows the teacher flexibility in choice of method, strategies and techniques to ensure that the curriculum can be accessed by all learners to achieve their highest potential (O'Meara, 2011; Walton, 2011).

·

It encourages teachers to take responsibility for the academic success of each learner

(Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007; Tomlinson et al., 2003).

·

Continual and varied assessment performs a crucial role in supporting and challenging all learners in meeting the learning objectives of the curriculum

(O'Meara, 2011).

·

The lessons are designed on evidence-based effective practices (Rock et al., 2008;

Tomlinson, 2000).

In my research, I observed the ‘procedure’ as defined by the model for method analysis used by the teachers during L2 instruction. My observations were guided by DI as it relates specifically to SLA in the Foundation Phase. In particular, I observed how the lesson was designed to match learners by differentiating instructions to ensure that all the learners were able to participate in the classroom (Rock et al., 2008). In DI the teacher needs to balance the needs of the learners and the requirements of the curriculum by taking into account who, where, how and what is taught (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). These considerations are what form the themes used to analyse the data collected and were divided into Instruction, Environment and Role of

the teacher.

2.2.1 INSTRUCTION

As discussed earlier in this chapter, the lesson is designed to connect the learner with the content using techniques and strategies that have been validated by research (Rock et al., 2008).

Differentiated Instruction is a responsive instructional approach where the teacher differentiates language instruction in four areas: content, learning process, product, and learning environment, according to each learner’s readiness, interests, and learning profile (Santamaria, 2009;

Tomlinson, 2000).

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Content Differentiation

Content differentiation, the ‘what’, of instruction (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003), refers to the differentiation of the materials or particular perspectives of the content (O'Meara, 2011) as prescribed by the curriculum (Hipsky, 2011). Algozzine and Anderson (2007) confirm that content differentiation is not varying the learner objectives and lowering performance expectations, but rather teaching one concept or topic at different levels of complexity within the same classroom, meeting the diverse needs of all the learners (T. Hall, 2002).

The content of the curriculum is determined by how English is defined and the purpose it serves (Hansen, 1995). From government policy, First Additional Language should provide the Foundation Phase learner with skills for “Thinking and Reasoning and Language Structure

and Use, which are integrated into all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and

writing)” (DoE, 2011, p. 8). English is therefore defined as an integrated skill with the purpose of providing learners with the “cognitive academic skills necessary for thinking and learning,

which will enable them to learn effectively across the curriculum” in English (N. Nel, 2011, p.

169).

In order for the learner to achieve academic competency in L2, both content and language should be taught simultaneously (Brisk, 2010; N. Nel, 2011). Content-based instruction is about subject knowledge and how the learner can infer meaning from various sources across the curriculum (Hernandez, 2003). To understand content requires knowledge of language, text structures and functions (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007), thereby developing literacy skills (Brisk, 2010). Literacy skills form the basis of academic learning (Grabe & Stoller, 2011).

Therefore learning L2 requires the development of both comprehension and linguistic competence (Grabe, 2009).

More specifically, instructional practices for SLA learners should include the use of explicit language instruction (Donald et al., 2010; N. Nel, 2011). Attention should be given to linguistic form by providing explicit instruction in the context of purposeful learning across subjects (Lucas et al., 2008). Learners need to hear the language and be provided with frequent opportunities to engage meaningfully with other learners (Lucas et al., 2008). Assessment is important to support and enhance learning, as well as a reflective process for the teacher to adapt instruction to meet the needs of the learner (Lerner & Johns, 2009; N. Nel, 2011).

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Explicit instruction

Research findings confirm that explicit instruction of language knowledge combined with learning and comprehension strategies are beneficial in SLA (August et al., 2010). Explicit instruction is important, particularly in rural environments where learners are not exposed to

English (N. Nel, 2011; Rock et al., 2008). The starting point should be the lesson purpose.

The purpose of the lesson must be clearly stated to help the teacher stay focused and help learners to determine what is important (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). These authors explain further that a clear purpose is critical to building schema and contextualising information. It guides the learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing. In terms of purposeful learning, instruction must explicitly focus on developing comprehension, which requires understanding of the elements that combine to make comprehension possible.

Explicit instruction in the alphabetic knowledge that underpins the written form of the language (Konza, 2006), supports comprehension, as does grammar instruction, particularly at low and intermediate reading levels, and text-structure awareness with organisational cues

(Grabe & Stoller, 2011). Learning grammar enables the learner to write clear, well-structured sentences (Brisk, 2010). The teacher should address syntactic, grammatical, tense or transference errors found during SLA instruction (N. Nel, 2011).

Increasing vocabulary knowledge supports academic language skills (Bedore, Pena, &

Boerger, 2010). Through building vocabulary, the learner is better able to access curriculum content (N. Nel & Nel, 2012), which will assist content learning. Vocabulary also improves fluency, a determinant of reading comprehension.

Teaching vocabulary requires more than teaching words; it requires teaching word depth and breadth (Kohnert & Pham, 2010). Interactive word walls are useful to introduce and reinforce the learner’s knowledge of words and should be arranged in themes for older primaryschool learners (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). Repeated exposure to words in multiple contexts shows the variations in meaning (Brisk, 2010) and helps to build vocabulary. Target vocabulary should be presented in the context of meaningful text in both L1 and L2, building on the learner’s knowledge of L1 (Bedore et al., 2010).

The learner’s knowledge of L1 can assist in learning L2 by comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between the two languages (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). G. Hall

(2011) recommends the use of L1 in teaching L2 when it fulfils a functional role: that is, in

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providing explanations or to compare the learner’s existing knowledge with the second language.

There is a strong relationship between phonological awareness and language proficiency in both L1 and L2 (Grabe & Stoller, 2011). Research data also confirms that if an understanding of the alphabetic principle is firmly established, then these skills can be transferred to L2

(Heugh, 2000). Deep orthographic languages like English require language-specific instruction to develop metalinguistic awareness (Koda, 2007). In such cases instructions requiring wordrecognition skills need to be developed (Newman, 2010). The teacher needs to clarify and identify difficult words and then consolidate this knowledge through discussions to develop reading skills (August et al., 2010). Activities in the classroom should also include teaching the learner high-frequency words and phrases in L2 to support reading accuracy and fluency (Grabe

& Stoller, 2011). Word recognition automaticity is an enabling skill that distinguishes proficiency levels of advanced L2 readers (Grabe, 2009).

The teacher should expose learners to cognates as a means of building vocabulary, which is connecting L1 and L2 words that have similar meanings and are phonetically the same.

Text organisation is different across cultures and languages and can be taught explicitly by providing the learner with graphic organisers (Brisk, 2010). It is also suggested that the learner be exposed to different genres, as structural organisation varies according to different genres

(Koda, 2007).

Opportunity for practice

Opportunity for practice fulfils two functions: developing language as a skill and constructing meaning. As discussed in the previous section, cognitivists see language as an integrated skill and therefore learning opportunities should include reading, listening, writing, and speaking activities (Lerner & Johns, 2009; N. Nel & Nel, 2012; Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Quality input

(Brown, 2007) and practice (Ellis, 2012) in language learning is important to internalise the process for language skills to become automatic (Koda, 2007). Through reading and listening activities, the learner hears the language in context, gaining an understanding of language form

(Bernhardt, 2010) and being exposed to grammar and vocabulary (Judd, Tan, & Walberg, 2001).

By practising their writing, learners are provided with an opportunity to consolidate their learning, leading to independence (Bernhardt, 2010). Writing develops spelling, handwriting, metalinguistic and punctuation skills (N. Nel & Nel, 2012). Rothenberg and Fisher (2007) recommend that teachers provide the learners with specific strategies to teach them academic

22

writing rather than just giving them writing work to do. Writing develops spelling, handwriting, metalinguistic and punctuation skills (N. Nel & Nel, 2012).

Learning content in L2 requires that the learner is able to interact and construct meaning from the lesson (Hernandez, 2003). Oral language development, the building block for reading and writing, is important at the Foundation Phase (Murray & Christison, 2010). N. Nel (2011) recommends that learners be exposed to oral language as often as possible to start developing their comprehension skills and vocabulary skills. Oral language is developed through collaborative learning (O'Meara, 2011) and allows the learners to revise their internal hypotheses of L2 through cognitive restructuring when writing and oral skills are performed (G.

Hall, 2011). Exposure to oral language should be in both L1 and L2 (Kohnert & Pham, 2010).

The teacher is responsible for developing language skill and creating ample learning opportunities for spoken language that is meaningful to the learner (Bloch, 2005; N. Nel, 2011).

Storytelling, reading and writing are effective ways to share experiences and develop language proficiencies (N. Nel, 2011), particularly in the Foundation Phase (Murray & Christison, 2010).

Frequent opportunities for practice develop language proficiency and enable learners to process concepts being taught in content subjects (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

Comprehension is improved by using different types of reading activities that include: shared interactive reading (August et al., 2010), repeat reading, rereading passages and sustained silent reading (Grabe & Stoller, 2011). Reading books with adult support also helps to promote oral proficiency and vocabulary (August et al., 2010). Reading is a skill that needs to be

practised, and the learner should engage in independent reading outside the school to develop literacy skills (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

Assessment

Assessment has been described as one of the most effective practices of instruction (Blair,

Rupley, & Nicholas, 2007). In DI, assessment can be both formal and informal, providing the teacher with knowledge of the learner and how the learner responds to instructions (O'Meara,

2011). The type of assessment used is linked to the purpose it serves in designing effective instructions (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). The types of assessment are:

·

Pre-assessments evaluate the learners’ readiness, interests and learning styles and are usually done at the beginning of the year to determine the entry levels of learners to provide a starting point for instruction, determining individual and whole class support needs (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003).

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·

Formative assessments takes place during instruction to evaluate the learners’ understanding in the classroom (Rock et al., 2008). It provides information of the challenges faced by learners with a view to adapting learning instruction to improve learning (Omidire et al., 2011).

·

Summative assessments occur at the end of a learning period to evaluate the learners’ knowledge against a pre-determined standard (Murray & Christison, 2010).

Assessment confirms that the curriculum goals have been met (O'Meara, 2011).

These three instructional strategies explicit instruction, opportunity to practise and assessment – form the categories used for the subtheme content in the first theme of the data analysis, instruction. The second subtheme, process, centres on ‘how’ the learners come to understand and assimilate concepts, facts or skills (Algozzine & Anderson, 2007).

Process Differentiation

Differentiated Instruction integrates cognitive theory and constructivism, taking into account learner readiness, interest and intelligent preferences (Algozzine & Anderson, 2007). Learning is an active process that is learner-centred and requires a meaning making approach (Tomlinson

& Allan, 2000). The active process requires integrating existing knowledge with new knowledge

(Larsen-Freeman, 2011) by performing task-based or meaning-based activities (Orega, 2011).

Instruction needs to be contextualised to help the learner make meaning, and includes numerous strategies that support the individual needs of the learner to make information more comprehensible (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). Learning requires comprehensive input (language that learners can understand) (G. Hall, 2011) through meaningful engagement that motivates the learner as the activities are of interest and provide immediate feedback (Rothenberg & Fisher,

2007). Strategies that support language and content learning will be discussed in terms of assessing prior knowledge, scaffolding and flexible grouping.

Accessing prior knowledge

Accessing prior knowledge is an important strategy for meaning making (comprehension) from a given text (Koda, 2007). Connecting can be done individually, cognitively, or connecting form with content (Donald et al., 2010). At an individual level, the mediator provides support to the learner in the gap between what learners can do on their own and what they can do with guidance (Richards et al., 1992). This gap was referred to by Vygotsky as the Zone of Proximal

Development (ZPD). Connecting cognitively assumes that linguistic knowledge is transferred

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based on the internalised mapping or cognitive restructuring patterns from the feedback the learner receives (Koda, 2011). The teacher connects form and content by presenting something that is familiar to the learner with something unfamiliar through guided discovery (Donald et al.,

2010). The teacher bridges the gap and connects with the learner through scaffolding.

Scaffolding

“Scaffolding is the support provided to learners to enable them to perform tasks which are

beyond their capacity” (Richards et al., 1992, p. 466). Based on Vygotsky’s ZPD, learning and cognitive development are enhanced during collaborated activities with a slightly more skilled learner (Lerner & Johns, 2009), but can also take place with a less capable peer, or even through self-talk (as cited in Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). This is a strategy where the mediator (teacher or another learner) supports the learner with specific guidance and input, then gradually withdraws as the learner becomes increasingly independent, constructing knowledge on their own (Donald et al., 2010). Rothenberg and Fisher (2007 as cited by Walqui) describe six scaffolds that assist English language learners: modelling, bridging, contextualisation, schema building, metacognition, and text representation. These scaffolds were used as indicators for this category.

Scaffolding is particularly effective in supporting learners with lower oral proficiency levels in English (August et al., 2010). Research findings conclude that scaffolding facilitates learning, but only if the teacher is sensitive to the linguistic competency level of the learner and is familiar with specific features of the learner’s interlanguage (Tsui, 2011).

Flexible grouping

The grouping of learners helps to differentiate content and process. Flexible grouping allows diverse learners to work with each other with similar and dissimilar levels of competencies on a specific topic (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). The manner in which learners are grouped can range from whole class, small groups, and individual instruction and depends on the purpose for the grouping. Flexible grouping ensures “that learners have access to a wide variety of learning

opportunities and working arrangements” (Tomlinson & Allan, 2000, p. 5). Research findings support homogeneous grouping for more advanced learners (Santamaria, 2009), while

Rothenberg and Fisher (2007) recommend grouping according to purposeful instruction, language practice and learning styles, and to build learner communities. The purpose will also determine the size of the group and whether the group should be homogeneous or heterogeneous. Learners grouped according to similar levels of proficiency benefit more from

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smaller groupings, whereas individualised instruction addresses specific needs of the learners

(August et al., 2010). The grouping of learners should be a dynamic process based on the changing needs of the learner (Rock et al., 2008).

Scaffolding and flexible grouping formed the categories used in the process subtheme of instruction. Although accessing prior knowledge was dealt with separately in the above section, it is also included in scaffolding and therefore excluded as a category during the data-analysis process.

Product Differentiation

The final subtheme of instruction used during the data analysis is product. Product includes initial and ongoing assessment of learner readiness and meeting the goals of the learner

(Tomlinson et al., 2003). It allows learners to present their knowledge in various ways for the teacher to assess their learning in relation to the desired outcome or objective (Algozzine &

Anderson, 2007; O'Meara, 2011).

Assessment can also be used as an instructional tool that can support the learning process by providing the learner with feedback, alerting the learner to ways of improving learning (Grabe & Stoller, 2011). Feedback from the teacher provides the learner with information on how the teacher evaluates performance, keeping the learner actively engaged.

The learners’ product provides the teacher with information on how to adapt instruction to respond with specific literacy instruction and to create further opportunities to practise

(Bernhardt, 2010).

Progressive monitoring assessment

Unlike formative assessment that guides the instruction of the teacher, progressive assessment affords learners the opportunity to demonstrate what they know through their products over time

(Santamaria, 2009). Progressive assessment should be included throughout the year (N. Nel &

Nel, 2012) and across the different forms of language (N. Nel, 2011) Assessment starts with measuring the initial performance of the learner and how performance changes in relation to the goal desired (Bernhardt, 2010).

Feedback

Feedback is an interaction that can facilitate achievement in SLA (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

The feedback provided by the teacher is an indicator of how performance is evaluated and how

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this information is used to adapt the lesson to provide the learners with specific literacy instruction and further opportunities to practise (Bernhardt, 2010).

The manner in which the teacher corrects and provides feedback to the learner is important in language learning, to encourage the learner to speak and write in the classroom

(Bernhardt, 2010). The teacher needs to balance correction and affirmation to facilitate learning, to honour the learners, and develop their self-esteem (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). Immediate feedback enables the teacher to coach and support the learner to produce high-quality work.

(Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). Rock et al. (2008) add that errors should be addressed in a neutral way through explicit feedback and modelling correct syntax.

2.2.2 ENVIRONMENT

The second theme used in Chapter 4 deals with environment. Environment differentiation answers the ‘where’ of instruction (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003) and takes into consideration the social context and the classroom in which learning takes place. Language instruction cannot be discussed in isolation, particularly in South Africa, and requires an understanding of the challenges faced in education due to specific social, economic and cultural factors (Donald et al., 2010). It is well documented that the social context influences language learning and has implications for language instruction (Grabe, 2009). In DI, the classroom forms part of instruction and forms the second subtheme of the learning environment. The social influence on literacy is discussed under the subtheme of home environment.

Learning Environment

Consideration of the learning environment, includes the way the classroom works and feels

(Tomlinson, 2000). The classroom should not only be inviting but functionally divided into different learning areas (Hipsky, 2011). In this way it allows for interaction between the teacher and the learners, and among the learners (Donald et al., 2010), and can be used as a learning resource. The psychological climate and the physical arrangements of items in the classroom should be aimed at promoting learning.

Physical arrangements

The differentiated classroom is structured and well-managed where learners are engaged for learning, yet still allows for flexibility (Hipsky, 2011). The different learning areas should allow for independent activities, quiet areas, cooperative areas and provide materials that reflect home and cultural settings (Tomlinson, 2000). The teacher can create a vocabulary-rich classroom

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environment to support learning by displaying the learners’ written material on the walls with other interesting displays of key words and phrases for easy reference (Grabe & Stoller, 2011).

Psychological climate

The environment has an influence on language learning and is the product of ongoing interactions between the learner and the environment (A. M. B. Ferreira et al., 2009). The teacher needs to provide an environment where the learner feels safe enough to make mistakes and engage with other learners (N. Nel, 2011). Classroom procedures that incorporate organisational and instruction delivery strategies can be beneficial to the teacher and the learner

(T. Hall, 2002) and promote a safe and ordered environment.

Home Environment

There is broad agreement that learners’ ability to learn languages is influenced by their social environment (Ball, 2010). The home environment and literacy practices developed before school have shown to be important indicators of success in language proficiency (Koda, 2007).

Economic factors

Poverty directly and indirectly puts learners at risk and may cause barriers to learning (Donald et al., 2010). Learners from poor social backgrounds have limited exposure to literacy experiences, disadvantaging them before they start school (Fleisch, 2008). Research has shown that socioeconomic status is a predictor of reading ability (Grabe, 2009).

Literacy practices

Parents from poor environments are usually unable to assist their children, owing to low literacy levels (Currin & Pretorius, 2010) and have limited or no English proficiency (N. Nel & Nel,

2012). Fleisch (2008) confirms that the single strongest predictor of academic performance is their parents’ educational qualification and whether they have limited or no English proficiency

(N. Nel & Nel, 2012). The situation is further compounded by uninvolved parents in school activities and the literacy beliefs and practices in the home (Fleisch, 2008). The literacy achievement of learners in rural areas is significantly lower than that of their urban peers, as mentioned previously in the chapter (Howie et al., 2012). Learners who have not mastered L1 before starting school are likely to experience difficulties with language across the curriculum

(Roskos et al., 2009), reinforcing the support needed from the teacher in the classroom.

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2.2.3 ROLE OF THE TEACHER

At the heart of DI is the teacher (Rock et al., 2008) who fulfils numerous roles. The most important role for the teacher is to provide a learner-centred environment to facilitate learning

(O'Meara, 2011). The teacher is accountable for learning (O'Meara, 2011; Walton, 2011) and requires knowledge of the learner, the curriculum, learning theory and language acquisition.

Teachers also have a reflective role and need to be continually evaluating their knowledge base and instructional preferences, and assessing the effectiveness of their classroom practices to ensure that the needs of the learners are being met (Rock et al., 2008; Tomlinson, 2000). This is achieved through specialist knowledge and being a learner expert, which facilitates differentiation.

Knowledge Specialist

Teachers are key contributors to improving language proficiency (Fleisch, 2008). The quality of instruction that learners receive is significant in determining language success as is the teacher’s belief in his or her own ability and that of the learner (Blair et al., 2007). Teacher competency requires an understanding of what language is and how the learner develops language in a variety of settings (N. Nel & Nel, 2012). For ease, I have grouped specialist knowledge into instructional and language knowledge, as teachers require both.

Instructional knowledge

The teacher must know the curriculum to understand the content of the subject and the curriculum across the different grades (Walton, 2011). This knowledge is framed by the teacher’s assumptions of learning theory and language theory (Richards & Rodgers, 2001).

Language knowledge

Teachers need to understand the beneficial and limiting effects of transfer from L1 to L2

(Brown, 2007) and cross-linguistic influences (Koda, 2007). To have a better understanding of transference and cross-linguistic influences, it is important to consider the orthographic and linguistic differences in languages (Pretorius, 2010). Teachers need to be proficient in both languages to understand the influence of L1 on L2, and thus show learners the similarities and differences between the languages, making instruction more explicit and applicable. This is a challenge in multilingual schools.

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Learner Expert

In responding to the learners’ needs through differentiation, the teacher should take into account their readiness, interest, and learning profiles (Tomlinson & Allan, 2000). The teacher creates opportunities to help learners bridge gaps in understanding and skill (Tomlinson & Edison,

2003). The characteristics of the learners are determined through assessments, interactions and observations (Rock et al., 2008). In addition, the teacher can also get to know the learners by observing them in different contexts, such as in the classroom, at break-time and while performing extramural activities (Walton, 2011).

Readiness

Readiness is defined as the learner’s “preparedness to work with a prescribed set of knowledge,

understanding, and skill” (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003, p. 9). Through the administration of different types of assessment, the teacher is able to determine each learner’s current level of skill or knowledge, and where learning gaps exist (Walton, 2011). Pre-assessments are important for determining the readiness of a learner.

Interest

Linking learning activities to the learners’ interests motivates them to want to learn (Lerner &

Johns, 2009), and makes the learning experience more meaningful and applicable (O'Meara,

2011). Interaction with the learners is important for building rapport and for creating a positive environment for learning (Rock et al., 2008). In getting to know the learners, the teacher should gain greater insight into their interests, likes and dislikes, and personal backgrounds (Walton,

2011).

Learning Profile

Differentiating by learning profile includes consideration of thinking styles, intelligence preferences, and the influences of gender and culture (Rock et al., 2008; Tomlinson & Allan,

2000). Through various assessments and interactions with the learner, the teacher can determine each individual learner’s profile.

To summarise, content, process, and product were used to develop the instruction theme in the data analysis presented in Chapter 4. Ways in which the teacher differentiated the environment formed the second theme and took into account both the classroom and the home environment. The role of teacher is central to DI and guided the final theme of the data-analysis process. This theme examined the teacher as a knowledge expert and learner expert.

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2.2.4 CHALLENGES

Applying DI in practice poses a tremendous challenge. It is time consuming, and requires enormous effort, but is well worth it (Rock et al., 2008). It also assumes that teachers have good curriculum knowledge, know their learners, administer ongoing assessments, and understand and apply learning strategies and effective teaching practices. This, however, is not widely present in South Africa’s educational system (Zimmerman et al., 2011). Omidire et al. (2011) found that teachers have low levels of subject knowledge and do very little self-study to improve their knowledge. In this context, DI can be seen as elitist and a contributor to the increased inequalities that are experienced by learners (Walton, 2011).

2.2.5 CONCLUSION

In this chapter the theories of language and language learning were presented as they guide the choices made by the teacher in the classroom. The Richards and Rodgers (2001) method for analysis was applied to integrated theories and instructional practices. At the end of the chapter a conceptual framework, DI, was presented as the framework that guided the study. This approach was chosen as it uses instructional activities from different models to best meet the curriculum goals and the individual needs of the learners in a diverse classroom.

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CHAPTER 3

3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

Mixed methods researchers recommend specific steps to guide the research process (Ivankova et al., 2010). Following these steps not only helps to organise issues of methodologies (Teddlie &

Tashakkori, 2008) but also serves to validate the choices made to address the research question

(Dellinger & Leech, 2007; Ivankova et al., 2010). Figure 3.1 represents the steps used in the study and provides the outline of the chapter.

Visual model of steps followed in the study

Figure 3.1 Steps followed in the study (Adapted from Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p.23)

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In Figure 3.1, the research question was the starting point of the process and is transformed into a purpose statement. The purpose statement in turn determines the metatheoretical and

methodological paradigms applied in the study (Biesta, 2010; Niglas, 2009). This study was framed within the pragmatic paradigm using a mixed-methods methodology in which the rationale for using an embedded mixed method will be clarified. The choice of using a comparative case study is explained in the research design section. The research methodology section provides the steps used to execute the study. The processes of qualitative and

quantitative data collection and analysis methods are discussed separately. This is followed by an explanation of how the results were combined in the integration section. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the quality criteria and ethical considerations applied in the research.

3.1 PURPOSE STATEMENT

This mixed-methods study was used to describe how English is taught as a second language in two rural schools. Variables in a descriptive study are not manipulated (Seabi, 2012). A concurrent embedded mixed-method design allowed for the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data, where the quantitative data supported and enhanced a mainly qualitative study

(Ivankova et al., 2010). The primary purpose of this study was to use a comparative case study from the non-participative classroom observations, face-to-face semi-structured interviews, and documents to provide an evidence-informed dialogue to document existing English language teaching practices in two rural classrooms. The secondary purpose was to collect quantitative data, using a structured classroom observation schedule to support and enhance the qualitative data.

3.2 PARADIGMATIC PERSPECTIVES

As previously mentioned in Chapter 1 (refer to 1.5), paradigms provide the basic assumptions made by the researcher and serve as the lens for organising principles by which reality is interpreted (Nieuwenhuis, 2007a). Creswell (2009), emphasises that the researcher’s paradigmatic stance will also determine how the researcher selects both the research questions and the method to study them. In this study, pragmatism was used for the metatheoretical paradigm and a concurrent embedded mixed-methods design for the methodological paradigm.

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3.2.1 METATHEORETICAL PARADIGM

Some researchers recommend the use of a multiple paradigm for mixed-methods designs (G.

Hall, 2011), however, I am in agreement with Greene, Caracelli, and Graham (1989) who recommend a single paradigm stance as the meta-theoretical paradigm for an embedded mixedmethods design. I positioned this study within a pragmatic paradigm as it aligns itself with solving problems in the real world (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008).

Pragmatism as a meta-theoretical paradigm lends itself to the use of mixed methods as a methodological paradigm (Mertens, 2012). It acknowledges the compatibility of qualitative and quantitative methods (Ivankova et al., 2010), legitimising the use of both methods to answer different aspects of the same research question (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011; Ivankova et al.,

2010). Applying a mixed-method methodological paradigm to a study supports an explanation of the research problem, providing a more complete investigation (Johnson & Christensen,

2012).

However, unlike other world views, pragmatism rejects the top-down approach that states that epistemology and ontology are what guide research and recommends instead that researchers consider the connection between methodology and epistemology as well as between methodology and methods (Morgan, 2007). The choice of methodology is therefore not aligned to the philosophical stance but rather to the purpose of the research (Mertens, 2009).

Pragmatism according to Biesta (2010), is not a philosophical position but rather a set of philosophical tools that can be used to address problems. By separating itself from other world views, pragmatism has been criticised for its lack of utility in research aimed at addressing problems (Feilzer, 2009). During the study I was mindful of the purpose which was to describe

teaching practices and not to address any problems perceived in the schools in a larger sense.

In defining pragmatism according to a worldview, concepts such as truth and reality are avoided and instead pragmatists accept that there are both single and multiple realities (Mertens,

2009). The multiple realities include the perspectives of the different teachers and my own perspective in this study. (Creswell, 2009) elaborates that pragmatism arises out of actions, situations, and consequences rather than antecedent conditions. The data collected described the actions of the teachers in teaching English in a rural context to determine how language was acquired by the learners. The research process was aimed at describing what was observed in the

Grade 3 classes (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008).

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Epistemologically, there is no distinction between objectivity and subjectivity in pragmatism, rather the relationship between the researcher and participant is seen as existing on a continuum (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008). The type of relationship is determined by appropriateness in achieving the purpose of the research (Mertens, 2009). During the interviews,

I had to interact extensively with the teachers to obtain the information required, while during the classroom observations my interaction with the learners and teachers was limited so as not to influence the observations. However, as a non-participative observer I have provided evidence that meets the epistemological standard of warranted assertability that is, making assertions based on careful observations and control (Biesta, 2010). In order to describe the nature of teaching, I used a combination of action and reflection (Feilzer, 2009; Mertens, 2009).

Therefore, knowledge was constructed by incorporating both the views of the teachers and how

I experienced it from the observations, documentation, and photos (Johnson & Christensen,

2012).

3.2.2 METHODOLOGICAL PARADIGM: EMBEDDED MIXED METHODS

I conducted this study from a mixed-methods methodological paradigm, specifically a concurrent embedded mixed-methods design. Mixed methods are used to collect and analyse both qualitative and quantitative strategies within a single study to understand a research problem (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). It is recommended as a paradigm when one type of data is not sufficient to address a research question (Creswell, 2012) and provides a more complete picture of human behaviour and experience (Mertens, 2009). Mixed methods allow for contextual interpretation and flexibility in choosing the best strategies to address the research questions (Ivankova et al., 2010). This design is recommended for studying complex social and health problems (Johnson & Christensen, 2012; Mertens, 2009), and is suitable for multiple audiences (Creswell, 2009). It also produces well-validated conclusions that are enhanced by supplementary information (Ivankova et al., 2010).

In the study I was able to consider the qualitative data collected from the teacher interviews and photographs to better contextualise and understand the classroom through observation (Brown, 2007; Mertens, 2009). The quantitative data from the structured classroom observations provided supplementary data to enhance the qualitative data obtained. Combining the data helped to improve the trustworthiness of the data collected (Nieuwenhuis, 2007b).

Mixed-methods research is seen as a powerful research strategy particularly to improve classroom teaching practices (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008). Finally, this research is suitable for

35

multiple audiences, as it looks at instructional practices as well as learning theories of secondlanguage acquisition (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003).

The purpose of the mixed-methods methodology determines the type of mixed-method research design used in a study (Ivankova et al., 2010). The choice of design is influenced by the level of interaction between the qualitative and quantitative data which is influenced by the priority of the data, timing and the procedures for mixing (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011;

McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). Priority in mixed-method designs relates to the emphasis the researcher places on one type of data over another (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). Time influences how the data will be collected, either sequentially or concurrently (Ivankova et al.,

2010), while procedures include the sampling methods, data collection, and data recording of mixed-methods designs (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010).

Concurrent Embedded Mixed Methods

An embedded mixed design is defined as “one in which the study is framed by one methodology

within which a different methodology is located” (cited by Caracelli & Greene in Plano Clark et al., 2013, p. 26). The embedded design was determined as most appropriate for several reasons.

It allows for the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data within a traditional qualitative or quantitative design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The data may be collected concurrently or sequentially and prioritised according to the importance the researcher ascribes to the data (Ivankova et al., 2010).

The differentiating factor of an embedded mixed-method design from the other typologies is the role the data plays to support (embed) the other data, as both sets of data are needed to address a single overarching question (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The data in this research was collected concurrently with the secondary quantitative data embedded in the primary qualitative method. The purpose of this design was to enhance a mainly qualitative study using thematic analysis supported by the descriptive statistics from the quantitative data

(Ivankova et al., 2010).

The advantages of applying the embedded approach, according to (Creswell & Plano

Clark, 2011), are that it is useful when the researcher has limited time and resources. It combines the positive aspects of both qualitative and quantitative data, and the data can be reported on separately, as both techniques can be given equal priority (Creswell, 2009). The researcher uses a well-known and well-established design to collect the data (Ivankova et al.,

2010). This design is also useful when the “researcher needs to answer a secondary research

36

question that is different in form, but related to, the primary question” (Ivankova et al., 2010, p.

15) or may seek information at a different level of analysis (Creswell, 2009). The research had to be conducted within a limited time frame, as I was studying part-time. The data collected enabled me to answer separate but related questions and at different levels of analysis.

The challenges of the design were overcome by clearly defining the intent of the secondary data, as stated in the research purpose (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). In this research, the qualitative data is the primary data and the quantitative data secondary. The secondary data is used to support and enhance the findings of qualitative data. The categories for the qualitative data and quantitative data are complementary in that they both focus on teaching practices. The qualitative data provides a more holistic picture by describing how the teacher responds to the learner’s needs within a specific context (O'Meara, 2011) to ensure that each learner achieves his or her potential in accessing the curriculum (Walton, 2011). The quantitative findings from the structured observations provide evidence of effective teaching observed in the classroom, thereby limiting discrepancies that may occur from the two databases

(Creswell, 2009).

Collecting the data concurrently reduced bias that may have occurred from the secondary data (Ivankova et al., 2010). In overcoming the challenge of lengthy coding, the analysis of the data was done according to specific predefined categories (McMillan &

Schumacher, 2010; Rule & John, 2011). The categories for the qualitative data and quantitative data were complementary in that they both focus on effective L2 instructional practices. In dealing with the requirement of extensive knowledge in both qualitative and quantitative data analysis (Johnson & Christensen, 2012), I chose to include only descriptive statistics as part of the analysis process.

Research design: Comparative case study

The research design provides the plan for the researcher to follow to ensure that scientific rigour is maintained in the study (Johnson & Christensen, 2012). It clarifies the type of study and is guided by the research questions and the purpose of the study (R. Ferreira, 2012). I chose a comparative case-study design, as it lends itself to both quantitative and qualitative research

(Sharp et al., 2012). In a comparative case study, multiple sources and techniques in data gathering and analysis can be applied, adding to the flexibility to the design (Nieuwenhuis,

2007b). In applying it within in a mixed-methods methodological paradigm, a case study helps

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explain the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of a study and supports an understanding of the contextual condition in which the study is situated (cited by Yin in Sharp et al., 2012).

The case study offers a means of investigating complex social units and multiple variables (Mertens, 2009) of potential importance within the phenomena being studied. The term ‘case’ can be broadly understood as encompassing a single individual, classroom, school, social community, or institution as well as multiple cases (Rule & John, 2011). In this study the term ‘case’ was used to describe each of the Grade 3 classes observed where English was taught as L2. Two classes were at the same school and the third class observed was at another school.

The two schools, A and B, were conveniently selected because they are existing partner-schools in the FLY project. Teaching English in South Africa comes with its own political and socioeconomic agenda, a situation that is further complicated by the rural environment in which the case-study schools are located, and where poverty and limited resources prevail. Maps indicating the location of schools A and B within their rural geographical context are given in

Figure 3.2 and Figure 3.3 respectively. Focusing on just two schools made the research manageable, albeit limited (Report, 2010).

One of the main criticisms of the case-study design is the focus on a single case, which often leads to problems with generalisation (Flick, 2009). Nieuwenhuis (2007b) points out that generalisability is not the purpose or intent of case-study research, which is aimed at gaining greater insight and understanding of the dynamics of a specific situation. This study aimed to provide a description of teaching practices within a specific context and was not designed for the findings to be generalised. As recommended by some authors, multiple case studies can be used to provide depth to a study (Johnson & Christensen, 2012; Rule & John, 2011). In an attempt to balance depth of analysis with breadth, only two rural schools were used (Flick, 2009).

In Figure 3.4 a visual model is provided of the research design. The figure illustrates that the data was collected concurrently from four field trips over two years with the primary purpose of documenting English teaching practices. The qualitative data collection strategies included non-participative classroom observations, semi-structured interviews and document

analysis. The quantitative data was collected from structured classroom observations and provided a supportive role in the research process (Creswell, 2009). The data was analysed separately. Thematic descriptions and contextual themes were used for the qualitative data analysis and statistical descriptions for the quantitative data analysis. All the data was integrated

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to describe how English is taught at the two rural schools. Each procedure will be discussed in more detail in the sections following.

Figure 3.2 Google map of the rural area where School A is located (Maps, 2010)

Figure 3.3 Google map of the rural area where School B is located (Maps, 2010)

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Visual model of concurrent embedded case design

Comparative Case Study

Qualitative Procedure

Non-participatory classroom observation

Semi-structured interviews

Document analysis

Quantitative Procedure

Structured classroom observations

Convenience sampling:

Two schools

Purposeful sampling:

Three Grade 3 English second-language

classes

TIMELINE

May 2012

Sep 2012

Mar 2013

Sep 2013

Qualitative

Results

Categories and themes

Quantitative

Results

Descriptive statistics and

frequency distributions

Integration of qualitative and quantative data findings to provide a description of how English is taught as a second language in two rural schools

Figure 3.4 Visual model of concurrent embedded case design adapted from Brady and O'Regan

(2009)

3.3 CONTEXT OF THE STUDY

The research took place in Mpumalanga, in the Gert Sibanda district.

Mpumalanga is essentially a rural province consisting of femaleheaded households with siSwati as the most commonly spoken home language (Makiwane et al., 2012).

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Language use in Gert

Sibanda district

(Statistics South

Africa, 2011): siSwati – 56,6% isiZulu – 34,6%

English – 2,0%

(Stats, 2011)

The challenges that face rural schools may include inadequate physical resources, overcrowded classrooms, and insufficient learning materials and books (Howie et al., 2012).

The inhabitants of these areas also have to cope with poor health, malnourishment, erratic supply of basic needs and other vital services, poor infrastructure, educational backlogs, disrupted schooling, violence, and unsupportive home environments (Ebersöhn, 2010; Van

Staden, 2010). Many learners entering school have not mastered L1 and are likely to experience difficulties with language across the curriculum (M. Nel & Theron, 2008). This is confirmed by research, which shows that literacy achievement level in rural areas is significantly lower compared to their urban peers (Howie et al., 2012).

Photograph 3.1 Settlement where School B is situated

The schools that took part in this research are situated close to the Swaziland border. Both schools are far from the nearest town, a forty-minute drive away. Access to the schools on the dirt road is difficult, it is full of potholes and can be inaccessible on rainy days. School A is close to the main road and School B forms part of the community settlement, as can be seen on the

School attendance is affected by numerous events. On state pension pay-out days most of the children do not come to school (Appendix E: Field notes, 04/09/2012). geographical maps provided in Section 3.2.2 above. The way of life is tribal with limited resources. The settlement in which School B is situated can be seen in Photograph 3.1.

The schools have a strong bond with the communities they serve. The staff members at the schools are aware of the financial constraints that face the parents and assist by providing uniforms to the more needy learners (See Appendix D: Interview Teacher 2). Community

41

activities include the school, and teachers attend funerals of the community members. On pension pay-out days most of the learners do not attend school as they need to accompany their grandparents to the pay-points (See Appendix E: Field notes, 04/09/2012). However, most of the teachers do not live near the school and are bussed in on a daily basis from the nearest town.

The learners either walk to school or catch local taxis (local taxis are inexpensive form of public transport).

3.4 SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

From a distance the schools seemed well-maintained with solid structures, a vegetable garden and small flower garden with chickens roaming freely. On closer inspection, there were no sports facilities and little grass. The toilets were drop holes, and toilet paper was not always available to the learners. There are a few taps and the learners wash their hands from a bucket of water before break. In the classroom, the ceilings showed signs of leaking and some of the windows were broken. Electricity was not available in all the classrooms. Both schools had a feeding scheme that provided learners with a cooked meal at lunch time.

The school demographics set out in Table 3.1 show that the number of learners in the classroom is fairly small, averaging around 15 learners per classroom. The teaching

Driving to the schools, the remoteness of the settlements struck me. The roads were bad and there were groups of children walking to school.

Some children, I thought, were too young to be walking on their own. The schools were bigger than I imaged and better resourced than I had expected. In school A there was even a healthy-looking vegetable garden. The classrooms were filled with posters and drawings. However, on closer inspection, I noticed the ceilings were falling in, the windows were broken and there was no electricity

(Appendix E: Field notes,

06/09/2012). staff consists of volunteers and teachers. The volunteers are not qualified teachers and either work for free or are paid by the School Governing Body (Appendix D: Interview Teacher 3). In September 2012, Teacher 1 from School A told me in passing that the school was going to close at the end of 2012, and that the learners would have to go to other schools as the numbers were not sufficient to justify the need for two schools in the area. However, this did not happen as the caregivers did not want their children to attend other schools (Appendix D: Interview Teacher 1). Instead, the number of teachers was reduced and the Grade 1 and 2 classes combined (Appendix D: Interview Teacher

3). In both schools siSwati is L1, with English as L2. From Grade 4, English becomes the LoLT.

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Table 3.1 School demographics (Refer to Appendix D and E)

Characteristics

No of learners

No of Grd 3 learners

No of teachers

No of volunteers

L1

L2

LoLT

School A

2012

110

12

5

3 siSwati

English

English

School A

2013

120

15

4

3 siSwati

English

English

School B

2012

15

9

3 siSwati

English

English

School B

2013

184

14

9

3 siSwati

English

English

3.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The research methodology guides the decisions and steps to be taken in research (Niglas, 2009).

It focuses on the research process (Mouton, 2001) and the “strategies used during sampling,

data collection, data documentation and data analysis” (R. Ferreira, 2012, p. 36). In the following section the research process and the participant and data-selection procedures are discussed. This is followed by an explanation of both the qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis procedure.

3.5.1 RESEARCH PROCESS

The quantitative data is embedded in the qualitative case study. The primary purpose of qualitative data in the study was to use classroom observations, learners’ exercise books, teachers’ lesson plans for the week’s English lessons and audio-visual data of the classroom observations to document existing English teaching practices in two purposefully selected Grade

3 classes, using thematic descriptions. Secondary data provided a supportive role in the research process (Creswell, 2009) and in this study denotes structured classrooms observations using the

Classroom Observation Schedule-Revised (CLOS-R). This schedule is based on the practices used by effective teachers to teach English as L2 (Louden, Rohl, & Hopkins, 2008).

The table below (Table 3.2) is a schedule of the research process. The data was collected over four field trips, each of one-week's duration. In May 2012 a pilot trip was done to familiarise myself with the setting and the people. In September 2012 the first set of data was collected, followed by further data collected in March 2013 and again in July 2013. The

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prolonged engagement helped me to understand the contextual factors, build trusting relationships, ensure that adequate data was collected (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008), and provided an opportunity to check for misinformation (Onwuegbuzie & Collins, 2007). It was also beneficial in that it allowed for a snapshot of the level of language proficiency of the three

Grade 3 classes and instructional practices used by the teachers over the two years. Prolonged engagement helped minimise threats to validity to ensure quality.

Table 3.2 Research schedule

Date School

May

2012

Schools

A and B

Purpose of visit Data collection Participants

Meeting with school principals to research and to get a feel for the schools

I visited the schools and met with the respective principals and teachers.

Permission was obtained from the principals to do the research. Potential dates for data collection were agreed on.

I observed one English lesson as a pilot in each school. This was documented in my field notes.

Sep

2012

Mar

2013

Sep

2013

School A

School B

Data collection

Data collection

Non-participant observations of

English lesson and CLOS-R

Face-to-face semi-structured interview

Documenting, using audio-visual, photographs, exercise books and field notes

Non-participant observations of

English lesson

Documenting, using audio-visual, photographs, exercise books and field notes

School A Member checking of observations and interviews

School A

School B

Data collection

Data collection

Non-participant observations of

English lesson and CLOS-R

Documenting, using audio-visual, photographs, exercise books and field notes

Photos of exercise books

Face-to-face semi-structured interview

Face-to-face semi-structured interview

Documenting, using audio-visual, photographs, exercise books and field notes

Schools

A and B

Member checking of observations and interviews

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Grade 3 Class

Teacher 1

Grade 3 class

Class 2

Teacher 1

Teacher 3

Grade 3 class

Teacher 3

Teacher-2

Grade 3 class

Teachers 1, 2 and 3

3.5.2 DATA COLLECTION

In determining the data collection strategies, I remained cognisant of how the different data types were to be used to answer the research questions (Ivankova et al., 2010) and the purpose they could serve (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). A summary of the multiple-data collection strategy can be seen in Table 3.3. This table will be explained in more detail in the next section.

Table 3.3 Strategy, sample, goal and analysis - adapted from (Creswell, Klassen, Plano Clark,

& Clegg Smith)

Selection

Purposive: Three

Grade 3 classes where English is taught as L2

Teachers of classes observed

Face-to-face semi-structured interviews

Documents: Audiovisual, photos and examples of learners’ work

Purposive: Three

Grade 3 classes where English is taught as L2

Data collection method

Non-participant classroom observation

Documenting the research process

Structured classroom observation

Goal Analysis

Observe English instructional practices to answer

Thematic descriptions using a priori and open codes

To obtain biographical, contextual of school and classroom

Thematic open codes

To create an audit trail and support other data collected

Thematic open codes

Observe English instructional practices to answer

Recorded effective

English instructional practices, using frequency distributions using CLOS-R

Answering question

All research questions

Primary

Question,

Question 1,

Question 2

All research questions

Primary

Question,

Question 3

3.5.3 SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS

As mentioned earlier, the two schools were conveniently selected because they are existing partner-schools in FLY. This facilitated easier access to the primary school, as some of the teachers had previously been involved with other university initiatives and were comfortable taking part in the study. The two schools are located around 3 km apart and close to the local secondary school, which is also a partner-school in FLY, as can be seen in the map in Figure

3.5. Research at these schools was done simultaneously with other FLY initiatives to be both cost-effective and time-efficient. This method of sample selection is defined as convenience sampling, since the sample was not randomly chosen and is not representative of the population, but selected instead for convenience (Maree & Pietersen, 2007a).

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Figure 3.5 Map of the rural area where Schools A and B are situated in relation to the secondary school (Maps, 2010)

The Grade 3 class in Schools A and B was purposely selected, as the level of English should be of a standard to allow the learner to make the switch to English as the LoLT in Grade 4. The selection of the sample with a specific purpose in mind is consistent with the Maree and

Pietersen (2007b) definition of purposive sampling and is also recommended by Creswell

(2009) for embedded research designs. However, as Sharp et al. (2012) points out, the limitation of using these sampling techniques is that findings cannot be generalised.

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In School A, the classroom observations of Teacher 1 (T-1) and Teacher 3 (T-3) were conducted in the same classroom. The classroom observation of Teacher 2 (T-2) was in School

B. Each classroom selected was studied as an individual entity, as well as comparatively to focus on the similarities and differences between the three teachers (Mouton, 2001). It meets the purpose of my research to promote an understanding of and insight into a case by offering a meaningful description (Rule & John, 2011) of how English is taught as L2. The teachers from these classes were interviewed to corroborate the data from other sources (Nieuwenhuis, 2007b) and provide some insight into the “complexity of a phenomenon within its context” (Teddlie &

Tashakkori, 2008, p. 265).

3.5.4 SELECTION OF DOCUMENTS

Documents provide a rich source of qualitative or quantitative information and are commonly used in case studies (Seabi, 2012). Documents are defined by Flick (2009) as “standardised

artefacts that typically occur in particular formats”. The learners’ exercise books and the teachers’ lesson plans were photographed to provide information on teaching practices

(Nieuwenhuis, 2007b). Some of these documents have been included in the thesis with more examples in Appendix F. The data collected provided written evidence (Creswell, 2009) and supported classroom observations of teaching practices, assessment methods and learners’ responses to instruction. The documents also provided a record of what had previously occurred in the classroom. As Seabi (2012) points out, not only is documentary data collection economical and easily accessible, but it enables the researcher to study past events and issues retrospectively. Creswell (2009) and Flick (2009), however, caution that documentary data may not provide a complete picture. The data was collected over a long period and used together with other information to answer all the questions.

Included in the document collection is the audio-visual data and photographs (Creswell,

2009). Photographs provide “detailed recordings for a more holistic presentation of lifestyles and conditions” (Flick, 2009, p. 241). Photographs of the school, classroom, and surrounding environment were taken to provide documentary evidence of information about the physical environment of the school and where it is situated (refer to Appendix F). This information was used to support contextualisation of the school, providing visual evidence of the physical resources or barriers that may influence language learning. No analytic procedures are developed for photographs, making them difficult to interpret (Creswell, 2009; Flick, 2009). To assist me in the interpretation, the teachers were asked to confirm what was observed.

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The classroom observations and interviews were videotaped. The audiotaped interviews were used to confirm information received during the interviews.

This data formed part of the primary source of data.

Once again the prolonged engagement helped to minimise threats to validity and to ensure quality. As an extra quality measure, it is important to be familiar with your technical equipment (video recorder and camera) (Flick, 2009). Not being particularly good with technology, this proved quite a challenge for me. I practised using the equipment beforehand to make sure

Although I had practiced using the recording equipment it proved to be quite a challenge in the classroom.

There was no time beforehand to set up, and the lighting in the class was not ideal. It was also difficult to position the camera to see what the teacher and the learners were doing. The camera had to be moved often, making the floor the focal point. Also, I had not taken into consideration the limited access to electricity and the length of time it takes to charge the Samsung tablet

(Appendix E: Field notes,

04/05/2013). that I knew how everything worked. On the field trip I used a Samsung tablet to take the recordings of the observations and interviews. I also used it to take the photos. As an extra measure, I had my cellphone, the supervisor’s cellphone and a dictaphone. Initially, the learners were fascinated by the video recording and found it difficult to concentrate on the lesson, but as the lesson progressed they forgot about it.

As part of the observational process field notes (Creswell, 2009) with reflective comments were prepared (refer to Appendix E: Field notes). The reflective comments were included to make me aware of potential personal biases. I followed the three-observation phase process of Spradley (as cited in Flick, 2009) to guide the documenting of my field notes. The first phase was a descriptive observation to provide the context of this case study. In section 3.4 the observation was used to contextualise the study by describing the rural area in which the schools are situated. During the second phase, a more focused observation allowed for a narrow description of the two schools where the English lessons took place (refer to section 3.5). The final phase, selective observation, focused specifically on what happened in the classroom and is discussed in Chapters 4 and 6. The analysis of the documents was combined with the other data sources to answer all the questions.

3.5.5 QUALITATIVE DATA COLLECTION

The qualitative data types: observations and interviews (Creswell, 2009), were used in this study. The non-participative observations were of Grade 3 teachers teaching English as L2 in both schools. The teachers of the classes observed were interviewed, using a face-to-face semistructured format. The non-participative classroom observations served as the primary source of

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data, whereas the interviews were used as supporting data. The multiple sources of data served as a method of triangulation, meeting the quality criteria needed in qualitative data

(Nieuwenhuis, 2007b).

Non-Participant Observations of Grade 3 English Lesson

Three English lessons were observed and videotaped for over three hours (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations). As Creswell (2009) points out, observations can be both qualitative and quantitative and are helpful in that they provide first-hand experience of what is happening as they occur in their natural context. The purpose of the observations was to provide a context for the study (Flick,

2009), to observe the interactions that occurred in the

One of the teachers found it very difficult not to include me in the lesson. She would direct some of her instructions directly to me and explained how concepts in Zulu and siSwati were similar and yet in some cases quite different.

(Appendix E: Field notes,

Teacher 2, School B,

05/11/2012). classroom (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008) and to identify the teaching strategies used. My role was defined as a non-participant, so as to be less obtrusive and to observe the phenomenon from a distance (Nieuwenhuis, 2007a). The data from the observations was used to answer all research questions.

The limitation of using a non-participant observation method of data collection is that it prevented me from understanding everything that was going on, as I was not immersed in the situation (Nieuwenhuis, 2007b). This was compounded by the fact that siSwati was often used in the classroom, which is a foreign language to me. In an effort to compensate for these limitations, reflections of what happened (refer to Appendix E: Field notes) were included in the data- collection process (Nieuwenhuis, 2007b). The interviews with the teachers (Flick, 2009) assisted in trying to understand what had happened. Debriefing sessions with research supervisors proved invaluable in clarifying some questions raised during the observations, and also made me aware of my own value system and personal prejudices regarding teaching and teachers.

All classroom observations were videotaped and transcribed verbatim to enable me to go back and confirm observations (refer to Appendix C for examples of the transcribed observations of the lessons). Photographs of the classrooms in Schools A and B are shown in

Photograph 3.2 and Photograph 3.3 respectively. The assistance of a translator, proficient in both English and siSwati, was also used to help with the transcriptions.

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Photograph 3.2 Classroom in School A

Photograph 3.3 Classroom in School B

Face-to-Face Semi-Structured Interviews with English Teachers

Each of the teachers whose lessons were observed were interviewed over the two-year period

(refer to Table 3.2). The teachers from School A were interviewed in the staff room and the teacher from School B in her classroom. I designed the interview questionnaire and then incorporated suggestions from my supervisors. An outline of the questions asked can be found in Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews. The teachers were interviewed several times, using information obtained from preceding interviews and observations to structure subsequent interviews, validating the information collected (Flick, 2009). The member checking process afforded teachers an opportunity to assess the credibility of the information obtained by the researcher (Onwuegbuzie & Collins, 2007), allowing the teacher the opportunity to check that

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my understanding of the research findings formed part of the quality criteria requirements that will be discussed later in the chapter. The interviews were videotaped with the teachers’ permission and transcribed. The interview dates can be found in Table 3.2 and the transcribed interviews in Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews. The data obtained from the interviews supported the other data sources to answer the Primary Question and Questions 1, 2 and 4.

Interviews are an important tool for qualitative data collection aimed at collecting rich and descriptive information (Seabi, 2012). Flick (2009) explains that interviewees have a complex stock of subjective knowledge about the subject, which includes assumptions that are explicit and immediate, that is spontaneously expressed in open questions. However, this knowledge is complemented by implicit assumptions that need to be accessed using different types of questions. It is for this reason that interviews took a semi-structured format. The semistructured interviews assisted in defining the line of inquiry and were used to collaborate data from other sources (Nieuwenhuis, 2007b).

The aim of the interviews was to gain biographical information about the teachers, collect contextual information about the school and the learners, and to gain teachers’ perspectives on the classroom observations. The structure of face-to-face interviews was guided by the recommendations made by Flick (2009) and started with basic biographical information as a way of building rapport and eliciting spontaneous responses (Teddlie &

Tashakkori, 2008). The second part of the interview was theory driven and was used to confirm the information in the literature about the context in which teaching occurs in rural schools. The more controversial questions were asked next, focusing on the barriers to, and resources available for teaching English, their opinions about teaching English and to

The language proficiency of the teachers and cultural factors may have influenced the data collected. Valuable and insightful information was gained during less formal settings, such as when

I was having tea with the teachers or talking to them outside the classrooms

(Appendix E: Field notes,

12/09/2013). corroborate triangulate information from the classroom observations (Nieuwenhuis, 2007b).

The disadvantage of face-to-face semi-structured interviews is the time they take (Seabi,

2012). The teacher interviews were necessarily conducted when the teachers had some spare time. Although the teachers agreed to be interviewed, school and personal priorities understandably took precedence, and on occasion, learners also interrupted the interviews.

These factors limited the time available for this important source of collection.

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3.5.6 ANALYSIS STRATEGIES OF QUALITATIVE DATA

Qualitative data sources included observational data (field notes, audio-visual recordings, photographs of learners' exercise books, teacher lesson plans) and verbatim interview transcriptions with teachers. I read through all the transcriptions to gain an overall sense of the information collected (Creswell, 2009). Throughout the process, I made notes of my initial thoughts and insights (Christ, 2009) which were later combined with my reflections. The qualitative data can found in the Appendices C, D, E, F, G and H.

A codebook was created during the literature review, which guided the analysis process and which was applied to all the qualitative data to provide consistency in the interpretation

(Christ, 2009). The analysis process started by coding the data relating to each teacher separately and then combining the data for further analysis. The codes were then re-examined and aligned with the indicators provided by the theory on SLA and DI, as discussed in Chapter 2

(Rule & John, 2011). The indicators were combined to form categories. Throughout the process the indicators were examined to see where they may or may not have fitted into various categories (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008), with the absence of indicators also providing evidence within this process. The categories were then combined into subthemes and subsequently grouped into three major themes: instruction, environment and the role of the teacher. Appendix

G: Coding, provides a summary of the coding process and the results are discussed in Chapter 4.

3.5.7 QUANTITATIVE DATA COLLECTION

The quantitative data consisted of a structured observation of each English lesson observed.

Punch (2009) advises the use of this method when the researcher has decided what is to be observed to help focus the research. The focus of this research was on how English was taught as a second language. The structured observations were applied across all three classes observed.

Classroom Observation Schedule–Revised (CLOS-R)

The CLOS-R (refer to Appendix G: Coding) is an empirically validated observation tool for the early years of schooling and is based on research evidencing effective literacy practices (Louden et al., 2005). It was validated in Australia, using quantitative and qualitative methods on first and second language learners. It consists of 27 practices divided into six broad areas:

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·

Respect: the way in which the teacher gains the respect of children and in which the children demonstrate respect for her.

·

Knowledge: how the teacher uses her knowledge of literacy to effectively teach significant literacy concepts and skills.

·

Orchestration: the manner in which the teacher manages or orchestrates the demands of the literacy classroom.

·

Participation: how the teacher organises for and motivates children’s participation in classroom literacy tasks.

·

Support: how the teacher supports learner’s literacy learning.

·

Differentiation: how the teacher differentiates tasks and instructions for individual learners, providing individual levels of challenge (Louden et al., 2005, pp. 3-4).

The observations were videotaped and systematically recorded (Seabi, 2012), using the

CLOS-R (Louden et al., 2008). The structured observations were collected at the same time (see

Table 3.2) as the qualitative data (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). This data set facilitated the development of frequencies tables, which quantified different aspects of the teaching instruction observed. Although the CLOS-R is scientifically reliable, it has only been used in Australia, which is predominately a Western culture, and caution should be taken when applying it in other contexts (G. Hall, 2011). Also some of the theories on SLA, particularly relating to scaffolding and negotiation of meaning in language, may not be suitable in this study. Research on classroom behaviour has shown that individuals, cultural factors and belief about classroom behaviour influence the amount of interaction in class (Tsui, 2011), which makes this type of learning unsuitable to all cultures.

3.5.8 ANALYSIS STRATEGIES OF QUANTITATIVE DATA

The main activities in each videotaped (see DVD for video footage) observation were identified, using the original CLOS-R coding system as a guide (Louden et al., 2008). A frequency distribution for these activities was then created (Louden et al., 2008), and a frequency distribution for these activities was also created (refer to Appendix G: Coding) with the intention of discovering trends and patterns (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008). The descriptive

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statistics provided a visual comparison of the teachers’ instructional practices against each other and against the evidenced effective practices. The scores on each dimension were totalled and graphed to demonstrate which teacher used the most of the CLOS-R practices. The totals are presented later in Table 5.1 in Chapter 5. Each dimension is discussed separately in Chapter 5, showing which practices were observed in the class.

3.6 DATA INTEGRATION AND LITERATURE CONTROL

The final stage of the research design is the integration of the data (Ivankova et al., 2010). As

(Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008, p. 266) point out, “although the two sets of analyses are

independent, the knowledge of the one design can shape the analysis of the other and will talk to

each other”. The combined data was used to answer the Secondary Questions of the research

(Christ, 2009). The second part of the integration process involved answering the Primary

Question in relation to the DI, the theoretical framework on which the study was based to determine whether the findings supported or contradicted the literature (Teddlie & Tashakkori,

2008).

3.7 QUALITY CRITERIA

Irrespective of which method is used, good research designs need to achieve a certain quality standard, promoting confidence that the research question has been answered adequately and that the findings can be trusted (O’Cathain, 2010). In deciding on the criteria to ensure quality in mixed methods, Creswell and Plano Clark (2011) recommend that traditional qualitative and quantitative research criteria be used, as well as others that relate to the mixed-methods process.

Dellinger and Leech (2007, p. 320), although in agreement with this, warn that instead of using a checklist of criteria to guide the quality of a study, the researcher needs to ‘’make

judgments about the meaning of data on the basis of its usefulness and interpretations and the

consequences of these uses and interpretations”. These authors provide a Validation Framework

(VF) combining traditional and mixed criteria that can be applied to a pragmatic paradigm. In this framework, the quality criteria for mixed methods are described as a construct for validity and are applicable to the qualitative data, quantitative data and the process involved in mixed methods. In the next section these criteria will be expanded.

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3.7.1 QUALITATIVE CRITERIA

In deciding on the criteria for qualitative data, Lincoln and Guba (cited in Dellinger & Leech,

2007) offer trustworthiness as an alternative to the traditional concepts of reliability and validity.

Trustworthiness is achieved through transferability, credibility, dependability, and confirmability (Rule & John, 2011). The quality criteria applied in this study excluded transferability as a criterion as the design of the study does not lend itself to be generalised.

Credibility refers to internal validity and is the extent to which the research measures what it is set to measure. It deals with the whole research process from the “theoretical

orientation, explaining the process that led the researcher to explore the particular

phenomenon, and reporting everything that effected his/her work” (Di Fabio & Maree, 2012, p.

140). Dependability is similar to reliability in quantitative studies and centres on methodological rigour in order to promote confidence in the results. Confirmability refers to the objectivity of the data collected (Flick, 2009).

The strategies used in the study to ensure trustworthiness included thick descriptions, member checking, creating an audit trail and triangulation. Thick descriptions provide “rich and detailed descriptions which focus on specifics” of the case study (Rule & John, 2011, p. 87).

The context of the study, Section 3.4, and the school environment, Section 3.5, were aimed at contributing to the quality of the study through this criterion. A deeper understanding of the

English L2 literacy instructional practices in the two rural schools is presented through the analysis of the qualitative data in Chapter 4.

The data gathered was verified through an audit trail and from the teachers themselves.

Member checking is a strategy used to validate the analysis of the data collected by giving the participant an opportunity to comment (Di Fabio & Maree, 2012). The teachers were asked to verify earlier interviews and observations (refer to Table 3.2) to eliminate the possibility of misrepresentation and misinterpretation of the data collected (Onwuengbuzie & Leech, 2007).

Auditing is defined “as the systematic, independent examination of an activity and its

results” (Kamiske and Brauer cited in Flick, 2009, p. 410). During the research process, a record was kept of all proceedings and developments in the research (Flick, 2009;

Onwuengbuzie & Leech, 2007). The appendices provide an audit trail, evidencing the claims made in the research allowing other researchers to follow and assess the process (Rule & John,

2011).

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The final qualitative strategy, triangulation, was used to reduce the possibility of chance associations as well as systematic biases occurring (Onwuengbuzie & Leech, 2007). Of the four types of triangulations: methods, data, theories and investigators, Flick (2009), method and data triangulation were used in this study. Observations, interviews and documentation provided multiple methods to support the study (Di Fabio & Maree, 2012). The data triangulation process incorporated different types of data from texts to frequency distribution to field notes. These different data sources also provided additional information (Rule & John, 2011).

3.7.2 QUANTITATIVE CRITERIA

The criteria that determine quality in quantitative research are validity, reliability and generalisability (O’Cathain, 2010). Validity allows the researcher to make claims that what was intended to be studied was actually studied (Maree & Pietersen, 2007a; Rule & John, 2011). Yin

(cited in Rule & John, 2011) explains that the challenge in ensuring validity in case studies is establishing the range of topics to be covered and the level of detail discussed. Validity was ensured by the literature review and guided the topics discussed in Chapter 2. Through defining the purpose, the level of detail was determined ensuring a description of English L2 literacy teaching practices in the two rural schools. Chapter 5 provides a comparison of the teachers’ use of effective English L2 literacy practices in the Grade 3 classes observed (Johnson &

Christensen, 2012). The inclusion of three grades further enhanced the validity of the study

(Rule & John, 2011).

Reliability is determined by the replicability of the findings by other researchers and the consistency of results from the measuring instrument used (Maree & Pietersen, 2007a). The

CLOS-R has strong psychometric characteristics effectively measuring the presence or absence of effective teaching practices (r=0,87) (Louden et al., 2008). It is therefore a reliable instrument to use to measure teachers’ instructional practices, as it meets the criterion of instrument reliability (Maree & Pietersen, 2007a).

Dellinger and Leech (2007) make the point that the aim of the study will determine the quality criteria to be used in the research. Analytical generalisation was also included as a criterion in the study by determining the applicability of DI to SLA in the two rural schools

(Rule & John, 2011). The purpose of the case study is not to quantify the study in terms of statistical generalisations but to expand and generalise the theory.

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3.7.3 MIXED METHODS CRITERIA

The framework for validating mixed methods starts with the foundational element and the reciprocal influence it has on the different design methods that make up a mixed design. “The

foundational element reflects researchers’ prior understanding of a construct and/or

phenomenon under study” (Dellinger & Leech, 2007, p. 232). Therefore, to have a better understanding of how English is taught as L2, a comprehensive review of the literature and empirical studies was undertaken. The literature review presented in Chapter 2 provided a critical analysis of the instructional practice of English as L2, learning the theory and language instruction specific to SLA. It also identified the limitations of using literacy acquisition models in South Africa with its scarce resources and inadequately trained teachers. The literature review not only provided an understanding of the phenomenon but also influenced the choice of paradigms, data collection methods, data analysis and inference made (Dellinger & Leech,

2007).

The appropriateness of the design takes into consideration the inferential consistency, the literacy and the audience for whom it is attended. Inferential consistency refers to the appropriateness of the methodology used to collect and interpret data to meet the purpose of the study. The utilisation/historical element refers to how appropriate (or not appropriate) the study is within the context of the literature and the design of the research, whereas the

consequential element cannot be determined by the researcher, as it is validated by the audience for whom the study is intended.

In agreement with O’Cathain (2010), the quality criteria in mixed methods should address the whole design where each step of the research process is validated (Johnson &

Onwuegbuzie, 2004). This is achieved through inferential quality which combines design quality and interpretive rigour (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008). It also includes the threats

minimisation approach where steps are taken to minimise the potential threats to validity during data collection, analysis and interpretation specific to the different mixed-method typologies

(Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). Throughout this chapter I have justified my choice of paradigms and the criteria applied to ensure quality, thereby meeting the criteria of construct validity.

Expanding on the concept of construct validity, Dellinger and Leech (2007) explain validity in mixed-methods design as a continuous process of negotiated meaning which is measured through inferential consistency, the utilisation/historical element and the

57

consequential element. Inferential consistency is measured on appropriateness of the methodology used to collect and interpret data to meet the purpose of the study. The

utilisation/historical element refers to the appropriateness (or not) of the study within the context of the literature and the design of the research. While the consequential element cannot be determined by myself as it is validated by the audience for whom the study is intended.

Rule and John (2011) argue that quality must be considered and planned for, not only with data collection and analysis, but rather throughout the entire research process. However, they include non-procedure quality criteria in terms of professional and ethical practices. In the following section the ethical procedures implemented to guide the data collection and analysis will be discussed in more detail.

3.8 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Ethical considerations must guide every step of the research (Northway, cited in Flick, 2009).

The main steps used to guide this research were: informed consent, avoiding doing harm to participants, doing justice to participants in analysing data and ensuring confidentiality in writing about the research.

The consent form outlined the purpose of the study and the procedure that was going to be used (Elias & Theron, 2012).

Copies of the consent forms for the teacher as a participant, as well as the guardians of the learners and principals of the schools have been provided in Appendix B:

Consent forms. The principals were asked to sign the consent form when I arrived at the school, giving me permission to observe and interview the teachers. Before the

Although consent forms were signed at the beginning of the study, the participant may feel coerced into participating, and therefore it is important to continually remind them that they have the right to not to participate (Konza, 2012).

classroom observations could start, the content of the learners’ consent form was explained to the teacher. The teachers were then asked to discuss the form with the learners in siSwati, so that they could explain it to their guardian who had to sign it. Guardians could consult with teachers and principals of the schools. The forms had to be returned the next day. The teachers also had to provide consent prior to observations and interviews.

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Although the participants would not be harmed physically during the research, participating in research by its nature can have an emotional impact on the participants. In interacting with the teachers, I tried to put them at ease, emphasising that I was not assessing their skills and abilities but was observing what is happening in the classroom during English lessons. During the

Personally, I find it difficult not to give something in return for a service offered, and I was very conscious during the data- collection process that I was receiving more than I was giving and did not want the participants to feel used at the end of the experience

(Appendix E: Field notes,

06/09/2012). observations I tried not to display any negative non-verbal communication to prevent the teachers or learners from feeling judged.

The interpretations used in this thesis are based on the data obtained (Flick, 2009).

During the analysis of the data, I tried to be aware of my own prejudices and bias and how they could be influencing the process and included reflections in my field notes. The classroom observations and interviews were conducted with at least one supervisor present. After each field trip a debriefing session was held with my supervisors to deal with issues that arose or where advice was needed on how to deal with challenges.

Extra care was taken to ensure anonymity (Rule & John, 2011) and confidentiality (Elias

& Theron, 2012), so that participants from the two schools cannot be identified. All data will be kept by the University at the end of the study and only authorised people will have access to it.

The videotapes and photographs do not show the faces of the learners. Photos used to document information are not accompanied by names.

3.9 CONCLUSION

In this chapter the justification of the paradigmatic perspective, research design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation procedures were presented. The quality criteria applicable to an embedded mixed-method case study were also discussed. The chapter concluded with reflections on the ethical considerations of the research. In Chapters 4 and 5, results of the qualitative and quantitative data analysis are presented respectively. This will be followed by an interpretation chapter where the data is integrated.

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CHAPTER 4

4 QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS

The analysis of the qualitative data collected from the non-participant classroom observations of the Grade 3 English lessons recorded face-to-face, the semi-structured interviews with the

English teachers and the documentation collected will be discussed in this chapter. The analysis of the data is presented according to specific themes.

4.1 QUALITATIVE THEMES

The themes were created using a priori codes and open codes (refer to section 3.6.6). The codes were aligned with the indicators provided by the theoretical model, Differentiated Instruction

(DI), as discussed in Chapter 2. The theoretical model was also used to define the categories into which the indicators were grouped (Appendix G: Coding). A summary of the indicators and categories identified from the different data sources is provided for each theme when addressed in the chapter. The themes are:

· Second Language instructional practices for English in two rural schools of Grade 3 learners

· Environment that supports English L2 learning

· Role of the teacher in English L2 instruction

4.1.1 THEME 1: SECOND LANGUAGE INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES FOR

ENGLISH SCHOOLS OF GRADE 3 LEARNERS IN TWO RURAL SCHOOLS

A ‘lesson’ is designed to connect the learner with the content, using techniques and strategies that have been validated by research (Rock, Gregg, Ellis, & Gable, 2008). To ensure that all learners are actively engaged, the teacher ideally provides instruction and support that match the instructional learning needs of the learner (O'Meara, 2011). This requires differentiation in four areas: content, learning process, product and learning environment according to each learner’s readiness, interests and learning profile (Tomlinson, 2000). Although the learning environment forms part of DI and is included in the literature as an instructional practice, it is presented as a separate theme in this research to incorporate the social environment of the schools as an influential factor in language acquisition (Ball, 2011). Table 4.1 presents the inclusion and

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exclusion criteria used to group indicators applicable to instructional practices facilitating the learning of English L2 in Grade 3.

Table 4.1 Definition, themes, indicators and exclusion related to the theme of Instructional

Practice

Theme 1:

Second language instructional practices for English of Grade 3 learners in two rural

Schools

Definition

Instruction is the way in which the teacher guides and facilitates learning in the classroom (Brown, 2007) by being “responsive to the learners

2

and

their needs, as well as the context within which the learners are learning”

(O'Meara, 2011, p. 6), ensuring that each learner achieves their highest potential in accessing the curriculum (Walton, 2011).

Subthemes

Indicators

Content instruction to develop academic language proficiency.

Processes to help learners engage with English as L2.

Learner products to demonstrate learning and meeting curriculum goals.

All instances of differentiation in the raw data were identified. In these cases, the teacher incorporated best practices moving learners towards

English proficiency and content knowledge by varying instruction to respond to learners and assisting in the learning process.

Exclusion Instances during instruction that were not linked to the teaching of English.

The definition of instruction used in Table 4.1 confirms that instruction is learner-centred and curriculum focused. The way in which the instruction is differentiated to respond to the learners’ needs forms the subthemes of Theme 1. Indicators were instances from the data identified in literature as effective English L2 language instruction for diverse classrooms. The indicators identified in the data provided evidence of the instructional practices used by the teacher.

Specific examples from the data to evidence these practices have been included in each category discussed. A summary of the indicators and categories identified in Theme 1 from the different data sources is provided in Table 4.2.

The analysis of the data showed evidence of content differentiation through explicit instruction and creating opportunities to practise the different forms of language by the teachers.

Opportunities for meaning making and doing homework were not evidenced from the data.

Scaffolding was used by the teachers to facilitate learning was by modelling.

2

The word student in the original text was replaced with learner.

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Table 4.2 Summary of data sources used for each category and indicator

Categories Indicators

Qualitative data sources

Nonparticipative observations

Face-toface semistructured interviews

Learners' exercise books

Teacher's lesson plan

Field notes

Photos

Theme 1

Second language instructional practices for English of Grade 3 learners in two rural schools

Subtheme 1.1: Content instruction to develop academic language proficiency

Explicit instruction of English language knowledge

Purpose

Grammar

Vocabulary development

Similarities between L1 and

L2

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

-

ü

-

-

ü

ü

-

-

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

Opportunity for practise

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking and meaning making

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

Homework

-

ü ü

-

ü

-

Formative assessment

Learner assessment to inform instruction

-

ü ü

Subtheme 1.2: Processes to help learners engage with English L2

Scaffolding

Modelling

Bridging

Contextualisation

Schema building

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

ü

-

-

-

-

-

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

-

Text representation

ü

- - -

ü

-

Flexible grouping

Grouping for content instruction

Grouping for

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

ü

ü

ü

ü process instruction

Subtheme 1.3: Learner product to demonstrate learning and meeting curriculum goals for English L2

Assessment

Progress monitoring assessments

Explicit error correction

ü

ü

-

-

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

Feedback

Indirect error correction

Explicit affirmation

Implicit affirmation

Explanation of rule

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

Note: The ‘ ü symbol refers to data sources that were used to find indicators

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The teachers did not use flexible grouping strategies. In the product subtheme, assessment as a means of guiding instruction was not applied. The assessments observed were limited in range and did not provide evidence of learning. A more detailed summary of the indicators across the teachers can be found in Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations.

Subtheme 1.1: Content instruction to develop academic language proficiency

Content refers to the “what” of instruction and is aligned with the curriculum requirements

(Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). The goals of the curriculum are teaching learners “Thinking and

Reasoning and Language Structure and Use, which are integrated into all 4 languages skills

(listening, speaking, reading and writing)” (DoE, 2011, p. 8). This is developed through instruction that is focused on language proficiency (Bloch, 2005) and subject knowledge enabling the learner to infer meaning from various sources across the curriculum (Hernandez,

2003). Learners are then provided with the academic language proficiency skills required for

Grade 4 onwards.

The three categories that were included in the content instruction subtheme are explicit

instruction, opportunity to practise and formative assessment. Second-language users take longer to achieve academic language proficiency and require explicit instruction (Grabe, 2009;

Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). Language proficiency demands practice, and opportunities need to be created in a meaningful context. Not only do learners need to hear English, but they need to engage purposefully with other learners to develop proficiency and understanding (Lucas,

Villegas, & Freedson-Gonzalez, 2008). Formative assessment was included in the subtheme, as it forms an important part of instruction by providing the teacher with knowledge of where the learner is and how the learner responds to instructions (O'Meara, 2011). This information is used to support and enhance learning, as well as serve as a reflective process for the teacher to adapt instruction to meet the needs of the learner (Lerner & Johns, 2008; N. Nel, 2011) in achieving the curriculum goals. Data collected from non-participative observations, the learners’ exercise books, lesson plans and field notes were used to evidence English L2 explicit instructional practices (Refer to Table 4.2). The definition, inclusion and exclusion criteria used for Explicit

L2 English Instruction are presented in Table 4.3.

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Table 4.3 Definition, indicators and exclusions related to the category ‘explicit instruction’

Category: Explicit L2 instruction of English language knowledge

Definition

The teacher “clearly states what is to be taught and what needs to be done”

(Lerner & Johns, 2008).

Indicators

Instances were identified in the raw data where the teacher provided clarity on the goals of the lesson, grammatical explanations, building vocabulary knowledge, understanding and linguistic support in L1.

Exclusions

Feedback and scaffolding

The definition for explicit L2 instruction of English language knowledge used in Table 4.3 was based on research findings that support the input-driven and experience-based language learning theories of L2. These theories postulate that language learning and processing are closely aligned to the amount of exposure and quality of input (Koda, 2007). The types of input were used as indicators, except for feedback and scaffolding, which are discussed later. Input should be explicit and purposeful to develop the linguistic resources of the learner, making

vocabulary, grammatical knowledge and discourse knowledge the starting point in language learning (Grabe & Stoller, 2011). Included in this category was linguistic support in L1 that requires explicit instruction in how the English language works, as oral and written discourses are different across cultures (Brisk, 2010). This type of instructional practice assists with comprehension enabling the learner to recognise and understand the words in a text (Bernhardt,

2010). The teacher should also use cognates and morphological similarities between L1 and L2 to heighten learners’ attention to specific language features (Grabe, 2009).

Purposeful instruction is not simply doing worksheets but should be purposeful, that is, to fulfil a specific function (Lucas et al., 2008) in meeting the curriculum goals. The teacher needs to provide clarity of the desired learning outcome and adapt learning experiences and instruction to meet the needs of the learners in achieving these goals (O'Meara, 2011). Setting a clear pupose to a lesson ensures that the teacher remains focused and helps the learner to determine what is important (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). The purpose of the lesson was first determined by what was communicated to the learners in the lesson by the teacher during the classroom observation and then compared with what was recorded in the lesson plan.

The purpose of the lesson was not clearly stated by any of the teachers observed.

Teacher 3, however, explained each activity and the learners’ role as follows:

“First you will read after me when I am finished the reading”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom

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observations, Teacher 3, School A, 12/09/2012, row 380);

“So, now Group 1 will read for us.

This is group 1. The others will look at the word while the group is reading. Group 1, read paragraph 1 and 2. Group 1 will read paragraph 1 and 2. Let us read”

(Appendix C:

Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School A, 12/09/2012, row 441).

When the lesson plans were compared with the non-participant classroom observations, all the activities outlined in the plan were not presented during the lessons observed. In Teacher

1’s class only the reading activities and answering the questions were observed. Comparison of the non-participant classroom observations and lesson plan revealed that

the different types of weather, introduction of ‘all’ sounds and poem-reading activities were not presented ”

(Appendix E: Field notes, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, row 88). During the Teacher 2’s lesson it was observed that the exercise in the workbook:

“the 'ss' and 'ff' sounds should also be explained

”, but only the ‘ll’ sound was covered in the lesson (Appendix E: Field notes, Teacher

2, School B, 05/09/2012, row 99). The lesson plan was only given after the observation of

Teacher 3’s class and revealed that little time was spent on building vocabulary, as there was

no discussion of the pictures and story” (A ppendix E: Field notes, Teacher 3, School A,

12/03/2013, row 111). Further analysis of the lesson plans from the teachers’ files (visually documented as photographs, refer to Photograph 4.1 to Photograph 4.3) seem to only provide a list of activities to be covered and did not clearly state the purpose of the lesson.

In Teacher 1’s class only the reading activities were observed. The discussion on the different types of weather, the introduction of the ‘all’ sounds and the poem-reading activities were not presented in the class as scheduled in the lesson plan (see Photograph 4.1).

Photograph 4.1 English lesson plan of Teacher 1 in School A

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The teacher read the letter to the learners, and the writing activity was completed. However,

Teacher 2 did not discuss the different types of animals and relevant phonics in the class according to the lesson plan (see Photograph 4.2).

Photograph 4.2 English lesson plan of Teacher 2 in School B

The focus in Teacher 3’s class was mainly on introducing the ‘oo’ sound, with little time spent on reading and ensuring that the learners understood the story as indicated in the lesson plan

(see Photograph 4.3).

Photograph 4.3 English lesson plan of Teacher 1 in School A

Grammar instruction supports comprehension (Grabe, 2011) and enables the learner to write clear, well-structured sentences (Brisk, 2010). During the non-participative classroom observations, grammatical knowledge and discourse knowledge instruction was limited. Teacher

2 did explain the purpose of the ‘s’ at the end of a word to denote the plural of the word,

“If you

66

get one wrong it is ‘correction’ and if you get more than two it is ‘corrections’”

(Appendix C:

Transcribed classroom observations: row 182). She was the only one who provided the learners with textual strategies of how to write a letter. Teacher 2 explained that from the salutation, you could tell who wrote the letter and to whom it was written.

Analysis of the photos of the visually-documented learner exercise books revealed that incorrect punctuation, grammatical errors and poor sentence structure were not identified by the teachers

(Appendix E: Field notes). Three examples of grammatical errors in the learners’ books not corrected by the teachers from the two schools are shown in Photograph 4.4 to Photograph 4.6.

Photograph 4.4 Exercise book of Learner 1 - School A

Photograph 4.5 Exercise book of Learner 1 - School B

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Photograph 4.6 Exercise book of Learner 1 - School A

In Photograph 4.4, Teacher 1 does not correct two instances of possession as shown without the apostrophe, the incorrect use of a capital letter and the incorrect tense of the verb “hide”. In

School B the word “Wednesday” had been incorrectly spelt and was without a capital letter in every learner’s book in the class of Teacher 2, and was not highlighted. An example is shown in

Photograph 4.6. The only sentence marked as correct by Teacher 3, as shown in Photograph 4.6, does not have the correct punctuation (no capital letter at the start and no full stop at the end), the province's name does not have a capital letter, and the sentence structure is poor. The second sentence in the same photo has the past tense corrected (“is” to “was”) but not the adjective,

“pain”, which should read “painful”. The second and third sentences also do not start with capital letters and were not corrected, and the third sentence does not make any grammatical sense and no attempt was made to correct it.

For Teachers 1 and 3, vocabulary instruction consisted mostly of explaining the meaning of words,

“Nature, is everything that people have not made. Plants, animals and weather are all part of nature”

(Appendix C Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1,

School A, 06/09/2012, row 236), and illustrative descriptions, for example, how earthquakes can be frightening (Appendix C Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A,

06/09/2012, row 246). Teachers 1 and 2 tried to provide the learners with contextual knowledge by directing them to look at the picture and describe what they saw (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 2, School B, 05/09/2012, rows 60, 65, 68 and 72).

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In the classes of Teachers 2 and 3, new vocabulary was written on the board for the learners to see. After the lesson the board was cleaned in all the classrooms, and the new vocabulary was not put on a word wall to be reviewed again by the learners (Appendix E: Field notes). Vocabulary development lacked word depth and breadth instruction, for example,

Teacher 3 concentrated on the words with the ‘oo’ sound like floor, broom and moon without giving any context for the words (Appendix E: Field notes, 12/03/2013, Teacher 3, School A, rows 485, 503 and 506). I did not notice any dictionaries in the classrooms (Appendix E: Field notes, 12/03/2013).

Comprehension requires vocabulary instruction, so that the learner can recognise and understand the words in a text (Bernhardt, 2010). In Teacher 1 and 2’s classes, most of the learners did not seem to understand the story, which was the focus of the lesson, and they struggled to answer the questions posed by the teacher during the lesson and the written exercises that followed. An example of this was when Teacher 1 asked what a learner could tell her about the story on earthquakes just read to the class, all he could respond with was that the houses have fallen to the ground, and this was in siSwati (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, row 259). Teacher 3 focused on developing vocabulary, with no evidence provided that the learners had understood the story (Appendix E:

Field notes).

The role of siSwati could clearly be seen in the reading exercise. All three teachers used siSwati to translate the English sentences read out (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations). Teachers 1 and 3 also used siSwati to explain specific words, teaching meaning and thereby promoting vocabulary development as in the case when Teacher 1 explained the word ‘afraid’ (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School B,

05/09/2012, row 247). Teacher 2 similarly translated English sentences into siSwati and she also translated the questions that followed the passage (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations). Teacher 3 provided linguistic comparisons between the two languages, as she pointed out that

“the word fool sounds like a 'u' in siSwati”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School A, 12/03/2013, row 515).

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Table 4.4 Definition, indicators, exclusion and exceptions related to the category ‘opportunities to practise’

Category: Opportunities for practise

Definition

Indicators

Exclusion

Exceptions

The teacher creates opportunities to practise through repeated exposure to build up a skill (Richards, Platt, Platt, & Candlin, 1992) and through purposeful interactive activities with others to negotiate meaning (Lucas et al., 2008).

Indicators were instances of how the teacher exposed the learner to different activities exposing the learner to all the language forms – listening, reading, writing, speaking and meaningful oral interactions – in the classroom.

Feedback, learner grouping of learners and cultural experiences were excluded.

Responses that referred to homework were included, because they form part of opportunities to practise but were not observed directly in the class.

The indicators for this category were determined by the output model of SLA. Research by

Swain (Tsui, 2011) confirmed that output is important in language learning, even more important than input (refer Table 4.4). Unlike the previous theories of language learning, output is not seen just as a product SLA but a consequence that promotes learning (Brown, 2007).

Output includes both performing tasks to activate learning and social activity where knowledge is constructed and learning occurs (G. Hall, 2011). Communicative and linguistic strategies in

SLA highlight the importance of learning opportunities (Ball, 2011). The learning opportunities provided the indicators for this category focusing on both language skills and language as meaningful interactions.

As language learning is an integrated skill, learning opportunities should include reading, listening, writing and speaking activities (Lerner & Johns, 2008; N. Nel & Nel, 2012;

Richards & Rodgers, 2001). During the reading and listening activities, the learner hears the language in context, gaining an understanding of language form (Bernhardt, 2010) through exposure to grammar and vocabulary (Judd, Tan, & Walberg, 2001). By practising their writing, learners consolidate their learning, leading to independency (Bernhardt, 2010), while oral language is developed through collaborative learning (O'Meara, 2011). In these ways, learners are able to continually develop their skills as they revise their internal hypotheses of L2 through cognitive restructuring (G. Hall, 2011). Data from the classroom observations, field notes and teacher interviews were sourced for evidence of this category.

During the classroom observations, practice across the four forms of language was evident. However, although there was a great deal of oral language in the lessons observed,

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most of the language spoken did not seem to have a significant impact on the learners’ language learning. The interactions did not provide opportunities for meaning making as can be seen from the types of discourse situations used by Teachers 1 and 2. These interactions mostly involved the learners in naming what they saw in the picture of the story, such as:

“What you see in your pictures?”

; “I see... The broken walls” ;

“Broken walls and what?”

and

“And a door, door”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, rows 198 to 203). The examples provided from the observation of Teacher 2’s class shows the language use of learners to be very basic, using one-word answers or very short repetitive type answers such as:

“Duck” ;

I see a frog”

and

I see a tree”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 2, School B, 05/09/2012, rows 48, 64 and 71).

The listening skills of the learners demonstrated that they struggled to answer questions in context, generally responding to prompted answers, for example, when Teacher 1 asked the class what happened to the wall, there was no response from the learners and they only responded when she told them the answer (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations,

Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, rows 282-284). Similarly, reading consisted of repeating what the teacher had previously read and reading the text as a group. In Teacher 2 and 3’s classes, learners were asked to find words with certain sounds from the text. All the learners had access to the reading material in the class of Teacher 2, but not all the learners were following what was being read, and some even had their books open on the wrong page (Appendix E:

Field notes). In the other two classes the learners had to share photocopies, which made it difficult for them to follow what was being read (Photograph 4.7). In this photograph, Teacher

3 asked a learner to move closer to the other learners so that the three of them could share the photocopy.

In Teacher 1 and 2’s class, writing skills consisted of answering the comprehension questions of the story in their exercise books. Teacher 2 also directed the learners to write the words from the text on the blackboard. Teacher 3 wrote the words identified as having a double ‘oo’ sound on the board for the learners to look at (Photograph 4.8). From the analysis of the learners’ exercise books the written tasks consisted of short repetitive type of sentences and worksheets that had to be completed with missing words and linking phrases.

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Photograph 4.7 Learners sharing photocopies

Photograph 4.8 Teacher 3 from School A writing on the board

An example of the repetitive sentences is shown in Photograph 4.9 which also highlights that even with short sentences the correct grammar is not being learnt. An example of a completed worksheet is given in Photograph 4.10.

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Photograph 4.9 Short sentence response from a learner in Teacher 1’s class.

Photograph 4.10 Worksheet response from a learner in Teacher 3’s class

Homework, which would be one way to provide learners with opportunities to reinforce their learning and frequent reading, is important for them to develop language proficiency. However, doing homework seemed to be a problem in all the classes observed, as no homework was given to the learners after a lesson. Later during the interviews, the teachers explained their reasons for not giving homework.

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Teacher 2 felt that giving homework was pointless, since it would not be done, and as a teacher she had no recourse to force learners to do their homework,

“Punishment is abolished, nothing you can do. You can say “baby, baby, please”

(Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews,

Teacher 2, School B, 13/03/2013, row 771).

Teacher 3 mentioned that the Foundation Phase learners were not allowed to take books home,

cos we are afraid when they go with them at home, sometimes they come dirty,

sometimes they come with papers out

(Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews, Teacher 3, School

A, 13/03/2013, row 672).

Teacher 1 mentioned that practising reading is a problem, as the school does not have books for the learners to read in Grade 3, and what they do have is not at the right level

(Appendix D: Face-to-face Interviews, Teacher 1, School A, 04/09/2012).

Table 4.5 Definition, indicators and exclusions related to the category ‘formative assessment’

Category: Formative assessment

Definition

Formative assessment is used to inform instruction (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

Indicators

Exclusions

Teacher observations, formal and informal questioning, probes and work samples are used to inform instruction.

Pre-assessments, summative and progress assessments were excluded, as they were not observed in the classroom.

The definition of formative assessment (refer to Table 4.5) in the classroom can be grouped into three broad categories: pre-assessment, formative assessment and summative assessment (Rock et al., 2008). Formative assessment was used in this category, as it serves to guide the teacher’s instruction (Rock et al., 2008). These types of assessment must be done frequently to inform the teacher about the need for instructional changes regarding pace, grouping practices, re-teaching of particular concepts or if instruction can move to the next learning area (O'Meara, 2011).

Formative assessments are not quantifiable but are used to provide feedback to improve learning and understanding (Rock et al., 2008). The types of formative assessment observed in the classroom provided the indicators for this category. Only observations were included in this category, since the research focused on observed teaching instruction and not on what the teachers said they did. Therefore, pre-assessments, and summative and progress assessments were excluded, as they did not form part of the non-participative observations.

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Teachers 1 and 2 used questions to assess knowledge, but neither of them adapted their instructional strategies when it was evident that some learners had not understood the concepts being taught. They continually asked the same questions, even though the

When the chef tastes

the sauce it is formative assessment; when the customer tastes, it is

summative” (Anon).

learners did not provide the right answer for most of the lesson.

The repeated questions were:

“What can you see in the picture?”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, row 198) and

“What else can you see?”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, row 61).

Teacher 3 used different techniques to help learners identify words with the ‘oo’ sound, such as locating words in the story and on wall charts, making up words from bead letters and writing the words on the board for the learners. However, Teacher 3 did not evaluate their understanding of the story and it was unclear whether the learners understood the meaning of all the words identified. From the non-participative observations it seemed that the teachers did not adjust their instruction to ensure that learning was taking place and that some learners were getting bored.

Subtheme 1.2: Processes to help learners engage with English L2

“Processes are the strategies and structures teachers use to teach content” (Rothenberg &

Fisher, 2007, p. 240). It is ‘how’ learners come to understand and assimilate concepts, facts or skills (Algozzine & Anderson, 2007; Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). The categories included in this subtheme are scaffolding and flexible grouping.

Scaffolding, the instructional response to ZPD, is when the teacher or the learner provides temporary support to other learners to carry out academic tasks that are beyond their capacity (Lucas et al., 2008). Data collected from non-participative observations and field notes was used to evidence how teachers use process instructional strategies to engage learners in learning. The definition, inclusion and exclusion criteria used for Scaffolding are presented in

Table 4.6.

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Table 4.6 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘scaffolding’

Category: Scaffolding

Definition

“Scaffolding is the support provided to learners to enable them to perform tasks which

are beyond their capacity” (Richards et al., 1992, p. 466).

Indicators

The indicators used included supportive strategies and activities used by the teacher to help the learner access the curriculum, such as modelling, connecting, contextualising, schema building, metacognition and text representation.

Exclusion

Feedback

Scaffolding is particularly effective in supporting learners with lower oral proficiency levels in

English (August, Goldenberg, Saunders, & Dressler, 2010). Although feedback is also used to support learners, it is discussed separately in Subtheme 1.3 in the context of how the teacher evaluates performance. To support the learner, the teacher needs to know the linguistic abilities of the learner and the linguistic requirements of the task (Lucas et al., 2008). Scaffolding is an important component of DI. (Walton, 2011) and Rothenberg and Fisher (2007, p. as cited by

Walqui) describe six scaffolds that assist English language learners, namely:

Modelling: modelling of correct language use and strategies for the learner by the mediator/teacher (Donald, Lazarus, & Lolwana, 2010).

Bridging/Connecting: connections made by activating prior knowledge and personal experiences with the new material (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

Contextualising: the explicit linking of information with the curriculum (Kohnert &

Pham, 2010).

Schema-building: the development of schema, the abstract knowledge structures

(Koda, 2007) that help the learner to process and organise new information which can be transferred to new content taught (Hernandez, 2003).

Metacognition: the systematic thinking strategies that facilitate learning (Lerner &

Johns, 2008).

Text re-presentation: the learner’s application of learning or demonstration of understanding by doing something with the text (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

Observational data revealed that all three teachers used modelling and affirmed correct learner responses as part of scaffolding. However, no other forms of scaffolding were used by the teachers.

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Table 4.7 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘flexible grouping’

Category: Flexible grouping

Definition

Indicators

Flexible grouping allows learners to interact and work together to develop knowledge of new content (Algozzine & Anderson, 2007).

The indicators in the data were determined by how the teacher organised the learners for purposeful instruction, language practice, learning styles or to build community.

Exclusion

Flexible grouping to manage classroom behaviour.

The definition, inclusion and exclusion criteria used for flexible grouping, are presented in Table

4.7. The definition for flexible grouping allows diverse learners to work with each other with similar and dissimilar levels of competencies on a specific topic (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003) and is an organisational strategy supported by research (Santamaria, 2009). The manner in which learners are grouped can range from whole class, small groups to individual instruction.

Rothenberg and Fisher (2007) recommend grouping for purposeful instruction, language practice to accommodate learning styles or to build learner communities form the indicators for flexible grouping. Grouping learners is a useful process that fosters learner cognitive engagement or connection with content (Rock et al., 2008). The indicators for flexible grouping were determined by the purpose the grouping served, namely content instruction and process instruction. Data from the classroom observations, field notes and interviews was used.

In School A, small groups were used (refer to Photograph 4.8). However, the grouping seemed to be as a consequence of limited resources, as the learners had to share photocopies with each other. Teacher 3 explained that learners were grouped according to their English proficiency levels and that she had put a weaker learner with a strong group (Appendix E: Field notes, Teacher 3, School A, 12/03/2013, row 122). From the observation it was difficult to differentiate the weaker learner from the stronger learner in the group. The mixed proficiency grouping only seemed effective when the learners had to work together to form words from the bead letters.

Teacher 2, from School B, used whole class activities to present the content of the lesson but did not rearrange learners to provide extra input for learners at different proficiency levels

(refer to Photograph 4.11). Both Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 gave individual learners attention when doing the written task (Annexure C: Transcribed classroom observations). From the interviews with the teachers, they all seemed to understand the concept of grouping, but only

Teacher 3 applied it with some success in the classroom (Appendix E: Field notes).

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Photograph 4.11 Classroom groupings for Teachers 1, 2 and 3

Subtheme 1.3: Learner products to demonstrate learning, meeting curriculum goals

“Products are the ways in which learners demonstrate their learning” (Rothenberg & Fisher,

2007, p. 241). In DI, teachers allow the learners to present their knowledge in various ways to assess their learning in relation to the desired outcome or objective (Algozzine & Anderson,

2007; O'Meara, 2011). This allows for the teacher to gather a ‘photo-album’ rather than a

‘snapshot’ of each learner’s ability, accurately evidencing the learning that has occurred

(Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). The two categories used as evidence of product were progress

monitoring and feedback. The assessments were used to measure how the learner was developing, and feedback provided the learner with immediate information to improve performance. Data collected from non-participative observations, teacher lesson plans, learners’ exercise books, photos and field notes were used to evidence how teachers’ instructional practices were adapted to improve learner performance. The definition, inclusion and exclusion criteria used for Progress Monitoring Assessments are presented in Table 4.8.

Table 4.8 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘progress monitoring assessment’

Category: Progress monitoring assessment

Definition

Indicators

Exclusion

Progress monitoring assessment is frequently collecting information on the learner to track progress (O'Meara, 2011).

Indicators were measures used by the teacher to assess the learners' learning to meet the goals of the lesson.

Pre-assessment, formative and summative assessment.

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Assessment starts with measuring the initial performance of the learner to provide a baseline from which to measure how performance changes in relation to the goal desired (Bernhardt,

2010). Pre-assessments are carried out by the teacher to evaluate the learner’s readiness level to provide a starting point for instruction (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). As presented in Table 4.8, progress assessment should occur throughout the year (N. Nel & Nel, 2012) and across the different forms of language (N. Nel, 2011) as a means to measure the individual learner’s learning. The indicators were how the teacher allowed the learners to present their knowledge in various ways to assess how the learner is learning in relation to the desired outcome or objective

(Algozzine & Anderson, 2007; O'Meara, 2011).

Evidence of progress monitoring assessment was gained by comparing the transcribed lesson (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations) with the L2 instructional curriculum goals set out in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) (DoE, 2011, pp. 75-

80). Also included in the comparison were the lesson plans developed by the teachers (Appendix

H: Teachers guides) to assess learning in the classroom and the learners' books (Appendix F:

Visual documentation). The CAPS document emphasises the use of both informal and formal assessments of the learners’ language skills. A summary of the CAPS goals achieved by the teachers is presented in Table 4.9.

The information presented in Table 4.9 shows that the learners listened to the story, and their progress was monitored in Teacher 1 and Teacher 2’s classes by using oral assessments.

The learners had to answer questions posed by the teachers on what they could see in the picture or read from the text. The learners were not asked to retell the story. Phonic skills and building sounds out of words that the learners had learnt was demonstrated when the learners read the story in Teacher 1 and Teacher 3’s classes. However, some words were mispronounced such as

wind, hurt, fell, fall and work in Teacher 1’s class (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, row 226) and their, came, painted, fitted, front

and porch in Teacher 3’s class (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3,

School A, 12/03/2013, row 443).

Teacher 2 read the story to the learners, and the learners just had to follow in their books. Teacher 3 assessed progress demonstrating recognition of ‘oo’ words, using visual and kinaesthetic methods (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations), thereby allowing learners the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge using different products. Most of the learners seemed able to answer basic questions about what they saw or read in the text

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(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations). However, in Teacher 3’s class no questions were asked about the story. In all three classes comprehension was not always demonstrated and there was no evidence of independent reading (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations and Appendix E: Field notes). The assessment goals for writing as set out in CAPS were not evidenced in the workbooks (Appendix H: Teachers guides). The learners did not seem able to organise and present information in English, and the writing exercises consisted of short sentences, examples of which are presented in Annexure F: Visual documentation.

Table 4.9 Comparison CAPS assessment goals and what was assessed by the teachers

CAPS document

Listening and Speaking:

Can listen to a story

Can retell the story

Phonics and Reading:

Distinguish different vowel sounds

Recognise constant digraphs

Builds sounds out of words learnt

Answer questions from read text and demonstrate comprehension

Reading fluently and independently.

Writing:

Organise information

Can write a paragraph of 4-6 sentences.

T-1 T-2 T-3

ü

-

ü

-

-

-

-

ü

-

-

- -

ü ü

-

-

-

-

ü

-

-

-

Note: The ‘ ü symbol refers what was observed in the classrooms

In all three classes there was no evidence of where the learners were at the beginning of the lesson, nor what the lesson goals were to meet their individual and curriculum goals. From the lesson plans of Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 the assessment activities are vague (refer to Photograph

4.12 and Photograph 4.13). Teacher 1’s assessment criteria was only for the Monday and consisted of “

ask learners questions to check their understanding

” (Photograph 4.12). The lesson plan presented for Teacher 2 (refer to Photograph 4.13) showed that for Monday the assessment consisted of “

make correction on the board

”. Tuesday’s assessment activities are not clear and refer to drawings and the small storybook, whereas on Wednesday learners had to

“ write classwork ” .

There are no assessment activities recorded in Teacher 3’s lesson plan (refer to Photograph 4.14).

ü

-

ü

-

-

80

Photograph 4.12 English lesson plan of Teacher 1 in School A – Assessment

Photograph 4.13 English lesson plan of Teacher 2 in School B – Assessment

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Photograph 4.14 English lesson plan Teacher 3 – Assessment

Table 4.10 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘Feedback’

Category: Feedback

Definition

Feedback is how the teacher evaluates performance (Richards et al., 1992).

Indicators

Indicators were examples of when the teacher offered affirmation or corrected errors by using explicit strategies, indirect strategies or asking learners to explain the rule.

Exclusion

Modelling of correctly produced words by the teacher was excluded, as it was dealt with under scaffolding. The manner in which feedback is provided forms part of feedback, but this aspect is discussed under the subtheme Environment.

The definition, indicators and exclusions for the category feedback are shown in Table 4.10.

Feedback in this context refers to how the teacher facilitates achievement through correction and affirmation (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). Both the manner in which the teacher provides feedback and the timing of feedback are important in a language-learning classroom (Bernhardt,

2010), and the production of high quality of work (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). There is consensus that the feedback should be explicit, immediate and maintain the dignity of the learner (Bernhardt, 2010; Rock et al., 2008). It should also be responsive to the language development level and current skill of the learner (Murray & Christison, 2010). Bernhardt

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(2010) makes the point that feedback is more effective when learners know what their mistakes are and how to correct them.

The data from the observations and learner exercise books was used for this category.

From the observations a marked absence of feedback was provided to the learners during instruction in Teacher 1’s class. Teacher 2 provided implicit affirmations with comments such as

“Good” and

“Thank you” when learners gave the correct answers (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations). Teacher 3 used comments such as

“Good”

and

“No”

for implicit affirmation and implicit error corrections (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations).

She was also the only teacher who explained phonetic rules when learners answered incorrectly, using the feedback as a learning opportunity and providing explicit error correction; for example

“Lemon, its only one 'o'”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School

A, 12/03/2013, row 552).

Photos of learners’ exercise books in all classrooms revealed that although work was checked and a mark allocated, there was little guidance on how to correct errors. There was also no positive reinforcement of the work presented in the learners’ books. Sometimes errors were overlooked. Examples of learners’ exercise books can be seen in Annexure F: Visual documentation.

4.1.2 THEME 2: ENVIRONMENT THAT SUPPORTS ENGLISH L2 LEARNING

The second theme deals with the environment. Language learning needs to include the totality of the relationship between the learners and all elements in the context in which they interact (Tsui,

2011). The environment has an influence on language learning and is the product of ongoing interactions between the learner and the environment (A. M. B. Ferreira, Jordaan, & Pillay,

2009). It plays a significant part in the instruction and support of learners and can become an avenue for differentiation by adjusting or changing the circumstances relating to learning

(O'Meara, 2011). The data collected from the non-participative classroom observations, teacher interviews and field notes was used to identify environmental factors that support English L2 learning. Table 4.11 presents the inclusion and exclusion criteria used to group indicators into the two subthemes, learning environment and home environment, as influential factors on language learning.

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Table 4.11 Definition, themes, indicators and exclusions relating to the environment theme

Theme 2: Environment that supports English L2 learning

Definition

Subthemes

Indicators

The environment, as it influences language learning, is the interaction of economic, social and cultural factors, which is reflected in the community, family and classroom (Donald et al., 2010).

Learning environment created by the teacher.

Home environment developing and supporting literacy.

Environmental factors that influence language learning that influence L2 language instruction.

Exclusion Intrinsic personality factors.

The interaction between the learner and the environment takes cognisance of the broader environment in which learning occurs. As can be seen from the definition of environment, it covers a broad range of areas. For the purpose of this research only the environmental factors that influence English L2 learning will be discussed, with specific emphasis on the role of the teacher in creating an inclusive quality learning environment for learners. Indicators in the data that evidence how the teachers adapted the learning environment for instruction and support formed the categories physical arrangements and psychological climate for the Learning

Environment subtheme. These categories are indicative of the interaction that occurs between the teacher and learners, and among the learners themselves (Donald et al., 2010).

The economic factors and literacy practices categories made up the Home Environment subtheme to evidence factors outside the school that impact on language learning in the classroom. A summary of the indicators and categories identified in Theme 2 from the different data sources is provided in Table 4.12.

The teachers did not maximise the use of the classroom as a physical resource for literacy development. The classrooms could accommodate the grouping of learners and setting up specific work areas, but this did not occur. Teacher 2 did provide additional literacy resources on the walls, but neither school displayed examples of the learners’ work.

A safe environment for learners to participate in interactions was provided by the teachers. The teachers were able to manage the class, using different styles, but inclusion of the learners’ cultural identity was not included during instruction.

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Table 4.12 Summary of data sources used for each category and indicator

Qualitative data sources

Categories Indicators Nonparticipative observations

Face-to- face semi- structured interviews

Learners' exercise books

Teacher lesson plan

Theme 2

Environment that supports English L2 learning

Subtheme 2.1: Learning environment created by the teacher

Room design

ü ü

- -

Physical

Arrangement

Literacy resources

ü ü

- -

Visual support

ü ü

- -

Psychological

Climate

Learner participation

Classroom management

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

Cultural inclusivity

ü ü

-

Subtheme 2.2: Home environment developing and supporting literacy

-

-

-

Economic factors

Availability to resources

Employment

-

-

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

Literacy practices

Shared reading activities

Educational level

Print exposure

-

-

-

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

Note: The ‘ ü symbol refers to data sources that were used to find indicators

Field notes

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

Photos

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

In the home environment no indicators were found from the information supplied by the teachers that appeared to be linked to the development of literacy practices. At home availability to resources was limited, as most caregivers were unemployed and did not have the literacy skills to read to learners. The teachers were in agreement that siSwati and English proficiency levels of learners were limited. The teachers explained that practising reading is seen by some caregivers as the responsibility of the teacher.

Subtheme 2.1: Learning environment created by the teacher

The learning environment encompasses the way the classroom works and feels (Tomlinson,

2000). The differentiated classroom must be a structured and well-managed space where learners are engaged in learning, but which still allows for flexibility (Hipsky, 2011). From a psychological perspective, learning is enhanced when learners feel they are in a safe, welcoming environment (Lucas et al., 2008). The categories used in the environment subtheme are therefore

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physical arrangements and the psychological climate of the classroom. The data collected from the non-participative classroom observations, semi-structured face-to-face teacher interviews, field notes and photos were used. Table 4.13 presents the definition, indicators and exclusions used for this category.

Table 4.13 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘physical arrangements’

Category: Physical arrangements

Definition

Indicators

Physical arrangements refers to the way the teacher looks “for ways to arrange the classroom to enable learners to work in a variety of ways, to enable learners to use time flexibly, to match materials to learner needs, and to meet with students in varied formats” (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003, p.7).

Indicators were the room design and the use of the classroom as a literary resource and the way the teacher used wall charts, content themes and evidence of the learners’ work, interest, community and culture in the classroom.

Grouping of learners

Exclusion

The classroom must be arranged in such a way that it creates a learning and supportive environment for diverse learners. This is achieved by teachers in the room design, making resources available to the learners and using the classroom itself as a resource through the use of wall charts, displaying themes and showcasing the learners’ work. The room design should not only be inviting but functional and divided into different learning areas (Hipsky, 2011) to allow for independent activities, quiet areas, cooperative areas and materials that reflect home and cultural settings (Tomlinson, 2000). The literacy resources of texts at varying difficulties and other materials have a significant effect on learner achievement (Rock et al., 2008). Visual

supports of different types of wall charts, themed sections and evidence of the learners’ work provide scaffolds for the learners to use (Santamaria, 2009).

The design of the classrooms observed was large enough to support group, small, and individual instruction, but was not set out to allow for different learning areas. The layout of the classroom was traditional with all the learners’ desks facing the blackboard (Appendix E: Field notes, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2013) and the learners’ exercise books at the back of the classroom. The desks were shared by two learners and there were no demarcated reading areas

(refer to Photograph 4.8 and Photograph 4.11). In Teacher 1 and Teacher 3’s classroom, the teacher’s desk was at the back of the classroom while in Teacher 2’s classroom the desk was in front of the class.

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From the classroom observations and semi-structured interviews it was evident that there were no literacy resources available to the learners. During the interviews the teachers confirmed that there were no libraries at both schools and no reading books available for the learners in the classroom. In fact Teacher 3 only had one book for the learners to read, namely the ‘Big Book’ (Appendix D: face-to-face interviews, Teacher 3, School A, 05/09/2012).

Textbooks were not always available for all the learners and they had to share photocopies during the lesson as can be seen in Photograph 4.8 and Photograph 4.11. This also occurred in

School B and Teacher 2 mentioned in her interview that books were not always available and they had to get them from other schools (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews, Teacher 2,

School B, 13/03/2013).

All three classrooms had charts displayed on the walls, including an alphabet frieze, alphabet chart, birthday chart, weather chart, numbers word chart and vocabulary charts with words and pictures. There was some evidence of learner work on the walls, but during the interview Teacher 1 admitted that she did not know where the artwork came from and only added the names of the new learners to birthday posters (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews).

The charts displayed did not relate to the content taught in School A, and examples of the displays can be seen in Photograph 4.15.

Photograph 4.15 School A classroom displays

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Similar to School A, the walls of Teacher 2’s class also had the government required posters and charts on the wall. There were also other posters and pictures on the wall grouped according to themes. Teacher 2 explained that she purchased her own charts to use in the classroom to facilitate learning (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). In Photograph 4.16 below, pictures of men’s clothing were grouped together with labels indicating different types of clothing.

Photograph 4.16 School B classroom display

Table 4.14 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘psychological climate’

Category: Psychological climate

Definition

Learning is enhanced when learners feel they are in a safe, welcoming environment

(Lucas et al., 2008).

Indicators

Indicators were ways the teacher used to encourage participation from learners, how the classroom is managed, routine and promoting cultural inclusivity.

The definition and indicators for the category psychological climate are shown in Table 4.14.

The teacher needs to provide an environment where the learner feels safe enough to make mistakes and engage with other learners, thereby encouraging learners to participate (N. Nel,

2011). Classroom management that incorporates organisational and instruction delivery strategies can be beneficial to the teacher and the learner (T. Hall, 2002). In this way flexible grouping arrangements that are well managed are not disruptive to instruction. The learners’ anxiety levels are lowered, which enhances language learning (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

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All the learners participated in the class activities, and successful attempts were greeted with a congratulatory song by other learners in the classrooms of Teachers 2 and 3 (Appendix C:

Transcribed classroom observations). In Teacher 3’s class, learners were very excited when asked to look for words that did not just come from their photocopied exercises (Appendix C:

Transcribed classroom observations).

Throughout all observations, the learners were disciplined and well behaved (Appendix

E: Field notes). However, when transcribing the observed lessons a clear distinction could be seen in how teachers managed the classroom activity. In Teacher 1’s class, her manner was very gentle, and it was often difficult to hear what she said. She also let the learners work on their own for long periods. Teacher 2, on the other hand, had a strong personality and gave instruction throughout the lesson on how the learners should behave and what the consequence would be if learners did not pay attention, such as

“Hands Up. Raise your hands and tell me what you

understand from the letter?” and

“And when you come to school and show no interest then you

should not come to school”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 2,

School B, 05/09/2012, rows 46 and 113).

Teachers 1 and 3 were more relaxed and instead of threatening a learner who did not pay attention they would just draw them back to the task they needed to focus on, for example,

“Name (of learner) you are not looking there. Look at the word in the paper”

(to Appendix C:

Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, row 301).

Donald et al. (2010, p.55) point out that, “language is a powerful carrier of values,

information and world views”, and the way English is taught in schools often reflects a Western culture with concepts that may be unfamiliar to learners (Evans & Cleghorn, 2012). It important for learners and teachers to talk about the differences and similarities between their own culture and what they have learned about other cultures from the reading texts (Bernhardt, 2010; A. M.

B. Ferreira et al., 2009). These types of interactions develop membership categories and the construction of identities (Tsui, 2011). None of the teachers made any cultural comparison between what was being taught and the community the learners came from.

Subtheme 2.2: Home Environment developing and supporting literacy

A learner’s ability to learn languages is influenced by his or her home environment. The two categories that make up this theme are economic factors and literacy practices. Poverty directly

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and indirectly puts learners at risk and may cause barriers to learning (Donald et al., 2010). The data from the teacher interviews was used in this subtheme.

Table 4.15 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘economic factors’

Category: Economic factors

Definition

Economic factors include such things as

“ general economic status, availability of resources, and how people characteristically work, produce and survive” (Donald et al., 2010, p. 2).

Indicators

Indicators were availability of resources and employment opportunities.

Economic factors reflect a broad category, therefore only indicators that I felt had a direct influence on the availability of literacy resources in the home were included as indicated in

Table 4.15. Learners from poor social backgrounds have limited exposure to literacy experiences, disadvantaging them before they start school (Fleisch, 2008). Research has shown that socioeconomic status is a predictor of reading ability (Grabe, 2009).

During the interviews with the teachers, the high poverty rate among the caregivers was confirmed. Photograph 4.17 illustrates the environment in which the schools and community are situated, showing how rural the area is. Unemployment is high in the area and caregivers are pensioners who rely on social grants to survive (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). Learners without uniforms were given clothes by the school, and the school assisted caregivers to access social grants (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). Work for most of the community was in the form of piecework in the fields. The environment from where the learners came can be characterised as an ‘economic risk’ environment that may not support literacy development in the home.

Teacher 3 was from the community and provided this description of the area and the financial support given by its members to the less fortunate:

“Most of the time the children of this place and community they have no job to do. So there, there…while they are working in the farmers in the fields they get some money because now…for now there are projects that they are under…under with the farmer’s projects. So there are people who give them money to work in the fields. And when they are working they also do some opportunities…opportunities to others that they are not working. So they pay them one day for the hoeing of the fields and for when they are pouring the manure”

(Appendix D: Face-toface interviews, Teacher 3, 13/03/2013, rows 624 and 625).

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Photograph 4.17 Environment in which the schools and community are located

Table 4.16 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘literacy practices’

Category: Literacy practices promoting reading at home

Definition

Literacy practices are activities that promote learning and can include reading for entertainment rather than instruction (Grabe, 2009).

Indicators

Shared reading activities, educational level and print exposure.

The literacy practices developed before school have shown to be an important indicator of success in language proficiency (Ball, 2011; Konza, 2012), as is the support received from parents and/or caregivers after school (Currin & Pretorius, 2010). Parents from low social backgrounds are usually unable to assist their children, owing to low literacy levels (Currin &

Pretorius, 2010) and have limited or no English proficiency (N. Nel & Nel, 2012). Fleisch

(2008) confirms that the single strongest predictor of academic performance is their parents’ educational qualification. Learners not having mastered L1 before starting school are then likely to experience difficulties with language across the curriculum (M. Nel & Theron, 2008).

The teachers were in agreement that learners starting school, as well as the Grade 3 learners, do not have the necessary L1 proficiency level. Teacher 1 stressed that teaching

English was a problem, as learners were not even able to speak the language. Teacher 2 and 3 expressed concern about the L1 literacy levels,

“According that even siSwati is more problem ”

and

“But the siSwati, they are talking it….exactly. But they don’t know how to read exactly”

(Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews, rows 766 and 667). Also, caregivers cannot always support literacy practices at home,

“Others say I’m not a teacher, I’m your mom, let’s forget about that. Others teach them, others don't

(Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews, row 770).

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The home environment can be described as providing limited literacy practices for learners before starting Grade R and when attending school.

4.1.3 THEME 3: ROLE OF THE TEACHER IN ENGLISH L2 INSTRUCTION

The role of the teacher is determined by the contribution the teacher makes to the learning process (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). In DI the role of the teacher is to provide a learner-centred environment to facilitate learning (O'Meara, 2011), which can only be achieved through evidence- based practices and knowledge of the learner. The final theme looks at the knowledge the teacher brings to the learning process in order to respond to the needs of the learner. The definition of the themes, subthemes, indicators and exclusion criteria are presented in

Table 4.17.

The role of the teacher, as defined in Table 4.17, is to respond to the needs of the learner within a specific context (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003), and to ensure that curriculum goals are achieved by the learner. Therefore the teacher is accountable for learning in the classroom

(O'Meara, 2011; Walton, 2012). The knowledge required by the teacher to fulfil the role required in the instructional process forms the subthemes of knowledge specialist and learner

expert. The coding for the knowledge specialist was open, while the coding for learner expert was based on the theory of DI. The indicators were obtained from the classroom observations, field notes, learner exercise books and teacher interviews.

Table 4.17 Definition, subthemes, indicators and exclusions related to the theme of the role of the teacher

Theme 3: Role of the teacher in English L2 instruction

Definition

Subthemes

In DI the teacher creates learning opportunities specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the learners to achieve their highest potential in accessing the curriculum (O'Meara, 2011).

Knowledge Specialist.

Learner Expert.

Indicators

Indicators from the data provided evidence of the knowledge the teacher brought to the classrooms in terms of theory, experience and insight regarding the learners in the classroom.

Exclusions

Contextual factors and instructional practices used in the classroom were excluded.

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The analysis of the data provided insight into the instruction practices used by teachers during

English lessons. None of the teachers had been formally trained in teaching or in teaching

English. The only pedagogical training received by the teachers was attending the CAPS training provided by the Department (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). Teachers 2 and 3 were in the process of completing their diplomas in education. Teachers 1 and 2 had Adult Basic

Education Training (ABET). The English and siSwati proficiency levels of all three teachers were not at the required level for teaching. The knowledge the teachers had of the learners in relation to their level of English proficiency and learning style was based on subjective criteria such as observations and was not formally assessed. The teachers observed did not have the theoretical or pedagogical knowledge to provide a learner-centred environment to facilitate learning. The subthemes are discussed in more detail in the following sections. A summary of the indicators and categories identified in Theme 3 from the different data sources is provided in

Table 4.18.

Table 4.18 Summary of data sources used for each category and indicator

Qualitative data sources

Categories Indicators Nonparticipative observations

Face-to- face semi- structured interviews

Learners' exercise books

Theme 3

Role of the teacher in English L2 instruction

Subtheme 3.1: Knowledge specialist

Teacher's lesson plan

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

CAPS training

Instructional

Knowledge

Qualification

Language

Knowledge

Teaching experience

Correct language use by teacher

Meaningful interaction

Functional use of

L1

Subtheme 3.2: Learner expert

Readiness

Language proficiency

Pre-assessment

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Interest

Connecting to prior knowledge

ü ü

- -

Learning

Profile

Thinking style

ü ü

- -

Note: The ‘ ü symbol refers to data sources that were used to find indicators

Field notes

Photos

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

-

-

-

-

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Subtheme 3.1: Knowledge Specialist

Teachers practise an eclectic form of language instruction (Larsen-Freeman, 1997), requiring purposeful planning and adaption of a variety of methods to achieve specific objectives (G. Hall,

2011). The knowledge and assumptions the teacher has of instruction (pedagogy), language learning theory and language determine how this knowledge is realised in the classroom to teach

L2 (Thornbury, 2011). Although all three types of knowledge influence the instructional

practices, only instructional knowledge and language knowledge will be discussed in this theme. Learning theory was dealt with in the instruction theme under the process subtheme.

Data from the face-to- face interviews, non-participative classroom observations and field notes were used to evidence this subtheme. The definitions, indicators and exclusions of the categories are presented in Table 4.19.

Table 4.19 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘instructional knowledge’

Category: Instructional knowledge

Definition

Instructional knowledge requires the teacher to be a subject expert (Rock et al., 2008) and to know the curriculum of the grade and across the grades (Walton, 2012).

Indicators

Exclusion

Instances in the data that relate to training and teaching experience.

Curriculum knowledge.

A hallmark of DI is that instruction is knowledge centred, requiring that the teacher has a sound understanding of the discipline taught to determine learning priorities (Tomlinson et al., 2003).

The teachers’ instructional knowledge was determined by indicators relating to their training and teaching experiences.

All three teachers confirmed that they had received CAPS training and were familiar with its requirements. None of the teachers appeared to have completed a qualification in teaching, with Teacher 1 only having ABET, while Teacher

2 was busy with her Early Childhood Development Diploma

(ECD) and teacher 3 with Advanced Certificate in

Education (ACE). Although the three teachers had received departmental training, none had the specialist knowledge to

The teaching portfolios of

Teachers 1 and 3 had changed three times over the two years that data was collected (Appendix D:

Face-to-face interviews). teach English in the Foundation Phase.

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Teacher 1 had the most experience teaching English (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). By the end of the data collection phase, Teacher 1 had two years’ experience teaching at a school and had only taught Grade 3 learners (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). Teacher 2 had taught Mathematics, Natural Science and siSwati to Grades 4, 5 and

7 previously for 6 years (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). This was her second year at

School B teaching Grade 3 (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews). Teacher 3 had 8 years' experience teaching Grade R, all at School A. Her first year of teaching Grade 3 learners was

2013 (Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews).

Table 4.20 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘language knowledge’

Category: Language knowledge

Definition

The teacher needs to be proficient in English and siSwati.

Indicators

Exclusion

The language knowledge of the teachers was determined by noting how language was used in the classroom, including pronunciation, meaningful interaction and the use of

L1.

English errors during the interviews.

As language needs to be practised, particularly in oral interactions, teaching a second language requires proficiency in both L1 and L2 (Ball, 2011), this is the definition used for language

knowledge as shown in Table 4.20, together with the indicators and exclusion used. Correct

language use and meaningful interaction were used as indicators of the teachers’ language proficiency. The functional use of siSwati was important in SLA in this context in providing explanations or to compare the learners’ existing knowledge with the second language (G. Hall,

2011; N. Nel, 2011). Bernhardt (2010) also suggests that teachers use home language to gauge interpretive skills, as learners are able to understand more than they can express. The use of a home language such as siSwati, however, should not be at the cost of depriving learners of opportunities to learn L2 R. Ferreira (2012).

Teachers often use ‘safe talk’ to compensate for their limited language proficiency which is characterised by chorus answers from the learners or repeating phrases or words after the teacher (Alidou et al., 2006). This was observed in all three classes, and examples can be seen in Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations. Incidences of how siSwati was used in the classroom were included in this category and showed that Teacher 3 used the least amount of siSwati in her classroom. Teachers 1 and 2 used siSwati to ask questions about what the

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learners saw in the pictures, but Teacher 2 used siSwati extensively throughout the lesson.

Teacher 3, however, was the only one who made a linguistic comparison between siSwati and

English, and limited her used of siSwati in the class. All three teachers used siSwati to confirm understanding. A more detailed analysis can be found in Annexure G: Coding.

Subtheme 3.2: Learner Expert

The role of the teacher as a learner expert refers to a teacher’s need to know learners in terms of their readiness, interest and learning profile (Tomlinson & Allan, 2000) in order to engage them in a variety of different tasks to make learning experiences meaningful (Santamaria, 2009), and to build on what they know (Larsen-Freeman, 2011). These three categories are used to align instruction with the knowledge the teacher has of the learner during the design of the lesson.

Readiness helps the teacher set the level of instruction. To make the learning experience more meaningful and applicable, the teacher should link the language instruction to the interests of the learner (O'Meara, 2011), and the manner in which the information is presented takes cognisance of the learner’s learning profile (Rock et al., 2008; Tomlinson & Allan, 2000). In the interviews the teachers demonstrated their insight into learner readiness, but not into interests or learning styles. It is recommended that pre-assessment be used to get to know the learner and to evaluate the learner’s readiness, interest and learning profile (O'Meara, 2011).

Table 4.21 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘readiness’

Category: Readiness

Definition

Readiness is defined as the learner’s “preparedness to work with a prescribed set of

knowledge, understanding and skill” (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003, p. 9)

Indicators

Instances that show that the teacher has knowledge of their learners

language proficiency in both English and siSwati.

Exclusion

Formative and summative assessments

The indicators used for readiness included instances where teachers referred to the learners’ proficiency level in English and siSwati, as presented in Table 4.21. Formative and summative assessments were excluded as discussed previously under Theme 1. Instances of assessment that evaluated learners’ pre-existing knowledge and current level of skill were also included as indicators of readiness (O'Meara, 2011). Knowledge of learner readiness enables the teacher to teach within the learner’s zone of proximal development (Tomlinson et al., 2003).

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All three teachers acknowledged during their interviews that the learners did not have the required English proficiency needed for Grade 3. Teacher 1 explained that the challenge of teaching English lay in that learners,

“Come to Grade 3 only having started English in the 3rd term of the Grade 2”

(Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews, Teacher 1, School A, 04/09/2012, row 860).

The learners are therefore unprepared to meet the language demands of the grade. An example of a learner’s exercise book can be seen in Photograph 4.18 showing that the written skills of learners are also at a very basic level. More examples of exercise book pages can be found in Appendix F: Visual documentation.

Photograph 4.18 Example of a learner's work

Photograph 4.18 is a typical example of a Grade 3 learner’s work, revealing very short and repetitive sentences indicative of low English proficiency. Not only were English proficiency levels low, the teacher reported in the interviews that learners’ knowledge of siSwati was also not at the required level. The general view of the teachers was that the learners could speak siSwati but found it difficult to read and write their home language. In describing the siSwati knowledge of the learners, Teacher 2 expressed her frustration in teaching language to the

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learners as they

“don't know how to make, to use consonants and vowels to make a words”

(Appendix D: Face-to-face interviews, Teacher 2, School B, 13/03/2013, row 769).

Teacher 3 pointed out that that

“the siSwati, they are talking it….exactly. But they don’t know how to read exactly. The Swazis name, like ‘o’, the ‘z’ the ‘v’…they are, they have a problem in pronouncing the words while they have to write them, but in speaking….they speak”

(Appendix D: Face to face interviews, Teacher 3, School A, 13/03/2013, row 667).

Assessment did not seem to form a central part of instructional practices. Although the teachers acknowledged that the learners were not proficient in English and siSwati, there was no evidence of pre-assessment information to determine the actual level of proficiency of the individual learners.

Table 4.22 Definition and indicators related to the category ‘interest’

Category: Interest

Definition

Interest refers to the things that learners care about, what they do that gives them joy, and what they would wish for if they dared (Santamaria, 2009).

Indicators

Instances from the data that showed how the teacher’s knowledge of the learner’s interest was used to motivate the learner and how instruction was linked the learner’s interest.

Integrating instruction with the interest of the learner helps to promote a positive learning environment (Rock et al., 2008), see Table 4.22 for definition and indicators of the category

interest’. Instruction that is linked to the learner’s interest is supported by research as a “means

of enhancing motivation, productivity and achievement” (Tomlinson et al., 2003, p. 128).

Bernhardt (2010) suggests that interest level and knowledge of a topic may overcome or support limited language knowledge. There was no evidence in the data of the teachers taking learners’ interests into consideration during instruction.

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Table 4.23 Definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘learner profile’

Category: Learning profile

Definition

The learning profile refers to the learner’s preferred mode of learning that can be affected by a number of factors, including gender and culture (Tomlinson et al., 2003).

Indicators

Instances of instructional practices that are aligned with the learner’s analytical, practical or creative learning profile.

Learner grouping

Exclusion

Research findings support flexible instruction that addresses the learning profile of learners’ results in higher achievement gains in learners (Tomlinson et al., 2003). The definition, indicators and exclusion related to the category ‘learner profile’ is given in Table 4.23.

Effective teachers need to match instruction with the learning profile preferences of the learners. Analysis of the data revealed no evidence of teachers aligning their instruction with that of the learners’ interests.

4.2 CONCLUSIONS

This chapter focused on the results of the qualitative data analysis. A description of the case study was given in terms of the rural context in which the schools are situated, the schools selected and the Grade 3 classes. The three themes from the data addressed the research question to describe the nature of teaching English as a second language in a rural school.

The following chapter presents results of the quantitative data analysis and compared how English was taught across the three observed classes measured with the effective practices identified in the CLOS-R.

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CHAPTER 5

5 QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS

This chapter presents the quantitative analysis of the video-recorded classroom observations, using the Classroom Observation Schedule–Revised (CLOS-R) (W. Louden, Rohl, & Hopkins,

2008). The quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics with the intention of discovering trends and patterns (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2008). The recorded observation schedule can be seen in Appendix G: Coding.

5.1 THE CLOS-R DIMENSIONS

The results are presented first as a summary of total scores of each teacher’s practices as they compare with the five dimensions of the CLOS-R, demonstrating which of the Grade 3 teacher’s practices aligned most closely with the CLOS-R (refer to Figure 5.1). Next, the CLOS-R dimensions are described separately to identify the effective instructional practices used by each teacher when teaching English L2.

Figure 5.1 Total effective literacy practices observed from the CLOS-R dimensions

In Figure 5.1 the scores in the knowledge dimension suggest that from the lessons observed, all the teachers made use of instructional practices that taught learners literacy concepts and skills

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in English L2. Teacher 3’s scores in the orchestration and respect dimensions reveal the inclusion of classroom management and create a positive learning environment in her lesson, which was more than the other teachers. The scores in the support dimension show that Teacher

2 used the least amount of support instructional practices in her lesson. Practices associated with the differentiation dimension, namely challenge, inclusion, and connection, were not observed in any of the three English L2 lessons. This suggests that the teachers did not seem to challenge learners to build on and extend their literacy knowledge. Furthermore, the teachers did not differentiate tasks and instructions for individual learners in their lessons nor make connections with previous knowledge (Louden et al., 2008). Overall, Teacher 3 used the most of the CLOS-

R instructional practices, followed by Teacher 1 and then Teacher 2.

5.1.1 RESPECT DIMENSION

Respect encompasses the instructional practices concerned with the social context of the classroom to create a positive learning environment to support learners (Louden et al., 2005).

Although Louden et al. (2008) reported that effective and less effective teachers used the same activities, more effective teachers had higher levels of rapport, credibility and citizenship. Table

5.1 reveals that not all practices associated with respect were observed.

Table 5.1 Respect dimension instructional practice observed

Dimension Practice

Rapport

Credibility

Definition

The teacher creates a warm, positive and inviting classroom where relationships with children encourage literacy learning.

Children’s respect for the teacher enables her to maintain order and lesson flow.

T-1 T-2 T-3

-

ü

ü

-

ü

ü

Citizenship

The teacher promotes equality, tolerance, inclusively and awareness of the needs of others.

- - -

Note: The ‘

ü

symbol indicates evidence of instructional practice observed.

Rapport is the relationship between the teacher and the learner that supports literary intervention

(Louden et al., 2005). In Teacher 3’s classroom, rapport was expressed by the learners who participated more readily and there was a visible energy and excitement around the literacy learning. Teachers 2 and 3 acknowledged successful literacy learning by responding with

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“good

and “thank you” comments, and the learners would clap and sing a song when a classmate answered correctly or read well (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations).

Credibility is how teachers earn respect from the learners, which enables them to organise and manage the class (Louden et al., 2005). Teachers 1 and 3 were able to maintain order in the classroom by establishing firm rules for classroom behaviour ensuring their credibility. Teacher 2 was not awarded a point for credibility because although she kept order in the class, this was not seen as a way of earning respect from the learners. Comments made by

Teacher 2 included:

“Learner , you will be outside and get cold. When we come to school we come to learn, right?”

and

And when you come to school and show no interest, then you should

not come to school”.

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 2, School B,

05/09/2012, rows 230 and 232).

The manner in which a teacher promotes citizenship is characterised by the values and patterns of behaviour that influence learner engagement (Louden et al., 2005). Citizenship was not observed in the classrooms. Instruction did not appear to be planned around meeting the diverse needs of learners, suggesting that teachers may not have been mindful of the learners’ engagement.

5.1.2 KNOWLEDGE DIMENSION

As discussed in Chapter 2, the knowledge and beliefs the teacher brings to the classroom influence the instructional methods used (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). In distinguishing what makes a language teacher more effective, the CLOS-R findings supported literature showing that more effective teachers have a comprehensive understanding of how to facilitate learning and the development of literacy skills (Louden et al., 2005). This dimension looks predominately at the teacher’s behaviour in the classroom, in teaching explicit language content.

The content instructional practices observed are presented in Table 5.2.

Explicit instruction is linked to purpose. If learners do not understand the purpose of activities, they have a limited effect on developing language (Louden et al., 2008). The research done by these authors showed that ineffective teachers scored lowest on purpose because they did not explicitly articulate the lesson outcomes. The purpose of the literacy activities was only stated by Teacher 3 (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School A,

12/03/2013). None of the teachers linked literacy concepts to other learning areas. Literacy engagement was constructed in all three classrooms as being more routine in nature and did not require higher levels of conceptual thinking (Louden et al., 2005). Therefore none of the

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teachers were allocated a point on substance. In fact Teacher 1 encouraged her learners to keep their answers short:

Don’t make it too long. I don’t need you to make it too long”

(Appendix C:

Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, row 112).

Table 5.2 Knowledge dimension instructional practices observed

Dimensio n

Practice Definition T-1 T-2 T-3

Purpose

Children’s responses indicate tacit or explicit understanding of the purpose of the literacy task.

- -

ü

Substance

The teacher provides a lesson/task that leads to substantial literacy engagement, not busy-work.

- - -

Explanation word

The teacher clearly explains specific word, letter or sound strategies or concepts.

ü ü ü

Explanation sentence

Explanation text

The teacher clearly explains specific grammatical strategies or concepts.

ü

-

The teacher clearly explains specific textual strategies or concepts.

ü ü

ü

-

Metalanguage

The teacher provides children with language for talking about and exemplifying literacy concepts.

-

ü

-

Oral language

The teacher focuses on the development of children’s oral language.

ü ü ü

Oral/written language

The teacher makes logical connections between oral and written language.

ü ü ü

Note: The ‘

ü

symbol indicates evidence of instructional practice observed.

Word explanation requires quantity and quality, as stated by Louden et al. (2008). These authors explain that effective teachers not only need to explain the words to learners but provide quality instruction through the explicit teaching of sound structures and written format. All the teachers explained the meaning of different words, albeit only one or two. Only Teacher 3 attempted to integrate letter-sound knowledge into the lesson by pointing out different pronunciations of the same letter combination:

Floor, fl-oo-rs, there is a different sounds now - floor and broom - but

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they are all 'oo' sounds”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School

A, 12/03/2013, row 413).

Similarly, with sentence explanation the teacher should not only explain the meaning but also the grammar involved in making the sentence meaningful, thereby focusing on both form and content (Louden et al., 2008). Teacher 1 pointed out to learners that sentences could not start with ‘

roof

’ but had to go in the middle of a sentence (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012, row 107). Teacher 3 pointed out to learners that a full stop was missing in the story being read (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School A, 12/03/2013, row 356). However, these were the only occasions that Teachers 1 and 3 did this in their respective lessons.

Text explanation requires that the teacher includes strategies to bring the learners’ background knowledge of a topic to the text being read (Louden et al., 2008). Teacher 1 and

Teacher 2 engaged the learners in pre-reading discussions of the text to facilitate comprehension. This activity was not very effective, as they seemed to be simply repeating the same questions:

Look at the picture and tell me what you see” and

What else have we

learnt?”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, rows 2 and 162).

Explicit discussions of language help learners to understand the technical linguistic concepts (Louden et al., 2008). Teacher 2 used metalanguage practices when she explained that

the salutation helps us to see who wrote the letter and to whom”

and that

“if you got one wrong then you don’t add an “s”. If you get one wrong it is “correction” and if you get more than 2 its “corrections”

(Appendix C, Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 2, School

B, 05/09/2012, rows 146 and 301)

.

Learners need to transfer the knowledge of oral language to the written form to become print literate (Louden et al., 2008). An effective teacher encourages frequent use of oral language (N. Nel, 2011) that contains ‘thoughtful talk’ (Louden et al., 2008, p. 34). All the teachers encouraged oral language in the learners, but it was very basic and consisted of one word answers or very simple sentences, for example,

I see a frog” and

I see a pan

(Appendix

C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 2, School B, 05/09/2012, rows 183 and 185).

Examples from Teacher 1’s class on oral language consisted of statements such as:

The door is

broken” and “The school is gone” ( Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1,

School A, 05/09/2012, rows 92 and 97). In Teacher 3’s class oral communication was to call out

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words that had an ‘oo’ sound (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3,

School A, 13/03/2013).

The connection between oral and written language is important in the Foundation Phase to develop literacy (Louden et al., 2008). Letting learners practise their writing assists in consolidating learning, leading to independency (Bernhardt, 2010). All three teachers used this practice. The learners had to do a written exercise in Teacher 1 and Teacher 2’s classes, while in

Teacher 3’s class the learners wrote down all the words with the ‘oo’ sound that had been written on the board (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School A,

13/03/2013).

5.1.3 ORCHESTRATION DIMENSION

Orchestration refers to the practices used by the teacher to manage and organise the class for literacy learning to take place (Louden et al., 2005). This dimension is based on the theory of a multidimensional syllabus taking into account both product and process goals to guide instruction. Effective orchestration practices ensure that the learner remains engaged with the work while achieving specific content and product outcomes (G. Hall, 2011; Stern, 1992). Table

5.3 shows which practices were observed across the three classrooms.

Awareness goes beyond just managing the class and includes the way in which the teacher monitors the learners’ progress during activities (Louden et al., 2005). None of the teachers seemed to display an awareness of the learners’ understanding of literacy concepts, as they did not adjust or adapt their instruction when it appeared that some learners had not understood what was going on.

As in DI, the physical environment is seen as a literacy resource by having a wide variety of print in the classroom and on display for learners to use (Louden et al., 2008). Teacher

3 encouraged the learners to look at the wall charts for words with the ‘oo’ sound (see

Photograph 5.1).

Structure refers to the way in which the teacher manages a predictable environment where the learners understand the literacy routines (Louden et al., 2008). The teachers provided structure in their class by directing learners to specific activities that had to be done. Learners seemed familiar with the routine of the class (Appendix E: Field notes, School A and B, rows 23 and 57).

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Table 5.3 Orchestration dimension instructional practice observed

Dimension Practice

Awareness

Environment

Definition

The teacher has a high level of awareness of literacy activities and participation by children.

The teacher uses the literate physical environment as a resource.

T-1 T-2 T-3

-

-

-

-

-

ü

Structure

The teacher manages a predictable environment in which children understand consistent literacy routines.

ü ü ü

Independence

Pace

Transition

Attention

Stimulation

Children take some responsibility for their own literacy learning.

The teacher provides strong forward momentum in literacy lessons.

The teacher spends minimal time changing activities or uses this time productively.

The teacher ensures that children are focused on the literacy task.

The teacher motivates interest in literacy through the creation of a pleasurable, enthusiastic and energetic classroom.

Note: The ‘

ü

symbol indicates evidence of instructional practice observed.

- - -

ü ü ü

- -

ü

ü ü ü

- -

ü

Photograph 5.1 School A learners looking for words on the different wall charts in Teacher 3’s class on 12-03-2013.

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Independence is observed from the behaviour of the learners who take responsibility for their learning. This dimension is more evident in classrooms of effective teachers and least frequent where teachers do not apply effective practices (Louden et al., 2005). All the activities observed in this study in the classroom seemed to be teacher directed, indicating little or no emphasis on learner independence.

The pace of teaching is demonstrated by a strong forward momentum and is associated with high learner achievement levels (as citedby Brophy & Good in Louden et al., 2005).

Lessons in these classes are conducted at an appropriate pace, with effective utilisation of time as learners move from one activity to the next. All three teachers scored on this practice, as they gave instructions to ensure that the learners were focused on the literacy task. Teacher 2 encouraged her learners to complete the written exercise within five minutes (Appendix C:

Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School B, 05/09/2012). Teacher 3 provided clear instructions to ensure that learners were focused on the changes in literacy tasks as can be seen in the following statement: “

OK, now we are finish read our reading OK? So I have these words. We are going to look at all the words with the 'oo' sound. Words that have the 'oo' sound”.

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School A, 13/03/2013, row 382). However, the pace was slow and time was not utilised effectively. None of the teachers covered the complete content of the lesson plan as discussed in Chapter 4 in the explicit instruction category.

Only Teacher 3 was scored on transition, as she spent the least amount of time changing activities. Although Teachers 1 and 2 also indicated the start and end of activities, the transition was not efficient and unnecessary time was wasted looking for books during the lessons

(Appendix E: Field notes, Teacher 1, School A, 06/09/2012).

Teachers apply a variety of strategies to gain and maintain learners’ attention, such as: asking questions, correcting learners’ posture, drawing attention to key concepts, and seeking contributions from individual learners (Louden et al., 2008). All three teachers asked the learners questions to maintain their attention and also selected individual learners to contribute or refocus on the literacy activity, for example: “

Learner, you are not looking there. Look at the word in the paper”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 3, School A,

13/03/2013, row 316).

Learners who are not stimulated and whose motivation is not maintained, may develop emotional or academic difficulties at school (Louden et al., 2005). Effective teachers use a

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variety of interesting activities to provide an encouraging environment that contributes to literacy learning (Louden et al., 2008). Teacher 3 used a variety of activities in her lesson to teach words with an ‘oo’ sound: listening, looking up words, and making up words. She also encouraged learners to share in the literacy learning with others through the word-building game. In her class the learning experience was pleasurable for the learners and the class was energetic and enthusiastic (Appendix E: Field notes, Teacher 3, School A, 12/03/2013).

5.1.4 SUPPORT DIMENSION

This dimension centres on the practices that support literacy learning through assessment-based literacy practices (Louden et al., 2005). This is closely linked to the process differentiation found in DI where instruction is responsive to the learners' needs based on formal and informal assessment (O'Meara, 2011). Table 5.4 shows which practices were observed across the three classrooms.

Table 5.4 Support dimension instructional practices observed

Dimension Practice

Assessment

Scaffolding

Feedback

Responsiveness

Persistence

Definition

The teacher uses fine-grained knowledge of children’s literacy performance in planning and teaching.

The teacher extends literacy learning through reinforcement, modification or modelling.

The teacher intervenes in timely, focused, tactful and explicit ways that support children’s literacy learning.

The teacher is flexible in sharing and building on children’s literacy contribution.

The teacher provides many opportunities to practise and master new literacy learning.

T-1 T-2 T-3

-

ü

ü

-

ü

-

ü

-

-

-

-

ü

ü

-

ü

Note: The ‘

ü

symbol indicates evidence of instructional practice observed.

Assessment is important in a diverse classroom to determine what learners know and what they need to know, so that instruction is targeted at bridging this gap (Louden et al., 2005). It is difficult to determine what instructions in the classroom are based on assessment. In line with the CLOS-R validation process, only identification of errors that led to re-teaching of concepts were included. The teachers observed did not adapt their instruction to meet the individual needs of the learners when they did not understand the concepts being taught, their only strategy

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appearing to be repeatedly asking the same question.

Look at the photograph 2. Why are the

children going to school in a tent? Why are the children going to school in a tent? Hay are the

children going to school in a tent?

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher

1, Schools A, 06/09/2012, row 96).

Scaffolding is the way the teacher assists the learners to reach their potential and take ownership of their learning (Louden et al., 2005). All three teachers used modelling and affirmed correct learner responses as part of scaffolding. The teachers' scaffolding was not extensive and did not increase learner confidence that led to successful experiences.

The frequency, type and quality of feedback is what distinguishes effective teachers from less effective ones (Louden et al., 2005). These authors also found that effective teachers had environments the learners seemed to enjoy, and used more positive reinforcement than their less effective colleagues. The feedback from Teachers 2 and 3 included responding to learners’ answers through positive reinforcement and/or correcting mispronounced words immediately

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teachers 1 and 3, School A, 06/09/2012 and

13/03/2013). Although Teacher 2 also provided feedback, it was not always in English. She seemed to be somewhat aggressive, and included threats to exclude learners who were not performing with statements such as:

Those who can’t see anything will go outside ”,

“And when you come to school and show no interest then you should not come to school”

and

“If you are not done in 5 minutes I will beat up someone”

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 2, School B, 05/09/2012, rows 191, 232 and 258). For this reason she was not scored on feedback as an instructional practice used to teach English L2.

Responsiveness refers to the teacher incorporating an individual learning point into a whole class learning opportunity. All three teachers spelt out words for the benefit of the class

(Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations).

Persistence requires the teacher to reinforce specific literacy concepts multiple times and in different ways. It also refers to the teacher making use of every opportunity to reinforce knowledge, skills or concepts (Louden et al., 2005). Teacher 3 provided significant opportunities to learn about words with an ‘oo’ sound. She first directed them to find the words in the text, showed the learners flash cards, wrote words on the blackboard, looked for words on the wall charts and helped the learners build words from letter blocks (Appendix C: Transcribed classroom observations, Teacher 1, School A, 12/03/2013).

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5.1.5 DIFFERENTIATION DIMENSION

Differentiation in the CLOS-R refers to how the teacher adapts the curriculum and instructional practices to challenge the learner cognitively by connecting what the learner knows to the new information (Louden et al., 2005). From the research done by these authors, differentiation practices were not observed in less effective teachers, distinguishing them from effective teachers. None of the instructional strategies associated with the differentiated dimension were observed during any classroom observations as indicated in Table 5.5.

Table 5.5 Differentiation dimension instructional practice observed

Dimension Practice Definition

Challenge

Inclusion

Connection

The teacher extends and promotes higher levels of thinking in literacy learning.

The teacher differentiates literacy instruction to recognise individual needs.

The teacher makes connections between class or community literacy-related knowledge for individuals or groups.

Note: The ‘

ü

symbol indicates evidence of instructional practice observed.

T-1 T-2 T-3

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

5.2 CONCLUSION

The CLOS-R, an empirically validated tool, was used for the quantitative analysis to evidence what effective practices were used by each teacher to teach English L2. Teachers 1 and 2 used less than half the effective practices of the CLOS-R, while Teacher 3 used just over half. This information provided support for the qualitative data. In the next chapter the data from Chapters

4 and 5 are combined to answer the research questions and interpret the findings in terms of the literature on SLA.

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CHAPTER 6

6 INTEGRATED FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND

CONCLUSION

“Getting children into school is a necessary but insufficient condition for achieving the Education for All goals. The experience of school, what children learn in the classroom and the skills that

they emerge with are what ultimately count” (UNESCO, 2011, p. 83).

The purpose of this study was to describe the nature of teaching English as a Second Language in Grade 3 in two rural schools to inform language instruction. The study was situated in a pragmatic paradigm, using concurrent mixed methodology in a comparative case study design of three teachers of English lessons with Grade 3 learners in two rural schools in Mpumalanga. The theoretical model, Differentiated Instruction (DI), guided analysis of the qualitative data (refer to Chapter 4). Quantitative data from the CLOS-R provided descriptive statistics (refer to

Chapter 5) to support the qualitative findings. The findings of the two data types were analysed separately and have been integrated to answer the research questions.

In this chapter the qualitative and quantitative data will be integrated and the findings discussed in response to the research questions. Included in the answers to the research questions is a reflection of the literature and theoretical model used in the study. The potential contributions, limitations and recommendations of the study are explored. The chapter ends with a brief conclusion and personal reflection.

6.1 INTEGRATION OF FINDINGS TO ANSWER RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Table 6.1 is a representation of how the two types of data were integrated to answer the research questions. Different themes and subthemes from the qualitative data and CLOS-R dimension were used to answer the research secondary questions.

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Table 6.1 Integrating data types to answer the research questions

Primary Question:

How can a description of the nature of teaching English as a second language in

Grade 3 in two rural schools inform language instruction?

Secondary

Question 1:

Secondary

Question 2:

Secondary

Question 3:

Chapter 4 and

Chapter 5

What is the context in which teaching

English L2 occurs in rural schools?

How do teachers in rural schools teach

English as a second language?

What teacher factors influence the teaching of

English

L2?

Qualitative

Themes and

Subthemes

Quantitative

Data

Instruction

Environment

Role of the teacher

CLOS-R

(effective teaching practices)

Content

Process

Product

Learning environment created by the teacher

Home environment developing and supporting literacy

Knowledge specialist

Learner expert

Respect

Knowledge

Orchestration

Support

Differentiation

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

The primary question (see Table 6.1) is an integration of the three secondary questions and includes all qualitative and quantitative results. The secondary questions are addressed first as these consequently informed the overall response to the primary question that guided the study:

1. What is the context in which teaching English L2 occurs in rural schools?

2. How do teachers in rural schools teach English as a second language?

3. What teacher factors influence the teaching of English L2?

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6.1.1 WHAT IS THE CONTEXT IN WHICH TEACHING ENGLISH L2 OCCURS IN

RURAL SCHOOLS?

The context in which language learning occurs extends beyond the setting in the classroom and needs to include factors outside the school that impact on learning (O'Meara, 2011). It includes the totality of the relationship between the learner and all elements in the context in which they interact (Tsui, 2011). As such, the teacher should take cognisance of these factors and adapt instructions accordingly to support learners in learning English.

From the results of Theme 2 and relevant instructional practices on the CLOS-R dimensions, Respect and Orchestration, it is evident that the home environment and the learning environment are the contextual factors that influence English L2 learning in this study

(refer to Table 6.2). To answer this question, the home environment is discussed first, followed by the learning environment.

Table 6.2 Integration of the data types to answer Secondary Question 1

Qualitative data

Subtheme

2.2

Home environment developing and supporting literacy

Category

Economic risk

Literacy practices

Home environment

Indicator

Quantitative data

Dimension Instructional practice

Availability to resources

Employment

Shared reading activities

Educational level

Print exposure

N/A

Learning environment

Quantitative data

Qualitative data

Subtheme

2.1

Category

Learning environment created by the teacher

Indicator

Physical arrangement

Psychological climate

Room design

Literacy resources

Visual support

Learner participation

Classroom management

Cultural inclusivity

Dimension

Respect

Orchestration

Rapport

Credibility

Citizenship

Structure

Pace

Transition

Attention

N/A

Instructional practice

Orchestration Environment

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Home Environment

The home environment, nested within a rural community challenged by poverty and associated resource constraints was characterised by economic risk and limited literacy practice (refer to

Table 6.2). Learners had limited exposure to literacy experiences in both L1 and L2, as their caregivers were mostly unable to assist the learners because of their own low literacy levels.

Furthermore, teachers indicated that caregivers were not sufficiently proficient in English to support literacy development at home, or that caregivers did not consider literacy development as part of their parenting role. Learners entered school with conversational language skills in siSwati and limited knowledge of English. The Grade 3 teachers had to include the development of literacy in the home language while teaching English L2.

The literature on developing countries, including South Africa, was consistent with the home environment factors that emerged from the study. Other studies also show that either caregivers regard the school as responsible for the learners’ schooling or do not help learners with literacy activities because of their own low literacy level (Currin & Pretorius, 2010;

Fleisch, 2008). Reading as a social practice was not evident, as literacy events both inside and outside the schools were limited (Roskos et al., 2009).

Learning Environment

The learning environment is categorised by the physical arrangement of the classroom and the

psychological climate created by the teacher. The physical arrangement of the classroom is described in terms of the indicators identified in the literature in Chapter 2, namely: the room

design as it pertains to the functionality of the classroom (Hipsky, 2011), the use of the classroom as a literacy resource (Grabe & Stoller, 2011), and visual supports in the classroom

(Santamaria, 2009). As is evident from subtheme 2.1 physical arrangement, the layout of the classrooms was traditional, with all the desks facing the blackboard. The teachers’ desks were separate from those of the learners. Although the classrooms were large enough to accommodate different learning areas for the number of learners (around 15 per classroom), the teachers had only two areas defined: a work area and a storage area for the learners’ books at the back of the classroom. No designated reading areas were observed in any of the classrooms.

Compared with other school research (Pretorius & Mampuru, 2007; Roskos et al., 2009),

School A and School B were not overcrowded, with the national average classroom size sitting at 40 learners per class (Howie et al., 2012). The classroom size and number of learners could allow for the classroom to be arranged in a manner more conducive to literacy development.

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The lack of literacy resources (subtheme 2.1, physical arrangements) at the participating schools resulted in limited exposure to literacy materials. The schools did not have functioning libraries, and learners often worked from shared photocopies of the textbook. These observations are consistent with previous research in rural schools, which found that rural schools often lacked physical resources that included school facilities, instructional material, textbooks, and reading material (Pretorius & Mampuru, 2007; Roskos et al., 2009). Creating a literacy enriched environment at school has been identified as a criterion for effective literacy teaching (Reynolds,

1998; Roskos et al., 2009), and without literacy resources, learners’ language development may be impeded.

Visual supports in the classroom, such as wall charts, alphabet friezes, and number and vocabulary charts, provide scaffolds for the learners to use (Santamaria, 2009). However, the observed classrooms (subtheme 2.1, physical arrangements) met the minimum requirements for display of posters and visual charts from the Department of Education (Gov Gazette, 30880).

Wall charts were also not organised into themes in School A, making it difficult to allow for easy reference (Grabe & Stoller, 2011). Teacher 2, from School B, tried to group some of the charts displayed on the classroom walls, but they did not relate to content themes of the lesson. There were no reading books or other literacy resources available for the learners. The classrooms did not display any examples of the learners’ work.

The environment according to the CLOS-R considers the physical classroom as a literacy resource. This includes the design of the room, any available literacy resources in the classroom, and the visuals supports already listed above. Teacher 3 was the only teacher who used the classroom as a literacy resource; for example she encouraged the learners to look at the wall charts to find words with the ‘oo’ sound.

The psychological climate in which language learning occurs refers to the way the teacher organises the classroom and the instructional delivery (T. Hall, 2002). It also includes how the teacher creates an environment where learners feel safe enough to make mistakes and to engage with other learners (N. Nel, 2011). The instructional practice observed on the CLOS-R

Respect dimension; namely rapport, credibility, citizenship; and Orchestration dimension, namely structure, independence, pace, transition, and attention; were used to support findings of the learning environment subtheme (refer to Table 6.2).

In this study, teachers organised and delivered instruction by directing learners to specific activities following the routines that had been set up. Order was maintained through

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established rules of behaviour, and teachers were aware of learners who could misbehave and managed their behaviour to reduce disruption in the classroom. These results were consistent with the CLOS-R instructional practices of structure, pace, and attention. The CLOS-R instructional practice structure indicates that from the observations, the teachers provided a predictable environment in which the learners understood the literacy routines. The teachers provided a strong forward momentum, pace, in the lesson ensuring that learners were focused on literacy tasks by giving learners clear instructions when learners were expected to move from one task to the next. Learner attention was maintained by asking questions and drawing individual learner’s attention back to the lesson by asking specific learners to contribute to the lesson. In this way the teachers ensured that learners remained focused on what was happening in the lesson.

For the purpose of describing how teachers managed behaviour in the classroom the indicator classroom management (subtheme 2.1, learning environment) was used, supported by observations from the CLOS-R instructional practices (rapport, credibility, and citizenship). The participating teachers maintained order and lesson flow, credibility, by managing the behaviour of the learners. The learners were disciplined and well behaved during the observations. The reason for learners behaving well was different at the two schools. At School A, learners seemed to behave out of respect for the teachers, while at School B it seemed to be more out of fear than respect. Teacher 2 often threatened learners that she would send them out the class or home if they did not behave.

Classroom management to promote learning extends beyond just maintaining order; it needs to include how the teacher creates a positive learning environment where learners feel supported and safe to contribute. The results from the indicators learner participation and

cultural inclusivity (subtheme 2.1, learning environment) showed that the interactions were mainly teacher directed with no cultural comparisons between what was being taught and the community. Supporting the findings of cultural inclusivity, citizenship (instructional practice on the Respect dimension) was not observed in the classroom. Citizenship promotes equality, tolerance, inclusivity and awareness of the learners’ needs.

During the observations it seemed that although the learners participated in the class, this was mostly initiated by the teacher. The teachers would ask questions and learners would respond by repeating what the teacher had said previously or by providing very short answers.

Learners’ participation was not sufficient to foster the learners’ engagement in literacy learning.

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In the classroom of Teacher 2 and 3 an environment that encouraged literacy learning through positive affirmations, rapport, was created. Learners clapped and sang a congratulatory song when their fellow classmates gave the correct answer.

In summary, the home and learning environment can promote or impede literacy development through the resources, experiences and activities created (Donald et al., 2010;

Lessing & Mahabeer, 2007). The findings of this study suggest that the home environment of learners did not support literacy development. Caregivers did not have the financial resources to provide learners with literacy resources and the literacy skills to support literacy development at home. Learners entered school with conversational proficiency of siSwati and limited knowledge of English.

The learning environment is integral to the learning process. The teachers did not appear

to use the classroom as a resource to promote literacy learning. The findings pertaining to psychological climate showed that teachers were able to manage the behaviour of learners and

learners seemed to understand the routines of the lesson. The manner in which the teachers

managed social interaction did not seem to encourage literacy learning. The types of interactions observed were reminiscent of L2 learning environments aligned to behaviourist

learning theories. Instruction was teacher-centred where the learner is seen as a passive recipient (Larsen-Freeman, 2011). The learners’ individual and collective identity were ignored in the classroom. Language learning in this environment usually focuses more on the language

structure than on literacy development and may compromise meaning making skills. Not providing learners with the skills to construct meaning may further contribute to the challenges that these learners face in developing English proficiency.

6.1.2 HOW DO TEACHERS IN RURAL SCHOOLS TEACH ENGLISH AS A

SECOND LANGUAGE?

As discussed in Chapter 2, language instruction is guided by the purpose served. In Grade 3,

English should be taught at a standard to develop academic competency to allow learners to make the switch to English as the LoLT in Grade 4. Academic competence in a second language requires an integrated curriculum that includes explicit language instruction (Donald et al.,

2010; N. Nel, 2011) that is both content and language based across the different subjects (G.

Hall, 2011; Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). It also requires the development of linguistic proficiency and literacy skills for comprehension in English (Grabe, 2009). Furthermore,

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meeting the diverse needs of learners to achieve academic competence requires a responsive instructional approach where instruction is differentiated (Santamaria, 2009; Tomlinson, 2000).

Table 6.3 Integration of the data types to answer Secondary Question 2

Qualitative data

Subtheme 1.1

Content instruction to develop academic language proficiency

Qualitative data

Subtheme 1.1

Content instruction to develop academic language proficiency

Qualitative data

Subtheme 1.2

Process to help learner engage with English as L2

Subtheme 1.3

Product to demonstrate learning and meeting the curriculum goals

Subtheme 1.1

Content instruction to develop academic language proficiency

Content instruction

Category

Explicit

Instruction

Indicator

Purpose

Grammar

Vocabulary development

Similarities between

L1 and L2

Quantitative data

Dimension

Instructional practice

Purpose

Substance

Explanation word

Knowledge

Explanation sentence

Opportunities for practice

Quantitative data

Explanation text

Metalanguage

Category

Listening

Knowledge

Reading

Opportunity to practice

Writing

Speaking

Meaning making

Support

Orchestration

Homework

Supportive learning process strategies

Quantitative data

Category Indicator Dimension

Scaffolding

Indicator

Modelling

Bridging

Contextualisation

Schema building

Dimension

Support

Differentiation

Instructional practice

Oral language

Oral/written language

Persistence

Independence

Instructional practice

Assessment

Scaffolding

Feedback

Category

Text representation

Indicator Dimension

Responsiveness

Challenge

Instructional practice

Assessment

Progressive monitoring assessment

Orchestration

Awareness

Category Indicator Dimension

Instructional practice

Formative assessment

Learner assessment to inform instruction

Support

Assessment

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Evidence of the instructional practices used by the teachers, as presented in Table 6.3, show how the qualitative data pertaining to the Theme 1: Instructional Practices for English L2 Instruction,

(refer to section 4.1.1) and the quantitative data from all the CLOS-R dimensions (refer to section 5.1), except for Respect, were used to answer this question. The description of how the observed teachers taught English L2 will be discussed in terms of content instruction, opportunities for practice and supportive learning process strategies.

Content instruction

Content instruction to develop academic competency requires instruction that has a purpose, focuses on correct grammar usage, develops vocabulary, and includes the similarities and

differences between L1 and L2. These content areas form the indicators for the explicit

instruction category in Subtheme 4.1. The CLOS-R instructional practices, purpose, substance,

explanation of word, sentence and text, and metalanguage have been used to support the findings on explicit instruction.

The data revealed that observed explicit instruction consisted of teachers explaining

words, sentences, and text by translating words, sentences and concepts into siSwati. In doing this, teachers helped learners to develop their vocabulary and to understand the text being read.

However, vocabulary development (subtheme 1.1) lacked depth and breadth. Learners did not have opportunities to use the new vocabulary in multiple contexts, nor were variations in meaning explained (Brisk, 2010). This observation was confirmed when no evidence was found of teachers using the CLOS-R instructional practice substance during the lesson. Substance requires teachers to provide tasks that lead to substantial literacy engagement.

In the explicit category of subtheme 1.1, although teachers explained the meaning of words and text, little time was spent on metalinguistic skills and grammar. The photographs of the learner books, from the grammar category in subtheme 1.1, showed that grammatical errors were not corrected in the learners’ books and that sometimes incorrect grammar was marked as correct. Also, the new words learnt were written on the board and then wiped off, preventing learners from referring back to them later and reinforcing learnt knowledge (subtheme 1.1, vocabulary development category). Learning high-frequency words in L2 develops word recognition automaticity: an enabling skill for comprehension, making reading more accurate and fluent (Grabe & Stoller, 2011).

What was not evident in the results was a clear purpose for the set tasks and activities during the observations. Purpose guides the teacher’s instruction and is reflected in the learners’

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“responses indicating tacit or explicit understanding of the purpose of the literacy task” (Louden et al., 2008, p. 108). The teachers seemed to lose track of what had to be done and did not complete the activities stated in their lesson plans. The research by Taylor (2008) highlighted the need for teachers to improve the pacing of the curriculum over the year to achieve the required learning and for more instructional time to be spent on reading and writing. Without the teacher setting a clear purpose of the lesson, learners may find it difficult to determine what is important to learn (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

The role of L1 in instruction can facilitate understanding, as was seen when the teachers translated English text into siSwati. Deep orthographic languages like English require language specific instruction to develop phonological awareness (Grabe & Stoller, 2011), metalinguistic awareness (Koda, 2007) and to expose the learners to cognates as a means of building vocabulary. Teachers seldom used explicit comparison between L1 and L2 in the lesson. The frequent use of siSwati in the lesson for understanding may have prevented learners from developing their English proficiency.

Opportunities for language practice

Language as a skill requires practice (Lerner & Johns, 2009) and learners must be provided with frequent opportunities for language practice with relevant indicators: listening, reading,

writing, speaking, meaning making and homework (subtheme 1.1). These indicators served as evidence for opportunities for language practice. These were supported by the CLOS-R dimensions knowledge, support and orchestration and instructional practices oral language,

oral/written language, persistence and independence (refer to Table 6.3).

Oral language (speaking) focuses on the development of oral skills. The results from the classroom observations indicated that, although oral language occurred, the discourse consisted mostly of one-word answers or very short, simple sentences in response to questions. Oral language is developed through collaborative activities (O'Meara, 2011) that are meaningful to learners (N. Nel, 2011). Collaborative activities were not evident in the classroom observations.

Limited oral language experiences have been identified as one of the reasons for the poor literacy achievement levels in South Africa (Howie et al., 2012).

Writing helps learners to consolidate language learning and leads to independence

(Bernhardt, 2010). The connection the teacher makes between oral and written language

(writing skills) was evidenced through learners answering the comprehension questions in their exercise books after first answering the questions orally. Other examples of writing skills came

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from the learners’ exercise books. The written exercises consisted of short repetitive sentences, worksheets that had to be completed with missing words, and linking phrases. The examples of written work in the learners’ exercise books concurs with research done by Heugh (2000) in the

Western Cape where Grade 3 learners only wrote short sentences, and there was no evidence of experimenting or development of writing skills. The written exercises indicated that learning was not consolidated. Spelling, handwriting, metalinguistic and punctuation skills seemed to be at basic level (N. Nel & Nel, 2012).

Reading and listening activities provide learners with the opportunity to hear language in context and to gain an understanding of language form (Bernhardt, 2010). During the observations there was no evidence of independent reading. The learners read as a group or listened to the story being read to them. In School A, learners had to share photocopies, making it difficult to follow what was being read. The learners seemed to struggle to answer questions about what was read, suggesting that learners had not understood the text.

Persistence on the CLOS-R refers to the teacher providing many opportunities to practise and master new literacy skills. Evidence of persistence was seen as the manner in which the teachers enforced literacy concepts multiple times, and in different ways (Louden et al., 2008) in the classroom and through out-of-school activities, namely homework. Persistence as an instructional practice was only observed in the classroom of Teacher 3. She used different activities to teach learners words with the ‘oo’ sound. Teachers did not give homework to learners, as the exercise was seen to be futile. Teachers indicated that homework would not be done by the learners or learners’ books would come back dirty and with pages missing.

Opportunities for practice enable learners to interact with language and each other to construct meaning (Hernandez, 2003). During language instruction, teachers should provide learners with task-based or meaning-based opportunities to develop language proficiency and comprehension. The findings above suggest that the teachers did not provide learners with sufficient opportunities to develop academic competency in English. The teachers were not scored on independence on the CLOS-R, as the teachers’ instructional practices did not lead to learners taking “responsibility for their own literacy learning” (Louden et al., 2008, p. 107).

Supportive learning process strategies

Language instruction requires a responsive instructional approach in meeting the diverse needs of learners for academic competence to be achieved (Santamaria, 2009; Tomlinson, 2000). The supportive learning process strategies used by teachers to respond to the needs of learners

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consisted of scaffolding and feedback (subthemes 1.2 and 1.3). This was evidenced by instructional practices used to support learner needs and respond to learner needs from the

CLOS-R dimensions, Orchestration and Support (refer to Table 6.3).

Scaffolding is a strategy where the mediator (teacher or another learner) supports the learner with specific guidance and input, then gradually withdraws as the learner becomes increasingly independent, constructing knowledge on their own (Donald et al., 2010). From the findings, modelling was the most frequently observed strategy used by the teachers, which consisted mainly of showing learners how to pronounce or spell English words. These observations were confirmed using the CLOS-R.

Feedback, as defined in the CLOS-R, is the “timely, focused, tactful and explicit” intervention a teacher provides to learners in literacy learning (Louden et al., 2008, p. 107).

During the observations, implicit feedback and implicit affirmation, the indicators for feedback

(subtheme 2.1) were used by the teachers. The implicit affirmation observed in the classrooms consisted of acknowledgements of approval and the class singing congratulatory songs.

Occasionally teachers would use feedback as an opportunity to explain rules. The feedback from the teacher did not provide learners with explicit guidance on what was correct or incorrect in the learners’ work and during the lesson. Implicit feedback may prevent learners from recognising what learning goals they have achieved or how to correct their errors (Bernhardt,

2010; Rock et al., 2008).

Other indicators of the scaffolding category (subtheme 1.2), namely bridging,

contextualising, schema-building, metacognition and text representation, were not observed.

These observations were supported by findings using the CLOS-R, where teachers were not scored on any of the differentiation dimensions of challenge, inclusion or connection.

Responsiveness as an instructional practice on the support dimension was also not noted during any of the observations.

Continual and varied assessment performs a crucial role in supporting and challenging all learners in meeting the learning objectives of the curriculum (O'Meara, 2011). It also serves to guide the teacher’s instruction (Rock et al., 2008). The assessment of learner knowledge consisted of listening to a story, distinguishing certain vowel sounds, and building sounds out of words. However, these assessments were not sufficient to check the learners’ understanding and adjust instruction accordingly in the classroom. The CLOS-R instructional practices of

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awareness and assessment were not observed in the classroom, and provided support for the corresponding categories in subthemes 1.1. and 1.3.

In summary, language instruction was not purposeful, making it difficult to evaluate what learning had occurred in relation to the lesson goal. This then also made determining the appropriateness of the tasks and activities used by the teacher to create or negotiate understanding of the subject matter difficult. The feedback provided was not sufficient to influence the quality of work produced by the learners (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003) and develop their self-esteem (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). Without an understanding of the needs of the

learner and the curriculum goals, the teachers were unable to provide learners with the right support and practice opportunities to develop independent academic language skills in English

to make a successful transition into Grade 4.

6.1.3 WHAT TEACHER FACTORS INFLUENCE THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH L2?

In Chapter 2, the teacher was presented as being accountable for learning (O'Meara, 2011;

Walton, 2012) which requires knowledge of the learner, the curriculum, learning theory and language acquisition (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). The teacher’s beliefs about the nature of language and language learning inform the type of instruction used in the classroom (G. Hall,

2011). The qualitative data used to answer this question came from the Theme 3 and from the categories formative assessment and flexible grouping from the subthemes: content and process.

The qualitative data were supported from relevant instructional practices on the Knowledge,

Orchestration, Support and Differentiation CLOS-R dimensions (refer to Table 6.4). The response will be discussed in terms of the extent to which the teachers were knowledge specialists and learner experts.

Knowledge specialist

As a knowledge specialist, the teacher needs to have instructional knowledge and language

knowledge (categories from subtheme 3.1, knowledge specialist). The indicators selected to describe the instructional knowledge of the teachers were CAPS training, qualifications, and

teaching experience. The qualitative data was supported by CLOS-R instructional practices;

substance, pace, transition and attention. The indicators of language knowledge (subtheme 3.1),

teacher language proficiency, meaningful interactions, and functional use of L1 were combined with the instructional practices, explanation word, explanation sentence, explanation text,

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metalanguage, oral language, and oral/written language from the Knowledge dimension (refer to Table 6.4).

Table 6.4 Integration of the data types to answer Secondary Question 3

Instructional knowledge

Qualitative data

Subtheme 1.1 Category

Knowledge specialist

Instructional knowledge

Language knowledge

Indicator

CAPS training

Qualification

Teaching experience

Correct language use

Meaningful interactions

Functional use of L1

Quantitative data

Dimension

Instructional practice

Knowledge

Substance

Orchestration

Knowledge

Pace

Transition

Attention

Explanation word

Explanation sentence

Explanation text

Metalanguage

Oral language

Oral/written language

Learner expert

Qualitative data

Subtheme 3.2 Category

Learner expert Readiness

Subtheme 1.1

Content instruction

Subtheme 3.2

Subtheme 1.2

Process

Category

Formative assessment

Category

Learner expert Interest

Category

Flexible grouping

Learner profile

Indicator

Language proficiency

Pre-assessments

Indicator

Learner assessment to inform instruction

Indicator

Connecting to prior knowledge

Indicator

Grouping for content

Grouping for process

Thinking style

Quantitative data

Dimension

Knowledge

Orchestration

Instructional practice

Purpose

Awareness

Independence

Support

Dimension

Assessment

Scaffolding

Feedback

Responsiveness

Persistence

Instructional practice

Dimension

Instructional practice

Orchestration

Dimension

Differentiation

Stimulation

Instructional practice

Challenge

Inclusion

Connection

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Although all three teachers had received CAPS training, none had completed a qualification to teach Foundation Phase learners. They came into teaching as volunteers and gained experience in this role to teach. To teach L2, a teacher requires an understanding of what language is and how the learner develops language in a variety of settings (N. Nel & Nel, 2012). The CLOS-R practices presented in Table 6.5 were used to demonstrate how instructional knowledge was realised in the lessons observed. Pace and attention as instructional practices were demonstrated by all three teachers. The teachers seemed able to provide forward momentum in the lessons and ensure that learners’ attention remained focused on literacy tasks. Although there was forward momentum, in the classroom of Teacher 1 and 2, engagement time was lost during transition from one task to the next. Pace, transition and attention form part of the CLOS-R

Orchestration dimension and denote skills presented in a teaching qualification and mastered with experience. The literature suggests that substantial literacy learning, namely substance is one of the instructional practices effective teachers use and is related to quality and depth of instruction (cited by Hattie and Luke et al in Louden et al., 2005). Substantive literacy learning was not observed in any of the classrooms with instructional emphasis more on rote learning and the tasks and activities performed at a lower cognitive level.

Without a formal qualification, the teachers lacked instructional knowledge and curriculum knowledge to apply during language instruction. The results from the study confirm previous research that teachers in South Africa have low subject knowledge and have not received sufficient training to teach English (Lessing & Mahabeer, 2007; Omidire et al., 2011;

Van Staden, 2010).

Table 6.5 CLOS-R practices to support ‘instructional knowledge’

Dimension Practices

Knowledge

Substance

Pace

Orchestration

Transition

Attention

Explanation

The teacher provides a lesson/task that leads to substantial literacy engagement, not busy-work.

The teacher provides strong forward momentum in literacy lessons.

The teacher spends minimal time changing activities or uses this time productively.

The teacher ensures that children are focused on the literacy task.

T-1 T-2 T-3

- - -

ü ü ü

- -

ü

ü ü ü

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It is reasonable to argue that to teach a language, the teacher “must understand and speak

confidently the language of instruction” (Heugh, 2002, p. 33). The indicators, meaningful

interaction and the functional use of L1 from the language knowledge category in subtheme 3.1 were selected as evidence of each teacher’s language proficiency in English. The teachers made frequent use of ‘safe talk’ during the classrooms observations, which is characterised by chorus answers from the learners or repeating phrases or words after the teacher (Alidou et al., 2006).

During ‘safe talk’, meaningful interactions do not occur, preventing learners from developing communicative skills and constructing meaning. According to Fleisch (2008) ‘safe talk’ in the classroom is used by teachers to compensate for limited language proficiency.

Teachers must also be proficient in L1 to assist learners through code switching and translations to promote understanding (Lessing & Mahabeer, 2007). Only one of the teachers was a native siSwati speaker, the other two teachers were still learning siSwati after relocating to the area. Without sufficient language proficiency in L1 the teachers were unable to understand the transfer and cross-linguistic influences between siSwati and English (Brown,

2007).

The findings presented in Table 6.6 are instructional practices from the Knowledge dimension of the CLOS-R. These instructional practices were seen as evidence of how the teachers’ language and learning knowledge were used to support the process of literacy learning in learners (Louden et al., 2005). When presenting the results of the observations in isolation it seems that the teachers were able to apply most of the practice to support language learning

(namely: explicit instruction, translating to ensuring meaning of texts, reading, writing and speaking). However, when combining the indicators: proficiency level in English, meaningful

interaction, and the functional use of L1; with the practices from the CLOS-R, the findings suggest that the literacy learning and instruction may not have significantly developed higher order thinking and meaning making in learners. The insufficient use of the metalanguage practice may be seen as confirmation of this, but further research on learner achievement would be needed to substantiate this.

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Table 6.6 CLOS-R practices that support language instruction

Dimension Practices

Knowledge

Explanation word

Explanation sentence

Explanation text

Metalanguage

Oral language

Oral/written language

Explanation

The teacher clearly explains specific word, letter or sound strategies or concepts.

The teacher clearly explains specific grammatical strategies or concepts.

The teacher clearly explains specific textual strategies or concepts.

The teacher provides children with language for talking about and exemplifying literacy concepts.

The teacher focuses on the development of children’s oral language.

The teacher makes logical connections between oral and written language.

T-1 T-2 T-3

ü ü ü

ü -

-

ü

ü ü -

ü -

ü ü ü

ü ü ü

The findings presented on the teacher as a knowledge specialist are confirmed by literature.

Compared with the existing literature on low literacy levels of teachers in South African schools

(Pretorius & Mampuru, 2007; Roskos et al., 2009), the results support existing knowledge of the low literacy levels of teachers in both L1 and L2. Heugh (2009) points out that the phenomenon of teachers not proficient in English is typical in schools for speakers of African languages.

Unlike English and Afrikaans medium schools, African language schools do not generally have teachers who are fluent in the languages they teach and have not been trained to teach bilingually. Teachers in urban African language schools usually have learners with different L1 languages making it difficult for the teacher to know all the home languages of their learners.

However, unlike their urban counterparts, the learners in the two participating schools were all being schooled in their home language (that is siSwati).

Learner expert

The role of the teacher as a learner expert (subtheme 3.2, learner expert), the formative category (subtheme 1.1, content) and flexible grouping (subtheme 1.2, process) were used to describe responsive instruction. In responsive instruction the teacher responds to the individual needs of the learner by taking into account the learner’s readiness, interest and learning profile

(Tomlinson & Allan, 2000). In this way the teacher is able to provide the learner with the correct support to ensure learner engagement in literacy learning through her knowledge of learning theories and developmental psychology (Murray & Christison, 2010). The instructional practices from the Knowledge, Orchestration, Support and Differentiation dimensions were used to support the qualitative findings (refer to Table 6.4).

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Guided by the literature review in Chapter 2, the data was searched for indicators used by the teacher to determine the learner’s readiness, that is to say, the learner’s current level of skill or knowledge and learning gaps (Walton, 2011). The indicators for readiness included

learners’ language proficiency and pre-assessment. Included in these indicators was formative

assessment from subtheme 1.1. To support the qualitative findings the instructional practices; purpose, awareness, independence, assessment, scaffolding, feedback, and persistence were included to evidence instructional practices observed using the CLOS-R.

Pre-assessments are used to determine the learner’s language proficiency to set the instruction level. Formative assessments take place during instruction to evaluate the learner’s understanding in the classroom and serve to guide the teacher’s instruction to meet the needs of the learner (Rock et al., 2008). Through these assessments the teacher is able to monitor the learner’s progress and is able to reflect on their teaching practice (Konza, 2006; Lucas et al.,

2008) to make appropriate instructional changes.

The teachers had identified learners as having low proficiency levels in both siSwati and

English, but there was no evidence of pre-assessments to determine the actual level of learners’ language proficiency. Similarly, there was no evidence of how formative assessments were used to guide instructional practice. As discussed in response to the first secondary question, assessment performs a crucial role in supporting and challenging all learners in meeting the learning objectives of the curriculum (O'Meara, 2011). Without accurate assessments to determine the learning that took place, the instructional practices used in the classroom could not be evidenced as an effective response to the language learning needs of the individual learners. Assessment as a reflection on the teaching practices used in literacy development was not evidenced, as teachers did not seem to adapt their instructional practices.

The observations from the CLOS-R (as seen in Table 6.7) provided evidence of how instructional practice was used by the teachers to support the learners’ literacy learning at the appropriate knowledge and skill level (Louden et al., 2005). The application of these practices was seen as evidence of the teachers’ knowledge of learning theories and developmental psychology that can be used to support learners. Teachers support the learner with specific guidance and input, and then gradually withdraw as the learner becomes increasingly independent, constructing knowledge on their own (Donald et al., 2010).

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Table 6.7 CLOS-R practices that support learner readiness

Dimension Practices

Knowledge

Purpose

Orchestration

Awareness

Independence

Assessment

Scaffolding

Explanation

Children’s responses indicate tacit or explicit understanding of the purpose of the literacy task.

The teacher has a high level of awareness of literacy activities and participation by children.

Children take some responsibility for their own literacy learning.

The teacher uses fine-grained knowledge of children’s literacy performance in planning and teaching.

The teacher extends literacy learning through reinforcement, modification or modelling.

T-1 T-2 T-3

- -

ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

ü ü ü

Support

Feedback

The teacher intervenes in timely, focused, tactful and explicit ways that support children’s literacy learning.

ü - ü

Persistence

The teacher provides many opportunities to practise and master new literacy learning.

- -

ü

Teacher support starts with learner awareness. The observed practices used by the teachers suggest that without assessment, the teachers lacked awareness of their learners’ literacy level to ensure engagement. This lack of awareness meant that the teachers were not clear on the learning goals to be achieved by the learners, which influenced the purpose of the lesson. This was reflected in the learners’ responses, which did not indicate tacit or explicit understanding of the purpose of the literacy tasks. The support provided in the form of scaffolding and feedback was not sufficient for the learners to become independent and able to construct their own knowledge.

Instruction that includes the learner’s interest makes the learning experience more meaningful and applicable (subtheme 3.2, learner expert). Instruction used by the teacher to link the learner’s interest to the literacy activities, connecting instruction to the learner’s interests, was used as an indicator for this category. The qualitative findings were supported by the instructional practices: responsiveness and stimulation on the CLOS-R (refer to Table 6.8). Only in the class of Teacher 3 was some evidence found of teachers connecting instruction to the

learner’s interests. The other teachers did not include stimulation in their instructional repertoire. Responsiveness as an interactional practice was not observed in any of the classrooms, thereby preventing opportunities for sharing and building on the learners’ literacy contributions.

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Table 6.8 CLOS-R practices that support learner interest

Dimension Practices

Support Responsiveness

Orchestration Stimulation

Explanation

The teacher is flexible in sharing and building on children’s literacy contribution.

The teacher motivates interest in literacy through the creation of a pleasurable, enthusiastic and energetic classroom.

T-1 T-2 T-3

-

-

-

-

-

ü

The extent to which the teacher included the learner’s learning profile (subtheme 3.2, learner expert) was determined by how teachers aligned instructional practices to support the individual learner’s analytical, practical or creative profile. The teacher’s knowledge of the curriculum and learning theory should be combined to tailor the curriculum goals during literacy instruction to meet the cognitive, interpersonal and creative needs of the learner. There were no examples from the lesson observations of teachers ensuring that learners had access to a wide variety of learning opportunities and working arrangements. The teachers gave all the learners the same task, assuming that all the learners engaged with information at the same level. The grouping of learners (subtheme 1.2, process) did not seem to be linked to presenting content at different levels or to include the different learning style of learners, process. Observation of instructional practices included in the CLOS-R supported these findings (refer to Table 6.9). The teachers did not challenge learners to promote higher levels of thinking and literacy learning. Instruction did not seem inclusive, as the teachers did not differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs of the learners. Furthermore, there was no evidence of the teachers making connections to the community.

Table 6.9 CLOS-R practices that support the learner’s learning profile

Dimension Practices

Challenge

Differentiation

Inclusion

Connection

Explanation

The teacher extends and promotes higher levels of thinking in literacy learning.

The teacher differentiates literacy instruction to recognise individual needs.

The teacher makes connections between class or community literacy-related knowledge for individuals or groups.

T-1 T-2 T-3

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

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Teachers’ understanding of the learning process and development psychology is vital in supporting literacy learning. Without formal training and appropriate instructional experience, the teachers in this study lacked the skills needed to assess learners and to provide correct support to engage learners in literacy learning. Teachers lacking the required competencies are limited in their effectiveness in teaching language (Zimmerman et al., 2011) and are unable to meet the diverse needs of their learners. This situation is compounded by the fact that most of the learners do not live in an environment where English is the language of communication

(Heugh, 2009), thereby limiting their exposure to English.

In summary, teachers are key contributors to improving language proficiency (Fleisch,

2008), and the quality of instruction that learners receive is significant in determining language success. As evidenced in the findings, research in the two rural schools studied has shown that

teachers were not qualified to teach Foundation Phase learners and lacked proficiency in

English to teach it for academic purposes. Instruction did not respond to the needs of the

learners, with teachers taking the one-size-fits-all approach to language instruction.

6.2 ANSWERING THE PRIMARY QUESTION IN RELATION TO DIFFERENTIATED

INSTRUCTION

In summarising the main findings of the research, the primary question can now be answered:

How can a description of the nature of teaching English as a second language in Grade 3 in two rural schools inform language instruction?

The purpose of this study was to describe SLA through the identification of instructional practices used in two rural schools to create a baseline of current teacher practices to inform future literacy development initiatives and to aid teacher education (refer to sections 1.2 and

1.3). The description was guided by the theoretical framework, DI, which focuses on factors over which teachers have the most control, namely instruction as it responds to the needs of the learner (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

The theoretical framework as discussed in Chapter 2 (section 2.2.1) recognises in SLA that the teacher has to balance the needs of the learners and the requirements of the curriculum.

The teacher does this by differentiating instruction through taking into account: where the teaching must take place, what needs to be taught, how it needs to be taught, and who needs to be taught (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). The findings of the secondary questions in terms of context, instructional practices, and the role of the teacher was used to provide insight into the

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where, what, how, and who of the instruction. The section concluded with the findings, providing some insights to inform language instruction.

The ‘where’ of instruction

Differentiated Instruction incorporates interactionist learning theory that recognises that English is taught within a wide range of contexts. The learner’s needs are influenced by and supported in the context in which learning occurs (Brown, 2007; Hansen, 1995). In describing the home and learning environment the ‘where’ of instruction (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003) was addressed.

The findings of this study suggest that the home environment of these learners did not support literacy development in both L1 and L2. Literacy resources were not available at home, owing to economic factors, and learners do not receive the support needed by caregivers to develop literacy skills. As a consequence, learners entered school with conversational proficiency of siSwati and a limited knowledge of English.

The learning environment refers to the way the classroom works and feels (Tomlinson,

2000). The findings relating to the physical arrangement of the classrooms indicated that the teachers did not use the classrooms as a resource for literacy development. There were no designated areas for reading or for flexible grouping arrangements. The limited literacy resources available in the classroom may impede the learners’ literacy development, especially as literary resources in the home environment are scarce. Without sufficient visual supports in the classrooms, learners could not refer to them during their lessons and an opportunity to reinforce learning was lost.

Literacy periods can be included in the school timetable, with teachers providing learners with opportunities for storybook reading in a fun-filled and non-threatening way (Pretorius &

Machet, 2004b). Teachers can also create stimulating print environments by incorporating book corners in their classrooms where learners have access to different print materials (Currin &

Pretorius, 2010; Reynolds, 1998). The desks can be arranged to facilitate learning and interaction (Rock et al., 2008). Visual supports should reflect current instruction and contain key concepts to support understanding for all proficiency levels (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007). The supports can be used during instruction and then left on the walls for later reference by learners.

The feel of the classroom refers to the psychological climate. The psychological climate created revealed that teachers were able to manage the behaviour of the learners and that the learners understood the routines of the lesson. However, learner participation appeared to be teacher-centred, and language practice focused more on structure than on negotiating meaning.

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In the classrooms observed there was no evidence of the teachers creating opportunities to engage meaningfully with other learners (Lucas et al., 2008). This may pose a challenge to developing academic language skills that not only require the learner to understand content but also to express their understanding in English.

Changing the instructional practices of teachers is a challenge, with teachers preferring to continue with traditional teacher-centred practices (George, 2006). Applying DI in the classroom is time consuming, requiring an enormous amount of effort (Rock et al., 2008).

Teachers in South Africa, particularly in rural areas, do not have the required knowledge and skills to implement DI; therefore implementing it may be seen as elitist and a contributor to the increased inequalities that are experienced by learners (Walton, 2012). Despite the limitations facing the implementation of DI, there is real commitment from the teachers to help their learners and so improve their chances of a better future. The challenge is to take advantage of this commitment to overcome the obstacles by supporting the teachers, so that they take the responsibility and accountability to implement DI themselves.

The ‘what’ of instruction

The ‘what’ of instruction (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003) refers to differentiation of the materials or particular perspectives of the content (O'Meara, 2011) as prescribed by the curriculum

(Hipsky, 2011). The purpose of the curriculum is to provide instruction for learners to achieve academic competency in English (DoE, 2011). Both content and language must be taught simultaneously (Brisk, 2010; N. Nel, 2011), with particular emphasis on explicit language instruction (Donald et al., 2010). The findings confirmed that teachers used explicit instructional strategies to develop vocabulary and to ensure understanding by translating English text into siSwati. The opportunities to practise language consisted of reading, listening, oral language, and writing in the classroom. The teachers indicated that there was no literacy development outside the classroom, as learners were not given homework.

After integrating the findings, it became apparent that the instructional practices observed lacked substance. Much of the lessons content was conducted in siSwati, therefore limiting the opportunities to practise English meaningfully. There was a strong emphasis on rote learning, and the tasks and activities were performed mostly at a lower cognitive level, and therefore not leading to substantial literacy engagement. Little emphasis seemed to be placed on comprehension and challenging learners to higher levels of thinking and literacy development

(Louden et al., 2005). Furthermore, the purpose of the lesson was not clearly defined, making it

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difficult to determine if the lesson achieved the required curriculum goals in the specific time allocated. These findings may be indicative of the teachers’ lack of instructional and language knowledge. Without a formal qualification, the teachers seemed not to have the instructional competencies, curriculum knowledge, and English capability to provide learners with the skills needed for academic competence.

Learners need increased opportunities to practise their developing English language skills. Songs, rhymes, and games can provide engaging ways to develop listening skills and build vocabulary, and are particularly appropriate for young learners of English (Konza, 2006).

Regular reading and writing homework emerges as an additional, crucial effectiveness factor

(Omidire et al., 2011).

Acknowledging that improving teachers’ knowledge is a mammoth task, (Taylor, 2008) recommends in-service training of a few weeks to equip teachers with the knowledge to teach effectively. The need for in-service support is echoed by Christie, Butler, and Potterton (2007, p.

99), who recommend a practice-based in-service programme taking the form of exemplars of

good practice, addressing teacher concerns about coverage and depth, and providing practical

examples of assessment strategies and model exams”.

The ‘how’ of instruction

Instruction from a DI framework assumes that learning is an active process that is learnercentred (Tomlinson & Allan, 2000). Instruction has shifted to a facilitation role where the teacher needs to create opportunities to help learners bridge gaps in understanding and skill

(Tomlinson & Edison, 2003). Instruction to support the diverse needs of the learner was used to describe the ‘how’ of instruction. The teacher uses her knowledge of the curriculum and the learner to plan lessons with teaching and learning activities that will provide the learner access to the curriculum (Walton, 2012). In addition, instruction is a reflective process, requiring teachers to continually evaluate their knowledge base, instructional preferences and to assess the effectiveness of their classroom practices to ensure that the needs of the learner are being met

(Rock et al., 2008; Tomlinson, 2000).

The role of the teacher can also be seen as a mediator of learning by providing supportive strategies to help the learner understand and assimilate concepts, facts or skills

(Algozzine & Anderson, 2007). Mediation is the instructional practice to support learners with specific guidance and input, and then gradually withdraw as they become increasingly independent, constructing knowledge on their own (Donald et al., 2010). In supporting learners,

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the teacher connects their existing knowledge with new knowledge (Larsen-Freeman, 2011) by performing task-based or meaning-based activities (Orega, 2011). Instruction needs to be contextualised to help the learners make meaning, and to relate to learners’ interests to allow for the meaningful engagement that motivates learning (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

The mediation strategies observed were scaffolding and feedback. Scaffolding strategies were limited to modelling. The teachers modelled the correct answers or pronunciation of a word to learners. Feedback to learners was provided in the form of implicit feedback and implicit affirmation. The effective grouping of learners to facilitate different types of learning was not evident in the data analysed. The supportive strategies were not sufficient for learners to develop their independence and take responsibility for their learning. The teachers’ limited knowledge of learning theory and instructional knowledge may have influenced the support provided.

The introduction of more group activities in class could increase the opportunities for learners to practise English. Grouping also creates a sense of belonging, promotes cooperation and helps develop negotiation skills (N. Nel, 2011). Groups can be mixed, heterogeneously or homogenously, to facilitate different types of learning (Tomlinson, 2000). Language develops essentially from interaction with a better language user, so some learners could support their less competent peers. Peer tutoring is an effective instructional strategy (Kohnert & Pham, 2010;

Rock et al., 2008) that can be beneficial to learners who may feel more comfortable asking their peers for help rather than the teacher (Walton, 2012).

The ‘who’ of instruction

Differentiated Instruction integrates cognitive theory and constructivism with learning styles, taking into account learner readiness, interest and intelligent preferences (Algozzine &

Anderson, 2007). In providing instruction and support to respond to the learner, the teacher needs to know who the learner is. Assessment, both formal and informal, provides the teacher with knowledge of the learner and how the learner responds to instructions (O'Meara, 2011).

Particularly noteworthy was the absence of continual and varied assessments to support and challenge all learners in meeting the learning objectives of the curriculum. There was no evidence of assessment to guide the design of the lesson plan (Rock et al., 2008) or to adjust instructional practices to ensure that learning had taken place (Rothenberg & Fisher, 2007).

Instruction was not responsive to the needs of the learners, with the teachers using the one-sizefits-all approach to English L2 instruction.

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To get to know their learners better, teachers can take turns during the break to watch and interact with the learners in a more relaxed setting. Baseline assessments (Pretorius &

Mampuru, 2007) and progress assessments (Reynolds, 1998) should be done on learners and discussed with other teachers and the principals. These assessments can be used to inform teaching practices and measure their effectiveness in meeting literacy goals (Rothenberg &

Fisher, 2007).

Concluding remarks

In summary, the teachers did not have sufficient training or experience to teach English to Grade

3 learners. Their low level of English proficiency, combined with a lack of resources to support language enrichment, made it difficult for them to meet the learning challenges faced by the

Grade 3 learners. They were therefore unable to fully fulfil their role as a knowledge specialist and a learner expert. The findings of the study indicated that the level of English instruction was unlikely to be effective in preparing learners to make the transition in Grade 4 to English as the

LoLT.

Unfortunately, the results of the study are similar to findings in the literature (Fleisch,

2008). In a report on “Schools that Work”, the preparation of learners in primary school was seen as problematic, leaving learners without the literacy skills needed to cope in high school

(Christie et al., 2007). Instructional improvements can only take place when teachers have the required subject knowledge of the subjects that they teach (Taylor, 2008). Educational programmes need to focus on content knowledge, learning theory, and instructional practices together with developing skills in second language teaching (Christie et al., 2007). The implementation of effective educational approaches requires sustained commitment from school leaders and stakeholders to support school transformation and develop staff to meet the academic learner requirements (Tomlinson, et al., 2003).

Furthermore, although the CAPS document from the Department of Education is comprehensive and advocates a responsive teaching style, findings on the implementation of curriculum changes for literacy development in low performing schools lacked a clear purpose in their execution, with little assistance across the school to help plan and monitor the changes

(Zimmerman et al., 2011). Improving the relationship between schools and the District Office is recommended to ensure systematic accountability and improvement in curriculum implementation (Christie et al., 2007).

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6.3 CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY

Although schools alone cannot change the economic status of their learners, they can change their opportunities for literacy learning (Pretorius & Machet, 2004b). The value of this study is that it provides a rigorous, evidence-based description of existing English language instruction in two representative rural schools which may serve as a baseline for intervention. Without empirical information, particularly qualitative research, there is no evidence to inform the planning and monitoring of future literacy development initiatives in schools or to aid teacher education (Howie et al., 2008).

The uniqueness of the South African context limits the applicability of language-ineducation research (Ball, 2011). Teachers are seen as key contributors to improving language proficiency (Fleisch, 2008), and the quality of instruction that learners receive is significant in determining language learning (Blair et al., 2007). It is hoped that this research will contribute to shared dialogue between theorists and practitioners to bridge the gap between language policy and practice (Probyn, 2001).

Gambrell, Malloy, and Mazzoni (2007) contend that more research in classrooms is needed. These authors emphasise that although the curriculum defines tasks and achievement goals, schools are doomed to fail because baseline data regarding where learners, teachers, and managers are in the process has not been determined. Through the identification of the instructional practices observed, baseline information regarding current language teaching and learning practices in rural schools has been established.

6.4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The main limitation of this study emerges from the nature of the design. Case study designs are limited in transferability (Flick, 2009; Nieuwenhuis, 2010), however, this was not the purpose of the study. The purpose of this study was to provide an enhanced description of English teaching practices in the two schools observed.

From the perspective of scientific rigour, efforts to ensure construct validity (Dellinger

& Leech, 2007) were hindered by a lack of familiarity with siSwati and the particular culture of the schools. This proved to be a larger barrier than anticipated in collecting the data. Personal values and beliefs may have also influenced interpretations of classroom practice.

The focus of the study was very narrow, centring only on second language instructional practices. Evidence of how language content is applied across the curriculum would have added

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more depth to the study. Including the role of the community and the principal in developing a literacy culture may have added breadth to the research.

6.5 RECOMMENDATIONS

The numerous challenges that face teachers of English in rural schools may seem insurmountable. The following recommendations may address these challenges to some extent.

6.5.1 BUILDING TEACHER CAPACITY

‘Excellent teachers’ was identified by Taylor (2008) as one of the themes of South African schools that promotes literacy learning with learners from low-income communities. Teachers should be competent, committed, caring, and collaborative. Taylor (2008) elaborates that competent teachers are highly qualified and have many years of experience. Employing trained teachers may prove problematic for poor communities in the foreseeable future, but they can develop a sense of urgency about their own learning and read English books and books on teaching.

Care and commitment are achievable values that can be developed and encouraged in the schools. Caring teachers were described as treating learners as their own children, while, committed teachers are keen to develop their skills and want to improve the community.

Teachers also need to take responsibly for learner outcomes and not blame poor performance on external factors such as lack of resources or support (Taylor, 2008).

Teachers need to work together, and collaborative teachers should meet regularly to plan instruction within the grade and across grades. Collaboration with other teachers and schools should also be encouraged to share resources and knowledge through regular workshops

(Pretorius & Mampuru, 2007) and meetings. Furthermore, teachers need to feel supported by their colleagues and be comfortable to ask advice from more experienced teachers (Reynolds,

1998).

6.5.2 BUILDING UP RESOURCES

One of the strongest predictors of literacy development and success at school is learner involvement in book-based activities, specifically shared storybook reading (Pretorius &

Machet, 2004b). In her study of over 400 preschool children in disadvantaged communities,

(Newman, 2010) found that access to books and verbal engagement in storybooks between caregivers and children led to significant increases in the children's receptive language, their

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concepts of print, and their narrative competence. Similarly, Vivas (1996) found that reading storybooks to preschool and Grade 1 children had striking effects on the children's expressive language, as well as their language comprehension.

Listening to a story being read from a book by a caregiver was strongly related to early reading success at school. It is argued that storybook reading provides opportunities for children to learn the rhythms and conventions of written language, and they become aware of the 'more symbolic and sustained context-independent properties of written language' (Wells, 1981, p.

240).

Different texts in addition to examples of learners’ work in both home language and

English should also be used according to Taylor (2008). Recent research on the Linguistic

Threshold Hypothesis suggests that development of L2 can be transferred to L1 (Pretorius &

Mampuru, 2007). Therefore, providing rural schools with more books (Pretorius & Mampuru,

2007) and a greater range of titles in English, including both fiction and informational texts, would contribute to the literate environment necessary for higher levels of acquisition of this difficult and complex language. Provision of books is also less expensive than, and not dependent on, the appointment of qualified teachers.

The use of technology, even quite basic technology such as taped stories of printed texts the learners could read along with, would provide models of correct pronunciation and expose the learners to a broader vocabulary and a wider range of sentence structures.

6.5.3 OUT-OF-SCHOOL LITERACY ACTIVITIES

Parental and community support is essential in developing literacy skills in learners (Heugh,

2002). A series of workshops communicating with parents about the importance of encouraging reading at home on a regular basis can be presented (Pretorius & Mampuru, 2007). If the caregivers cannot read to learners, then they can listen to learners read (Currin & Pretorius,

2010). Out-of-school literacy programmes can be started at the schools, providing learners with opportunities to engage in literate activities on a regular basis outside the school. After-school enrichment programmes have been introduced in deeply rural areas of KwaZulu Natal and have shown to improve the literacy development skills of learners (Pretorius & Machet, 2004a).

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6.6 CONCLUSION AND REFLECTION

This research helped me, as the researcher, to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by learners and teachers in rural schools. Volunteers often fulfil the role of teachers in these schools and receive no financial reward for their efforts. Their commitment to providing a service to the community is what drives them, along with the hope that one day they may be considered for a permanent position because of their years of experience.

In meeting the educational challenges facing Foundation Phase learners, teachers need to change their role from an expert to a facilitator. To make this transition, teachers must have knowledge of the learner, the curriculum, learning theory, and language acquisition. Although they were without the required training, the teachers in this study must be commend for their efforts in teaching learners, and for their contribution to changing the lives of the Grade 3 learners in the two schools.

As a researcher I have learnt valuable skills about research and have realised that in the future I would like to be more involved in literacy research and intervention programmes. The educational crises that South Africa faces are huge, but I hope I will be able to make a difference

– one child at a time.

I bring my thesis to an end with a story:

An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, as he looked along the shore, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up starfish and very gently throwing them into

the ocean.

"Young lady," he asked, "Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

"The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die."

"But young lady, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and

starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference."

The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up

another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying:

"It made a big difference to that one."

(Adapted from the story "The Star Thrower" by Loren Eiseley)

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152

APPENDIX A

LETTER TO SCHOOLS

A - 1

Faculty Educational Psychology

University of Pretoria

Pretoria

0001

22 May 2012

The Principal

Dear

Continued partnership with XXX School: Research Visit for 4 nd

to 7 th

September 2012

In the past we have been honoured to partner with teachers in your school to (i) enable literacy teaching, and (ii) support vulnerable children. We would like to extend this partnership by collaborating with foundation phase teachers in teaching reading to learners. Mrs XXX, from XXX Secondary School, graciously arranged for us to meet with some of our teacher-partners at your school on the 7 th

of May.

At this meeting we discussed the possibility of returning in September to observe the Grade 1 and 3 classes, and have some discussions with teachers, and with yourself as principal of the school.

We would therefore like to request permission to visit XXX Primary School on the 4th to 7 th of

September 2012. We would like to be able to understand “The teaching of reading in foundation

phase in a rural school”. To do the research two members of our research team will spend one day in the Grade 1 and one day in the Grade 3 class. After observing the class we would like to hear from yourself, as well as the relevant teachers on this topic.

No extra preparation will be required by the teachers or class except for consent forms to be given to the parents or guardians of the learners that need to be completed allowing me to photograph them.

During the classroom observations we would like permission to use a camera, and we will ask consent

A - 2

from the learners and their parents in this regard. We would like to spend some time with you during

2013 to think about how we, as partners, may all make use of what we then understand about teaching reading in the foundation phase in rural schools..

We hope that you will consent to us continuing to be partners and being present in your school for classroom observations and interviews on the 4th to the 7 th

of September. We look forward to working with you and your school.

Yours sincerely

__________________

Prof Liesel Ebsersöhn

Supervisor [email protected]

012 420 2337

________________

Dr. Funke Omidire

Co-Supervisor [email protected]

012 420 5656

________________

Ms Marisa Leask

Research Student [email protected]

072 868 9224

A - 3

APPENDIX B

CONSENT FORMS

B - 1

Teacher Consent Form for Research Project

Project Title: Flourishing Learning Youth

Research Outline

The research is aimed to understand the teacher’s experience in teaching physical To do the research two members of our research team will spend two days in the Grade 3 class in September 2012. After observing the class we would like discuss the topic with the principal, as well as yourself.

No extra preparation will be required by you or the class except for consent forms to be given to the parents or guardians of the learners that need to be completed allowing me to photograph them.

During the classroom observations we would like permission to use a camera, and we will ask consent from the learners and their parents in this regard. We would also like to document information from the learners school books and assessment results.

During the research no one will be harmed and the identity of the participants will remain confidential. The video tape and documentation provided will only be used for research and teaching purposes. At any time you may withdraw your consent to participate in this research project.

Any questions can be raised with Professor Liesel Ebersöhn at 012 420 2337 or you can speak to us the next time we come to the school.

Informed consent participate

I have read this letter and I understand what is going to happen when the University comes to the school. No one will be harmed and anonymity be maintained. At any time the school may request to withdraw from the study without any repercussions.

Name _________________________

_____________________

Signature

___________________________

Name of School

Surname ______________________

______________________

Date

Permission to use video and photos

I understand that there will be a video made of learners from my school and photos taken which other people might see. Only people who will help me with my report will be allowed to see this. At any time I can withdraw permissions that the video, photos or documents not be shown to anyone.

___________________________

Name of School

B - 2

Parent/Guardian Proxy Consent form of a Minor in a Research Project

Project Title: Flourishing Learning Youth

Invitation to participate

The University of Pretoria and the school has given me permission to do a study at your child’s school. We would like to invite your child ____________________________ (Name and Surname) to take part in this study. Before you say yes or no, we must tell you what we are going to do and let you know if the study is going to hurt or help your child.

What will we be doing?

We need to know how they teach Grade 3 at your child’s school. Your child will not have to do anything because we are just going to watch what his teacher does in the class. We will be at the school for 2 days in September

2012. We will be taking a video of the class and photos of your child’s books. Then I will write a report for the

University of what I saw.

Will my child get hurt?

No, your child will not get hurt.

What must I do if I say yes?

It is going to be a normal school day for your child. There is nothing you must do or pay, you must just sign the form at the bottom.

Confidentiality

We might show the video of the classroom and the photos of your child’s books to some people but no one will know the name of your child or the school. If we see that your child has a serious problem then we will need to tell someone so that your child can be helped.

Will your child benefits from what we do?

The work that we will be doing in this project is to see if we can help the school later.

Can I say no?

Yes, if you don’t want your child to take part then that is fine. No one will be cross with you or your child. We will just ask the teacher if your child can go to another class for that day.

I have some questions

If you have any questions you can speak to Professor Liesel Ebersöhn at 012 420 2337 or you can speak to us the next time we come to the school.

B - 3

Informed consent for my child to take part

I have read this letter or someone has read the letter to me and I understand what is going to happen when the

University comes to my child’s school. My child will not be harmed and nobody will know the name of the school or my child. At any time I can ask that my child be taken out of the study and no one will be cross.

Name _________________________ Surname ______________________

_____________________

Signature

Permission to use video and photos

______________________

Date

I understand that there will be a video made of my child in the classroom and photos taken of their school work which other people might see. Only people who will help me with my report will be allowed to see this. At any time I can ask not to show the video or photos to anyone.

Name _________________________ Surname ______________________

_____________________

Signature

______________________

Date

B - 4

Learner’s Assent for Participating in a Research Study

Project Title: Flourishing Learning Youth

To be read to children under the age of 18 years

Why am I here?

We are from a big school and I need to tell my teacher what happens in a grade 3 class. To do this, I need your help. It is going to be very easy because all you must do is let me see what happens in your class with your teacher. When we are in the class you must make as if we are not there, so try not to talk to us. We are going to ask the people who look after if this is OK.

What will happen to me?

If you want to help me you will let me watch you in your class for 2 days. If you say yes I would like to make a film of you in your class with your teacher. I also want to take some photos of your books.

Some people will want to see the film and look at your books but nobody will know your name because that must be a secret.

Will I get hurt?

No one is going to hurt you while we watch you in your classroom.

What if I have any questions?

You can ask us any questions when you are not in class.

Do may parents/guardians know about this?

Your parents/guardians will get a letter telling them about what we are going to do at your school.

B - 5

Do I have to do this?

If you don’t want to do this then that is OK. We will ask your teacher if you can go to another class.

__________________________________________________________________________________

If you write your name here then it means that it is OK for me to watch you in your class.

_________________

Signature of Learner

___________

Date

__________________

Signature of Student

___________

Date

If you write your name here then it means that I can film your class and take photographs of your books.

_________________

Signature of Learner

___________

Date

__________________

Signature of Student

___________

Date

B - 6

APPENDIX C

TRANSCRIBED CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS

CONTENTS

Transcribed classroom observations

Teacher 1 School A

Teacher 2 School B

Teacher 3 School A

06 September 2012

05 September 2012

12 March 2013 page

C - 2

C - 8

C - 16

C - 1

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

No Speaker Comments

1

2 T-1:

3 T-1:

4 P-1:

5 T-1:

6 T-1:

7 T-1:

8 P-1:

9 T-1:

10 PS-1:

11 T-1:

12 PS-1:

13 T-1:

14 PS-1:

15 T-1:

16 PS-1:

17 T-1:

18 PS-1:

19 T-1:

20 T-1:

21 T-1:

22 T-1:

23 T-1:

English Lesson - 6 Sep 2012

Look at the pictures. Look at the pictures

Did you get your book? What happened to it?

Where is yours?

I put my paper on the table.

Can you find them? You still can

’t find yours?

You can

’t see it? Help me. Whoever gets it first should bring it over.

For now I want us to look at the pictures

Look at the pictures at home at, at

… and tell me what you see. There is a picture there and tell me what you see. Nature, weather and nature. Look at the pictures there. Nature, weather and nature. Look at your pictures and tell me what you see. Look at your picture and tell me what you see? What you see in your picture? What you see? What you see in your picture?

I see , I see, I see..

What you see in your pictures?

I see... The broken walls

Broken walls and what?

And a door, door

Eh and door

A door and what? and the roofs and furniture and what Eh? and furniture

And what is ok in your homes

You have seen that in some of your homes.

Bad weather

What else destroys building/ the shaken of the earth? What about the earth?

It destroys the buildings, e-lightning destroy the buildings.

X

X

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

Role of L1

Reflections

Whole class organisation

Role of L1

X

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

No introduction about what the lesson is about or what they are going to do.

Role of L1

Spoken English poor, missing verbs, incorrect use of plurals

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Took a while to realise it was door and not dog that they saw

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Facilitation

Role of L1

C - 2

No Speaker Comments

24 T-1:

25 T-1:

26 PS & T-1:

27 T-1:

28 T-1:

29 T-1:

30 PS-1:

31 T-1:

32 PS-1:

33 T-1:

34 T-1:

35 T-1:

36 T-1:

37 T-1:

38 T-1:

39 T-1:

40 T-1:

41 T-1:

What about the earth? It destroys the buildings. This is an earthquake. Earthquakes.

That is an earthquake. What else?

The earthquake is there

Earthquakes

The volcanoes and what?

What else can you see?

Why do these people are in tents? Why they are in tents?

The school, the school is ...broken. The school is broken.

The school is destroyed. Nehh

Yes

Umm. What else, what else do you see in the pictures? what else do you see in the pictures? Hey .What else do you see in the picture? Look at the pictures and tell what you see in your pictures. What else do you see?

Sipho look at your pictures and tell me what you can see? What else can you see? Walls.

What else?

Broken wall, the door, the furniture are broken.

People they don't have the place to stay.

People don't have a place to stay. Ehh. Their homes are destroyed. The weather destroyed their homes. The earthquake destroyed their homes. They don't have place to stay. What can you do if it is you? Happen to you. This happened to you this earthquake. You don't have a home to stay. What can you do? What can you do? What can you do?

Take off your hat. Is it not cold for you to be wearing a hat in class.

What can you. What can you do if this thing can happen to you? What can you do? Um?

You could pitch a tent.

What can you do?...... You can build a tent to stay in. You can't stay in the air or anywhere.

You can build a tent to stay in.

We are observing what is happening to other people

’s homes because of the weather.

Nature, it wasn't created by human beings, but

God created it. It is not controlled by human beings. It has all good things and bad ones as well can happen. Look in your books. Weather can be hot or cold.

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Reflections

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

The whole class speaks together

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 3

No Speaker Comments

42 T-1:

43 T-1:

44 T-1:

45 T-1:

46 T-1:

47 T-1:

48 T-1:

49 T-1:

50 T-1:

51 T-1:

52 T-1:

53 T-1:

54 T-1:

55 T-1:

56 T-1:

57 T-1:

58 T-1:

59 T-1:

60 T-1:

61 T-1:

62 T-1:

Here, we are going to read about nature and bad weather can do to peoples. Nehh. What bad weather and nature can do to peoples. I am going to read for you and you must follow where I am reading so that you are not getting lost. So that you will be able see what I am saying to that, nehh. You keep quite and I am reading. After that we are going to read all.

Can weather and nature hurt you? Nature is a very is everything that people have not made. Plants, animals and weather are all part of nature.

Nature, nature is everything that people have not made. Plants, animals and weather are all part of nature.

It has all good things and bad ones as well can happen.

Look in your book

No one makes nature. Nature is full of good things, but bad things can also happen.

Nature - Nature is everything that people have not made. Plants, animals and weather are all part of nature.

Sometimes the weather is too hot or cold.

The sun might be too hot.

There might be too much wind or rain.

And the rain my fall hard.

Something in nature make us afraid, like earthquakes and volcanoes.

Some of the things that happen are quite frightening such as an earthquake, it can be very frightening because buildings are shaken and they even fall.

Afraid = Afraid in siSwati

Writes afraid on

the board

It

’s being scared.

Like earthquake water.

When there is an

earthquake, the ground shakes.

When there is an earthquake, the ground shakes, people can get hurt or killed.

People can get hurt or killed.

When this weather occurs people lose their homes and have no place to do their work

People can get hurt or killed. If buildings

fell

down, people have no houses or places to

work.

We have all heard the story.

C - 4

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Reflections

Instruction

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Used the wrong word

Role of L1

No Speaker Comments

63 T-1:

64 T-1:

65 T-1:

66 T-1:

67 P-1:

68 T-1:

69 T-1:

70 T-1:

71 T-1:

72 T-1:

73 PS & T-1:

74 PS & T-1:

75 T-1:

76 PS & T-1:

77 T-1:

78 T-1:

79 T-1:

80 P-1:

81 T-1:

82 P-1:

83 T-1:

84 P-1:

85 T-1:

86 P-1:

87 T-1:

We heard all the story. Is there anyone who can tell us what is happened in the story. Huh.

What is happening in the story? Can you tell us?

Because I am asking you and you are carrying your ruler.

In a short sentence who can tell us what is happening in the story? Umm

What's happening in the story?

There houses have fallen onto the ground.

There houses have fallen onto the ground.

What else has happened here?

Yes, the buildings are broken.

People have lost their homes

Nature is everything that people have not made.

Re-read the story - line for line, first the teacher then the learners.

Corrected the following word: wind, hurt, fell- fall, work

I am not finished. Wait for me to finish reading and then say it after me.

Carries on reading the story - line for line, first the teacher then the learners.

Good. Next are the questions. This side you will have to answer these 4 questions

How did the earthquake changes people's lives? How did the earthquake changes people's lives? How did the earthquake changes people's lives?

"Learner", It is your turn to answer at least once. You made a mistake in the first one.

What did you write?

The building was broken. The building was broken.

The building was broken. Look at photograph number 1. What did it show there was a house there fall. Look at building no 1, building no 1,

"Learner". Building no 1, what tells you there was a home there.

The door. Hah

The door.

The wall.

The wall, the wall, the wall fell.

The wall fall

The wall fall

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Discipline

Reflections

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 5

No Speaker

88 P-1:

89 T-1:

90 T-1:

91 T-1:

92 P-1:

93 T-1:

94 T-1:

95 T-1:

Comments

The furniture.

The furniture. What there? What there?

What happened to the wall?

The wall is broken, the furniture is broken.

The door is broken. The wall is broken.

"Learner" face the teacher. "Learner" face so you can see. There was a home here. There is a line south of the door. The roof is down. The walls are fell down. There are so many things you can tell here.

"Learner" - Look at the teacher. Look at the photograph 2. Look at the photograph 2. Look.

People - photograph.

"Learner" do you know what a photograph is?

"Learner" do you know what a photograph is?

"Learner" do you know what a photograph is?

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

Reflections

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

X

Facilitation

Facilitation

Role of L1

96 T-1:

97 P-1:

98 T-1:

99 P-1:

100 T-1:

101 T-1:

102 T-1:

103 T-1:

104 T-1:

105 P-1:

106 T-1:

107 T-1:

108 P-1:

109 T-1:

110 T-1:

111 T-1:

Look at the photograph 2. Why are the children going to school in a tent? Why are the children going to school in a tent? hay are the children going to school in a tent?

The school is gone

The school is

The school is gone

The school is destroyed. That is why people are in a tent here. They go to school in a tent.

They go to school in a tent. That is why they are in a tent. The school was broken.

Says something in siSwati to "Learner" as she walks to board

So can you write

…. In your books. (writes

something on the board for a while. Then goes to the back of the class to collect

books. Hands them out to the pupils)

We are reading papers.

Who took the pen, was it you? "Learner" is that your book?

Pupils argue about book.

There it is writing in siSwati

The word 'roof' you put in the middle and not start with it.

Maam how do we do this?

It

’s not about that only. Concentrate on what is shown in the photographs

What about the floor.

Translation of the word floor.

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Other

Instruction

Other

Role of L1

Other

Confused by instructions

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

The learners start getting bored.

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 6

No Speaker Comments

112 T-1:

113 T-1:

114 P-1:

115 T-1:

116 T-1:

117 T-1:

118 T-1:

119 T-1:

120

Don

’t make it too long. I don’t need you to make it too long.

Are you done?

"Learner" says he is not finished writing.

Why? What is wrong? You should write/talk about the photograph don

’t copy from it.

Teacher starts sorting out things at the back of the class

Gives correct spelling to learner

OK, let me explain to you why we have visitors. They are here to see how grade 3s are doing their school work

(Teacher going through consent form)

Lessons ends with teacher going through the consent forms.

Spoke in siSwati

X

X

Initial

Code

Reflections

Academic low

Role of L1

X Role of L1

Teacher

Activity

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 7

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

No Speaker Comments

121 T-2:

122 PS-2:

123 T-2:

124 T-2:

125 T-2:

126 T-2:

127 PS-2:

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136 T-2:

137 T-2:

138 T-2:

139 P-2:

140 T-2:

141 P-2:

142 T-2:

143 T-2:

144 T-2:

145 T-2:

146 T-2:

147 T-2:

English Lesson - 5 Sep 2012

Fish rod

Thank you - Song

OK, let's open on page 26.

What do we use?

Open on page .. 20

… 26

The topic is?

We go fishing

We go fishing

We can say if you are fishing you must use

….. fish rod.

Here in this picture we have how many people or children?

How many people can you see?

3 children and also one of them wrote a letter.

A letter from her or his friends.

There is a letter written between 2 friends.

There is an address

Can you see the address?

There is an introduction and also closure in the letter.

When looking at the letter can you tell who wrote the letter to whom?

Who wrote this letter to whom? Who wrote this letter?

Jabu

Jabu wrote a letter to whom?

To John

Why do you say that Jabu is the one who wrote the letter to John?

Why you say this letter is written by Jabu to

John, why?

How can you tell who wrote the letter and to who?

Hey

No, If we were to go fishing and when we came back I wrote you a letter how would you be able to see who wrote the letter and to who.

We can tell by the salutation (although seemly a big word, it is the only one in siSwati, the term greeting does not exist.)

Dear John

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

Reflections

Facilitation

Introduces the topic

Role of L1

Facilitation

All the learners had their books

Role of L1

Facilitation

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

poor English

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Learning

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1 written missed pronounced

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 8

No Speaker

148 T-2:

149 PS-2:

150 T-2:

151 T-2:

152 T-2:

153 PS-2:

154 T-2:

155 T-2:

156 T-2:

157 P-2:

158 T-2:

159 T-2:

160 T-2:

161 P-2:

162 T-2:

163 T-2:

164 T-2:

165 T-2:

166 T-2:

167 P-2:

168 T-2:

Comments

The salutation helps us to see who wrote the letter and to whom.

Dear John

Who is the writer of the letter? Let's read this letter from the address.

The teacher reads out the date and address and the learners repeat it. The class then mispronounce Newtown and the teacher corrects them. She then stops this class reading.

Good. Dear John

Dear John.

Dear John. Ok I can read. See reads the letter to the learners.

Here we learn about 2 friends writing each other a letter. Ok I can read. See reads the letter to the learners.

The writer tells his friend about his fishing trip that I went to go fishing but got nothing unfortunately. Can you please remind me what our friend was carrying when he went fishing?

What was he carrying?

Fishing rod.

Why was he carrying a fishing rod? Pot and pan.

Why she catch the pan or pot to the river?

What was he thinking and hoping for?

He thought he would catch fish.

Good. That is correct, he thought he would be able to catch some fish but could not. What else have we learnt? What have you seen and what do you understand from the letter? They are having a conversation about something.

Tell me what else you have learnt. Well I understand they had bought a frying pan and a pot.

When they are going to the river.

What did you understand? What did you understand in the letter "learner"?

Hands Up. Raise your hands and tell me what you understand from the letter?

Anything that you can see written in the letter?

Duck (but pronounced dark)

You see the duck but ???? I don

’t say the picture but what is happening this 'plek'.

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

Reflections

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Listening

Role of L1

The class mumbles the and are better when they repeat what the teacher says.

Listening

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Meaning Wrong verb

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Language

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Role of L1

Nobody puts up their don't know what the letter.

Role of L1

C - 9

No Speaker Comments

169 T-2:

170 T-2:

171 T-2:

172 P-2:

173 T-2:

174 T-2:

175 P-2:

176 T-2:

177 T-2:

178 T-2:

179 T-2:

180 T-2:

181 P-2:

182 T-2:

183 P-2:

184 T-2:

185 P-2:

186 T-2:

187 T-2:

188 P-2:

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190 P-2:

191 T-2:

192 T-2:

193 T-2:

194 P-2:

195 P-2:

196 T-2:

197 T-2:

198 P-2:

199 T-2:

That

’s right but what did you understand from the letter?

I don

’t say the pictures but I say what is happening at this 'plek'

What else can you see, please look carefully and try and make sense out of it.

Mumbles answer

OK, There is no current fishes

OK, he says they were not able to catch any fish. What else is he telling his friend? What else is there? Just one.

‘Learner’ was playing with the frog.

Good,

‘Learner’ was playing with a frog. What else?

What can you see there? If you can

’t see anything keep your hand down but if you do raise your hand.

Ok, lets continue. List anything that you see on this picture.

What can you see children.

Is there anything that you can see on this picture? Anything?

I see the butterfly.

Good, you see the butterfly.

I see a frog?

See a cat? Can you see that? What else can you see? Can anyone else tell me what they can see?

I see a pan.

What, I see a pan. Good.

What can you see? water?

I see a fish rod.

Good, she can see a fishing rod.

I see a tree.

Good, she sees a tree. Is there anyone who can

’t see anything? Those who can’t see anything will go outside.

If you not see anything you can go out.

What else can you see know?

I see a duck.

I see a hat.

Good

What else can you see?

She can see the grass

He see a grass.

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Reflections

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Meaning Wrong plural

Role of L1

Language

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instructions confusing?

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Discipline

Threatening learners

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 10

No Speaker

200 T-2:

201 T-2:

202 T-2:

203 P-2:

204 T-2:

205 P-2:

206 T-2:

207 T-2:

208 P-2:

209 T-2:

210 P-2:

Comments

Let's continue about questions.

Let

’s continue to page 27.

Who wrote the letter?

Jabu

No you are not singing (a colloquial expression to say that you must only speak when spoken to). No, No . If I ask you a question you must raise up your hand.

Jabu wrote the letter.

Jabu wrote a letter to whom? To whom?

The letter is written but who is it written to?

Mumbles answer

No, hands up. I am telling you.

Dear John

Spoke in siSwati

X

Initial

Code

Reflections

Instruction

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

X

X

Discipline

Role of L1

Role of L1

Not what is on the sheet.

Role of L1

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Did not understand the salutation instruction previously.

211 T-2:

212 T-2:

213 P-2:

214 T-2:

215 T-2:

216 T-2:

217 T-2:

218 P-2:

219 T-2:

No dear John. Jabu wrote a letter to John.

When I say who did he write the letter, as we said to whom. On what date did he write the letter?

Give us the date

September

Good, lets sing song.

We can see him taking his pan and going to the river. Why?

Why did they take a pot and pan to the river?

Why?

What is a pot used for by the way? Why?

Mumbles answer

Good. It is used for cooking at the river because he was hoping to catch the some fish but unfortunately the was not able to catch any.

X

X

Role of L1

Oral

Role of L1

Language

Meaning

Language

Role of L1

Role of L1

220 T-2:

221 T-2:

Let

’s try to construct words with the “ll” sound

X

X

Role of L1 in book the 'X' and 'ff' sounds should also be explained.

Role of L1

222 T-2:

223

224 T-2:

225 T-2:

Please give me words with the a double

“l”

Can you make a word with this letters? Come and write.

Learners go one by one to write the words on the board.

Good - sing song. Good - sing song. Thank you - sing song. Thank you -Thank you - sing song

This continues till most of the class have written words on the board.

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 11

No Speaker Comments

226 T-2:

227 T-2:

228 T-2:

229 T-2:

230 T-2:

231 P-2:

232 T-2:

233 T-2:

234 T-2:

235 T-2:

236 T-2:

237 T-2:

238 P-2:

239 T-2:

240 T-2:

241 T-2:

242 P-2:

243 T-2:

244 T-2:

245 P-2:

246 T-2:

247 T-2:

248 T-2:

249 P-2:

250 T-2:

251 T-2:

Other words, I need more words. Any other words that you know. It could be anything that comes into your head.

Who hasn

’t given a word? Let’s see, how many are we? We are 13. Some has not written a word on the board. (the learners point to a boy).

Why?

"Learner" you will be outside and get cold.

When we come to school we come to learn, right

Yes

And when you come to school and show no interest then you should not come to school.

" Learner" any word that you have heard before on this earth.

Any word with the letters

“ll” or ‘f”. Even if you don

’t take it from the book, just give me any word with those letters. Sit down "Learner".

Lets write the letter.

Ok children, would you be able to answer the questions?

The ones on page 27?

Yes

Who says this is easy stuff? Who can write it?

Can you write it and finish the exercise in 5 mins?

What is the date today?

It is the 5th

Is it the 5th?

How come the weather chart doesn

’t seem to indicate it

’s the 5th today? Why hasn’t anyone fixed it?

It is the 5 th

Oh is that so? Oh, OK then lets write the date at the top 5th September 2012.

Let's write with a pen.

What day is it by the way today?

It is Wednesday

Wednesday?

5 mins to write it

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Reflections

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instruction

Discipline

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instruction

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Marks the questions as the learners complete them.

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instruction

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instruction

C - 12

No Speaker

252 T-2:

253 T-2:

254 T-2:

255 T-2:

256 T-2:

257 T-2:

258 T-2:

259 T-2:

260 T-2:

261 T-2:

262 T-2:

263 T-2:

264 P-2:

265 T-2:

266 T-2:

267 T-2:

268 T-2:

269 T-2:

270 T-2:

271 T-2:

272 T-2:

273 T-2:

274 T-2:

275 T-2:

276 P-2:

277 T-2:

278 T-2:

Comments

M give everyone the exercise books and let them pass it on. Give them to anyone.

Only 5 minutes.

And if you don

’t have your exercise book with you, check if the one you have is yours or not.

If not, pass it on to the owner because he also need to write.

???

"Learner" N you have the wrong book, this is not homework. Where is T English book?

No 1. who wrote the letter?

If you are not done in 5 mins I will beat up someone.

I always tell you to put the exercise book right in front of you

On what date did he write the letter?

On what date did he write the letter?

You don

’t write the letter, just answer the question.

Who wrote it?

Jabu

Don

’t write that, it will waste your time.

Who wrote the letter? Blaa blaa blaa

Why are you so slow?

When did he write the letter?

Why did they take the pot and pan to the river?

What is it that they needed to do with it?

I said 5mins, 5mins is over

When the minute hand gets here I expect you to put your pens down

You should not have written the day here. But you should have written the question number

Write, don

’t be so quick to draw the line, you need to finish writing first.

Whoever is first to finish I will give them a sweet

No you are lying

???

If you finish first and get all your answer correct and have underlined properly you will get a sweet. If you have not done that properly, you will not get any.

Why did they take the pot and pan to the river?

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

Reflections

Role of L1

Instruction

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Academic low

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

C - 13

No Speaker Comments

279 T-2:

280 T-2:

281 T-2:

282 T-2:

283 T-2:

284 T-2:

285 T-2:

286 T-2:

287 T-2:

288 T-2:

289 T-2:

290 T-2:

291 T-2:

292 T-2:

293 P-2:

294 T-2:

295 T-2:

296 T-2:

297 T-2:

298 T-2:

299 T-2:

300 T-2:

301 T-2:

302 T-2:

303 P-2:

Why did they take a pot to the river? Why? On what date did he write the letter?

If you finish early you will get our sweets

I can see that somebody got the answers wrong and they are not getting a sweet. He just got all the answers correct and finished first. Lets clap our hands for L as he finished first. This is what made you lose the sweet.

Why did he carry a pot?

How come his brother was not there?

You just missed the sweet for answering something that I have not asked. OK, W is the one who finished first and got all the answers write.

Let

’s wait for those who have not finished so that we can start on the corrections

Besides the correct answer he was really fast.

I will give him some money

Let us hurry up and finish

At exactly 12:00 you need to out your pens down. All those who will not be finished by then I will give them a chance to have something to eat.

Write down the date properly, do not leave out the year.

??? No that will not happen

Don

’t do that. Write properly.

Who can spell out the word cook? cook?

Yes, cook

Write it on the board. Good

They were carrying a pan to cook the fish.

This is how

‘cook’ is written.

You can say they would braai the fish.

"Learner" are you still not finished my boy?

Are you done? Who have I not marked for.

Who have I not marked for.

Let

’s start on the corrections for the sake of those who don

’t get all correct

If you got one wrong then you don

’t add an ‘S”.

If you get one wrong it is

“correction” and if you get more than 2 its

“corrections”

If you did not write the year 2012, then you are wrong

“For cooking the fish” teacher

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

Reflections

Role of L1

Discipline

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Discipline

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Grammar

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 14

No Speaker

304 T-2:

305 T-2:

306 T-2:

307 T-2:

308 T-2:

309 T-2:

310

Comments

You are correct either way, be it cook or braai the fish.

Are you done with your corrections?

"Learner" what are you writing now? I don

’t want to see any series books in front of you.

Put them where they belong. We are learning about these animals. Who has 2 pages like this. Who is carrying others that look the same.

Page 85. Let's read

Who can read without the teacher reading to them first.

The lesson changed to Life Orientation

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

Reflections

Role of L1

Role of L1

X

X

X

Role of L1

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 15

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

No Speaker Comments

311 T-3:

312 T-3:

313 T-3:

314 T-3:

315 T-3:

316 T-3:

317 T-3:

318 T-3:

319 T-3:

320 T-3:

321 T-3:

322 T-3:

323 T-3:

324 T-3:

325 T-3:

326 T-3:

327 T-3:

328 T-3:

329 T-3:

330 T-3:

331 T-3:

332 T-3:

333 T-3:

334 T-3:

335 T-3:

336 T-3:

337 T-3:

English Lesson - 12 Mar 2013

First you will read after me. When I am finished the reading. You are just looking at the words when I am reading.

Understand

You are going to read in groups.

Read about what happened when Mani's family when Mani's family fixed their new house.

Mani's new house

N you are not looking there. Look at the word in the paper.

Mani's new house

Point at the words while I am reading.

On the first of April, we fixed are new house.

All the family came to help.

On the first of April, we all went out to fixed are house.

Uncle Jim fixed the fixed the roof.

Uncle Jim fixed the roof.

My cousin Paul painted the walls.

Uncle Paul painted the wall.

Cousin Linda cleaned the gutters.

My cousin Linda cleaned the gutters. Do we all know what a gutter is? It is the pipe which collects rainfall from the roof and prevents it from spilling to the ground

Cousin Jabu and and Boone fitted the window.

My cousin Jabu and and Boone placed the window.

B you are not looking

Grandmother tiled the front porch.

Grandmother fixed the tiles at the the front porch.

We all also helped mom in the garden.

We all also helped my mom in the garden.

Cousin Juan mawed the grass.

Cousin Juan cut the grass.

I planted flowers.

I planted flowers.

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Reflections

Instruction

Role of L1

Instruction

Instruction

This the instruction.

Facilitation

Role of L1

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1 not correct translation

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Facilitation

Role of L1 should be grand father

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1 mispronounced

Juan for Joan & mowed

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 16

No Speaker

338 T-3:

339 T-3:

340 T-3:

341 T-3:

342 T-3:

343 T-3:

344 T-3:

345 T-3:

346 T-3:

347 T-3:

348 T-3:

349 T-3:

Comments

Mom put a load of compost in the vegetable bed.

My mom sprinkled manure in the seed bed in the garden.

We all had to helped to clean the pool.

We all had to to clean the pool at home.

Aunty Tessa and uncle Tom cleaned all the rooms.

Aunty Tessa and uncle Tom cleaned all the rooms because we are painting the house.

Yes, the reason is because during renovations the house gets dirty.

They cleaned the windows and washed the walls.

They were cleaning the windows and washed the walls.

They swept the floors.

We can see them washing dishes right?

They swept the floors. Then they soaked the dirty broom in a bucket of water.

They also swept the floor and then they soaked the mop in the bucket full of water.

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

Reflections

Role of L1

X Role of L1

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Used aunty instead of Aunt

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

350 T-3:

351 T-3:

352 T-3:

353 T-3:

354 T-3:

355 T-3:

356 T-3:

357 T-3:

358 T-3:

359 T-3:

360 T-3:

361 T-3:

362 T-3:

363 T-3:

364 T-3:

Turn over, the next page, the next paper.

Grandmother made lunch.

Grandmother cooked us some lunch.

I helped Grandmother with the food.

I helped Grandmother cook the food.

Grandmother cut a loaf of bread.

She cut the bread into slices.

I helped Grandmother with the food.

Can you see that there is supposed to be a full stop there?

Grandmother cut a loaf of bread.

She cut the bread into slices.

I put butter on the bread.

I pasted the bread with peanut butter.

Everyone stopped work at lunchtime to eat.

Everyone stopped working, sat down and ate.

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Facilitation

She watches all the learners to make sure that they have done what she asked.

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1 Checked phone

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Wrong translation

Role of L1

Role of L1

C - 17

No Speaker Comments

365 T-3:

366 T-3:

The end of our story.

This where the story ends. You did hear it right?

367 T-3:

So, now Group 1 will read for us. This is group 1. The others will look at the word while the group is reading. Group 1 read paragraph

1 and 2. Group 1 will read read paragraph 1 and 2. Let us read.

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

Facilitation

X Role of L1

Instruction

368 T-3:

369 T-3:

370 T-3:

371 T-3:

372 T-3:

Children read paragraph 1 & 2. She corrected mispronounced words like their, came, painted, fitted, front, porch and grammar e.g. full stop.

Children read paragraph 1 & 2. She corrected mispronounced words like their, came, painted, fitted, front, porch and grammar e.g. full stop.

X

Learning

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instruction

Reflection s

Later she explained that each group had a weak reader to be supported by the group the read the instruction as well as the story. She helped them when they struggled with phrases. the read the instruction as well as the story. She helped them when they struggled with phrases.

The transition from one activity to the next was quick

373 PS-3:

374 PS-3:

375 PS-3:

Thank you group 1.

Thank you group 1. Let us clap hand our hands for them.

Group 2 you read from , we also helped.

The learners read and the teacher corrected garden, mawed, planted flowers, compost, vegetable beds, helped, the pool. Aunt Tessa, swept, the floors, soaked, dirty broom, bucket, water.

The learners read and the teacher corrected garden, mawed, planted flowers, compost, vegetable beds, helped, the pool. Aunt Tessa, swept, the floors, soaked, dirty broom, bucket, water.

The learners read and the teacher corrected garden, mawed, planted flowers, compost, vegetable beds, helped, the pool. Aunt Tessa, swept, the floors, soaked, dirty broom, bucket, water.

Group 3, Group 3.

Anticipating errors

Pronunciation

Instruction 376 T-3:

C - 18

392 T-3:

393 T-3:

394 PS-3:

395 T-3:

396 T-3:

397 PS-3:

398 T-3:

399 T-3:

400 T-3:

No Speaker

377 T-3:

378 T-3:

379 T-3:

380 T-3:

381 T-3:

382 T-3:

383 PS-3:

384 T-3:

385 T-3:

386 T-3:

387 PS-3:

388 T-3:

389 T-3:

390 T-3:

391 T-3:

Comments

Please sit properly, you move over and open some space.

The learners read and she corrects the words cuts, stopped, lunch time.

The learners read and she corrects the words cuts, stopped, lunch time.

Thank you

Thank you group 3. Let's clap our hands for them. You remember we forgot to clap hands for group 2, let us clap our hands for them too.

OK, now we are finish read our reading OK?

So I have these words. We are going to look at all the words with the 'oo' sound. Words that have the 'oo' sound. the 'oo' sound. the 'oo' sound.

I have a 'oo 'sound, here.

Let us read the words.

Moon

What is moon? What is moon?

What is moon? Do you know what the moon is?

When do you see the moon? We see the moon at night.

Yes, this is the moon that we see it at the night.

In the story we were reading let us look for the words with the 'oo' sound.

What is this?

Book

This is a book.

Let us read the words 'book'.

Book

Book

In the story there are words with the 'oo' sound.

Understand?

X

X

X

X

Spoke in siSwati

X

Initial

Code

Role of L1

Reflections

Notices that a learner can't see the photocopy of the story and moves her.

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instruction

Facilitation

Role of L1 Points to board

Instruction

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Facilitation

Role of L1

Points to the flash card at the board.

Facilitation

Role of L1

C - 19

No Speaker

401 T-3:

Comments

We look at words that have the 'oo' sound.

Name them, words with the 'oo' sound. Words with the 'oo' sound.

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

Reflections

Instruction

402 P-3:

403 T-3:

404 P-3:

405 T-3:

406 T-3:

407 P-3:

408 T-3:

409 T-3:

410 P-3:

411 T-3:

412 P-3:

413 T-3:

414 P-3:

415 T-3:

416 P-3:

417 T-3:

418 P-3:

419 T-3:

420 P-3:

421 T-3:

422 T-3:

423 P-3:

424 T-3:

425 T-3:

426 T-3:

Room room - here is the 'oo' sound.

Pool pool- here is the 'oo' sound. Look at the words.

Is that all?

Boone mmh, Boone.

Boone is the name of a person.

Broom

Ehh? Br- oom. Br- oom

Floor

Floor, fl-oo-rs, there is a different sounds now floor and broom but they are all 'oo' sounds.

P

– floor

Floor

Room

R-oom

Broom

Broom points to the word door in text next d-oor

Alright, let me just check for one,

Next door.

Next door

and points to the board

Alright. OK

Now we have all - food, we have already written food.

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

Writes the words on the board

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Writes the words on the board

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Writes the words on the board

Role of L1

Role of L1

General instruction

Role of L1

General instruction

Facilitation

427 P-3:

428 T-3: points to the word food in text

We have already written food.

General instruction

Facilitation

429 T-3:

Do you realise that in some words the double

'oo' sounds different. The word roof sounds like there is a u. In African languages, siSwati, the letter u is pronounced as is whereas in

English it is pronounced as 'a' e.g. underneath, up. For instance the word 'broom' is pronounced the same as 'floor'.

X Role of L1

Only teacher who linked L1 and L2 sounds

C - 20

No Speaker

430 T-3:

431 T-3:

432 T-3:

433 T-3:

434 T-3:

435 T-3:

436 P-3:

437 T-3:

438 T-3:

439 T-3:

Comments

Door, next door, floor,

They are different but the sound is the same but in pronounced the words are not pronounced the same as if it is a 'u'.

Floor is the 'oo'

The way we pronounce the word floor sounds like it is stretching the letter 'o' so that it sounds differently from the word broom. Can you see that?

Yes, meaning that there are two 'oos', floors

Some words with double 'o' are pronounced as

'u' and some are pronounced in a way where you have to stretch the letter 'o'. Can you see that? Now please name other words that have a double 'o' but are pronounced in a way that stretch the letter 'o'.

Fall

No

Fall, no, alright. I know, fool. fools - 'u'

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

Reflections

Role of L1

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

440 T-3:

441 T-3:

442 T-3:

443 P-3:

444 T-3:

445 P-3:

446 T-3:

447 T-3:

448 P-3:

449 T-3:

450 T-3:

451 P-3:

452 T-3:

453 P-3:

454 T-3:

455 P-3:

456 P-3:

457 T-3:

458

Wrong answer, the word fool sounds like a 'u' in siSwati. I said I wanted words with the stretched 'o' e.g. floor

The word fool sounds like a 'u' in siSwati

Floor - double 'oo'

Floor

Yes, floors but we have it already.

Balloon

Bal- ooon , balloon, no it balloon not baloooon.

M

Moon

Moon - moon - 'u'

Good, Good sounds like moon.

Classroom

Good., Classroom sounds like the letter 'u'.

Broom

Good, Broom

School, - u'

Book

Book, room - 'u'

The teacher starts pointing to the wall charts

X

X

X

X

X

Role of L1

Role of L1

It was becoming very confusing to me and the learners.

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Code switching

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Resources

C - 21

461 P-3:

462 T-3:

463 P-3:

464 T-3:

465 P-3:

466 T-3:

467 T-3:

468 P-3:

469 T-3:

470 P-3:

471 T-3:

472 T-3:

473 R

474 T-3:

475 P-3:

476 T-3:

477 R

478 T-3:

479

480 T-3:

481 P-3:

482 T-3:

483 P-3:

484 T-3:

No Speaker

459 P-3:

460 T-3:

485 P-3:

Comments

Foot foot

– u

Door door, yes, door is a double 'oo'

Dog dog, only one 'o'

See see - its double 'ee'

Say words with the stretched 'o' sound.

Bluetooth

Hah,' blue tooth' - it

’s a 'u'

Tooth

Yes tooth is a 'u'

Its 'u', maybe you can help us. It is difficult to find words.

Poor

P-oor, Ok, Poor has the oo sound but the pronunciation is the same, not the same.

Lemon

Lemon, its only one 'o'

Spoon

Spoon, thank you maam

The class gets very excited looking for words on the walls and the all call out words.

Ok, we have said all the words now.

Flood

Alright, alright, Ok, flood.

Broom

Eh, Ok, that is enough lets give "Learner" a chance to answer.

Draw

X

X

Spoke in siSwati

X

Initial

Code

Reflections

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

The class was getting more excited and were eager to find words

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

Stimulation

Role of L1

Explicit affirmation

Role of L1

Role of L1

Oral

The learners don't seem to understand the instruction

C - 22

No Speaker

486 T-3:

487 T-3:

488 P-3:

489 P-3:

490 P-3:

491 T-3:

492 T-3:

493 P-3:

494 T-3:

495 T-3:

496 T-3:

497 T-3:

498

499 T-3:

500 P-3:

501 P-3:

502 T-3:

503 P-3:

504 T-3:

505 PS-3:

506 T-3:

507 T-3:

508 T-3:

509 T-3:

510 T-3:

Comments

draw - no, OK, lets listen to "Learner" draw,

No

But draw has the letter 'a'

Look

Floor

Book

Books,

One at a time please because I can

’t hear you clearly. Book? Did we not write the word book? We did.

Grass - 'a'

Class has an 'a'

Let us sit down. I have something that I need you to use.

Ok, Alright, Alright, Alright, let us sit down.

I have these things. I want you to make a word with this thing. I want you to make one word with the 'oo' sound. No, No, This group only. This group only and you read the words.

The teacher hands our 'word cubes'

No, not like that

We can't make the words

Book yes, book. No, let us look at the words you have made. Dook- doesn't sound right. No it doesn't sound right. No, what does it say. C

…. Coook. Show them what does it say, food

Shoe

Nooo. We need to make words with double

'oo' so it is possible.

Cook

Yes, Cook, make me another one.

What does it say? Foot.

Make another one or give it to another one and you take this one.

"Learner" it looks like you made only one. Oh its two, you made cook and foot.

How about you?

Spoke in siSwati

X

Initial

Code

Indirect error correction

Teaching point - class

Oral

Oral

Oral

Modelling

Reflections

The learners all shout out words altogether.

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Discipline

Oral

Teaching point - class

Discipline

Discipline

Instruction

Instruction

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

Oral

Teaching point - class

Oral

Teaching point - class

Oral

Role of L1

Role of L1 Code switching

Role of L1

Teaching point - class

Role of L1

C - 23

514 PS-3:

515 T-3:

516 T-3:

517 T-3:

518 PS-3:

519 T-3:

520 PS-3:

521 T-3:

522 T-3:

523 P-3:

524 T-3:

525 T-3:

526 P-3:

527 T-3:

528 T-3:

529 T-3:

530 P-3:

531 T-3:

532 P-3:

533 T-3:

534 T-3:

535 P-3:

No Speaker Comments

511 T-3:

512 T-3:

513 T-3:

No, no let us look this. Let us look at this first.

Food, boot - no, foot, could, dook, no. Book is right, yes book is right, food and boot. W- book,

Dook -

some learners laugh

Dook, no. Yes it is dook but no it doesn't sounds right. Dook, no it doesn't sound right.

No No, what does it say? What does it say.

"Learner"

Cook

Learner

Cook is right, yes let us do another one.

The words you can make are foot and boot.

Foot

Learner

Book

Yes, book is right. Book is right, book and cook. Boot and food, Boot and foot.

Number 1 is?

Book.

Book.

Writes the word on the board.

Number 2 is?

Cook.

Cook.

Writes the word on the board.

Number 3 is?

Have you forgotten?

Foot.

Foot.

Writes the word on the board.

Boot

There are four words right?

Yes that is the end of our lesson for today.

Thank you , very good

Spoke in siSwati

Initial

Code

Feedback

Feedback

X

X

X

Reflections

Oral

Feedback

Role of L1 Code switching

Oral

Oral

Feedback

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

Facilitation

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Role of L1

Instruction

Role of L1

C - 24

APPENDIX D

FACE-TO-FACE SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS

CONTENTS

Interview questions

Transcribed face-to-face teacher interviews

Teacher 1 School A 05 September 2012

Teacher 2 School B

Teacher 3 School A

13 March 2013

13 March 2013 page

D - 2

D - 4

D - 6

D - 18

D - 1

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Introduction:

· Request permission to record the interview.

· State purpose of interview

Biographical information

1. Teacher’s Name

2.

3.

How long have you been at this school?

How long have you been teaching Grade 3?

4.

5.

What is your home language?

Do you live in this community?

6. Did you receive CAPS training?

Information from literature review

7. How many learners in the school?

8.

9.

10.

How many teachers are there?

How do you help learners with problems?

How are assessment done?

11.

12.

13.

If you need help at school, who do you go to?

What meetings does the school have?

How do you find teaching at this school?

14.

15.

16.

What are the learners like who come to the school?

Do you know the parents of the children?

Do the guardians help with homework?

17.

18.

What are your qualifications?

What training have you received to teach English?

19. What assessment to you use?

More controversial issues

20. What are challenges to teaching English?

21. Do you like teaching?

D - 2

School environment

To determine what support systems exists and how things communicate about school issues across grades.

Literacy support from home environment

Teaching knowledge &

English knowledge

Barriers to teaching

English

Questions for next visit

Confirm

· Staff complement

· No of Male vs Female teachers

· Permanent vs Voluntary

· Boy learners vs Girl learners

· How often is assembly?

· Who gets chosen to read?

· What do they read?

D - 3

TRANSCRIBED FACE-TO-FACE TEACHER INTERVIEWS

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

No Questions

1

05-Sep-12

Teacher’s Response

2

How do you find teaching

English?

Teaching English is a big challenge because the children don

’t speak

English.

3

How long have you being teaching?

I have been teaching at the school for 2 years as a volunteer and I also teach

Abet. The government pays me to teach ABET.

4

Do you know the parents of the children?

Yes, I know the parents.

5

Do they support you?

Yes, if there is a problem with the child then I will call the parent in.

6

7

8

If you need help at school who do you go to?

How often to you assess the children?

Do you only yes the department assessments?

I ask the other teachers.

Every 2 months and at the end of June.

9

How often to you read?

No, I do my own tests but then we use the June tests.

I can

’t remember I need to check the time table. We read on Friday, on Tuesday and Thursday we do writing and Mon, Wed and Fri we do phonics.

10

They are video tapes in the hand book, do you use them?

No we do not have a tape player at the school.

Initial Code

Learners' English

Skills

Teaching

Experience

Reflections

Community knowledge

Parent involvement

Support

Assessment

Teacher has autonomy

No support from principal

Only do the minimum

Assessment

Reading frequency

Resources

Volunteer

No evidence

This is something she should know and it is stipulated in

CAPS

11

If they there is anything that would help you teach

English what would it be?

We need more books, I only have 1 Big Book that I read to the children.

Resources

12

Did the children paint the ducks?

I don

’t know they were on the wall when I got here.

Classroom

There is nothing in the classroom to promote literacy and creativity.

Classroom walls did not change over the 2 years

13

They come to grade 3 only having started English in the 3rd term of the Grade 2.

In Grade R they just play around and in Grade 1 they don

’t learn any English.

With the new system things will be easier.

No teacher communication across grades

D - 4

No Questions

14

As a Volunteer do you come in everyday?

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Yes, I work every day and expect on a Friday I don

’t do Abet training.

15

Do you have meetings?

Yes, when there is a problem and to discuss the exam results

Reflections

More than 1 job, how can she have enough time to prepare?

Meetings

Adhoc? More retroactive than proactive

D - 5

16

17

18

19

20

21

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

Questions Teacher’s Response Initial Code

13-Mar-13

You have been teaching how long in total?

Yes, How many years have you been teaching?

How long?

I started from ABET

Experience

Experience

Did you teach ABET

22

Yes.

23

Yes

24

Ok

From

….. can I mention years?

Ok. From 2002, I teach

ABET

Experience

Experience

It is near to Sutherland (?) Experience um hum, I said 2000 and ? Experience

25

Two

And I can list the subject? Qualification

26

Yes, yes

Ok, I, I used siSwati at level 4, Culture level 4 and

LO and Technology

27

28

29

30

All level 4? all level 4?

And did the government train you on ABET?

Ok.

Yes

Yes

Yes. And also in ABET level 2, I done siSwati and

Maths in 2002 and 2003, 2004

I

’m at another ABET

Lasihlangu ABET in

Mashakani ABET centre say I was at Lasihlangu,

L- A- S- I- H- L- A- N- G- U

31

32

Ehh?

Ok

U, Lasihlangu ABET, at

Chackastad

Was the place, the name of the centre

33

Was that one, ok. How far is that from here? Is it all in Mpumalanga?

Yes it

’s here in

Mpumalanga

34

Ok

And also 2004, 2005 and

2006 I was at

Makasongwe Primary

School another school

35

um hum yes

36

Yes

37

Makasongwe

was it a primary school?

Yes, Teaching

38

Grade?

39

And Grade 4?

Grade 7 and Grade 4

Yes

40

41

42

All the subjects?

Yes

Ok

No, at Grade 7, I was busy with NS, natural science

Grade 4 Maths

I was teaching as a volunteer here

Experience

ABET Trained

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Teaching exp

Qualification

Specialist

Experience

Grade Exp

Experience

Qualification

Social

Employment status

D - 6

Reflections

Dates don

’t make sense

No Questions

43

44

Oh alright. Here you are permanent hey?

Did you say you did that part time - your studies?

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

No I

’m not, at this moment

I was busy with my studies

Qualification

Yes Qualification

45

You've got a diploma hey?

Now I have a diploma although I am busy with some things

Recently qualified ?

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

ok, so who did you do the diploma through? Which place did you study? Was is Potch or..

Potch yes, that was it

Ok

As well? Shoo, ok when did you do that?

Ok

Shooo. That’s something different from teaching hey?

Aww shame

Where they adults or children?

Although I use my teaching I have a business management diploma

At Mathateni Technical

College

And what year was that?

Subject?

No what year, before this? After?

Before

When I was starting my problem I was starting to do Business Management at technical college and I working there as supply at

Mashakani hospital busy with the mentally ill people

(laughter) It

’s different but there is a connection, because they are in the mental I was teach the people how with disturbance, I was teach them to make gardens and to check them. How they feel in that time, because

I've take water and pour it although the cup are leaking, pour it, they pour, stiff is not good, but when I say

“Pour water here” they say

“ aahh this cup is broken I can

’t”

Then they observe this is better

They are included but most of them they are adults at that time. There after, we end at 2000 and?

Qualification

Qualification

Experience

Experience

Qualification

Qualification

Experience

Experience

Experience

D - 7

Reflections

From previous conversation

I misunderstood teaching diploma for de diploma

Doesn

’t link to the Bus

Diploma

No Questions

55

2006 I think. 2006

56

Ok

57

58

59

Oh, so this is your second year? and when you were a substitute teacher whet did you teach as a substitute teacher?

So last year was the first time you taught Grade

3's?

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Even 2006 I am busy at that Maksongwe, 2006,

7,8,9 and 10 I was go to another primary for substitute, when you substitute you, you are there because someone maybe to gets a pregnant leave you see, that time

2011 and 12. uum o no 12

I

’m here

Last year I

’m here from

February.

Yes second year that I

’m here

Teaching exp

Time at school

Experience

Maths and siSwati grade 4 and 5

Language teaching exp

Yes Experience

60

oh, sjo, and what do you like about teaching?

Its improved myself, according my children, this learning better, the skills that I get in this children I used it at school, say for instance when I'm come inside then I see this child is not good,

“ok come here baby, what's wrong with you?

” “no I’m sad what, what, what

…”, then I say

“Oh”. That skills that I get here I

’m always use it at home. And also when I

’m teach now I gain more than when I live at home. I like teaching because I gain more skills, and also it improves my mind, I socialise with my children.

Others they tell me their problems, that problem I can solve it. Then I give them love and also they love me. I like teaching, but when I grow up I would like to be a nurse.

Motivation for teaching

Reflections

No exp with primary

Teaching to help not to educate?

D - 8

No

61

62

Questions

Oh. So you’re a very caring person - teaching, nursing

Teacher’s Response

Then when I'm looking this position in college in ??? I failed to get it, then I go to technical in order to do a management because I want to study most of the time.

Then when I'm there I get a job from Johannesburg, then my husband said when you go now, go work, no back, then I tried to leave that week. Then when I'm in

ABET I try to get information about learning, private learning, then I get Potch.

When I get Potch I start my studies. That

’s why I’m a teacher.

What’s after ACE? What are you going to do then?

Now I'm doing ACE

63

And then?

I can rest for next year, after

ACE I can do honours

64

65

Very good (Laughter) So you always want to improve and learn and, that’s very nice, umm ja

umm very nice but it

’s too difficult

66

But at least you are trying

Because my wishes are so high

I try. I want to get, um I have a car but now because I

’m in the field I don

’t like it now I want to improve to get a best one.

67

And where are you going to go? Eventually what do you want to do?

Sorry?

68

Eventually what do you want to be?

I want to be a CI in order to go in a school and check teachers what's going on

(laughter)

69

70

That's good, good. And if you look at... you say the children come with problems and that, what are the problems that you have to deal with especially when it comes to reading and English.

What do you think is a big problem for you to teach it?

So you give them extra lessons?

According that even siSwati is more problem, but I try to make after hours, to make work after hours to make more time, like when you finish your eating, come back fast, then others they come and take him small lesson.

Maybe make phonics in order to make the words.

Yes, even our school is take time until from 8 until half past 1

Initial Code

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Motivation for teaching

Qualification

Learners language proficiency

Reflections

Ambitious

Status orientated told me before about her car -

Audi

Role of authority

D - 9

No Questions

71

72

73

74

75

76

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Yes

And you said also there are problems with siSwati? What problems are there with siSwati? Is it?

The parents, they only talk siSwati to the children, do they read any siSwati or is there anything that’s in book form for them to use at home? The parent do they read anything?

And do you find that when you give the children homework do their parents help?

And how do you find working in the school here, the teachers, if you need help can you...

But my bus arrive at half past

2, I can make another class.

Then when I hear the next bus, vroom, I say

“Ok let’s go

”, then I'm through. I make overtime for make the chance to meet with them.

And also they don't know how to make, to use consonants and vowels to make a words, and even try to teach them in order to make a word. This is in my spare time, I can use for make it words

I gave them, others they use, others not. You can

’t blame them, because when you say, take this book and give your mamma so-so-so, they say I

’m not a teacher, I’m your mom, let

’s forget about that. Others teach them, others don't.

Others they do, others they don't. And also punishment is abolished, nothing you can do. You can say

“baby, baby, please

” - then nothing.

You can get any help from others, for instance if I'm a student from technical I know the economics of business management so, then when we are in Grade 6 they say

“Aai, this topic I don't understand because its talking about debits and credits, what-what-whatwhat

”. Ok, I can come the

“So the word credit, the word debit means so-so-so-so

” then other learners get clear, other as you know, not understand, but you help others.

And if for example like now with your new Grade

3 class, do you know which one is good in

English, which one is struggling? Do you talk to each other and say ja...

The class or?

Readiness

Home language proficiency

Literacy support from home

Homework

Support from colleagues

Communication across grades

Reflections

Authoritarian?

- No recourse for not doing homework

D - 10

No Questions

77

78

With the teachers, with the teachers

Do you know like oh this one needs a bit more extra work or...

Teacher’s Response

Yes.

Yes

79

80

81

82

83

84

85

86

87

How do you…

Ja, no problem about that, we are one, because when other teacher they

– they - she had a problem...

(Child talks to teacher and teacher responds)

Sorry for interrupting. Ok say for instance she knows in

Grades 6 she don

’t understands other parts and dimension, shapes, then ask another teacher here - information who knows mathematics, then this must take time and go up and teach-teach-teach, and also do her work and ????

That’s very good hey, very nice. And Principal

2, how does she help you at the school? What does she do?

She have, her learning area and also they take maybe our lesson plans

Does she check them?

Yes. Test it and certify it.

When we have a problem we take it to her to get help to another schools

Oh, ok. And if you look in general, what do you think are the major problems in teaching in a rural school like this? Are there any things that you think are very difficult to teach, these children here?

Oh ok

More time. Our situation is not good, say for instance more schools

…. proper machine for making copies for the children

So the Admin takes too much time?

Here oooh struggling

Um, maybe you want to make a test, you must write with hand and also maybe you can write for each and every one, one by one by one, it take more time and learners are slow and the you are happy when you are starting, slow down, slow down because it take your time and energy.

You have the one computer here hey?

Yes

D - 11

Initial Code

Qualification

Principal involvement

Principal involvement

Challenge

Challenge

Challenges of teaching

Reflections

Practical problems, ignores LD

No

88

89

Questions

Do you have internet access?

Ok. And what's the good things about teaching?

90

Ja

Teacher’s Response

No. No internet, if you want internet you must go to internet cafe at the crossing and then you must pay with your money because there is no arrangement for that in school.

Ai at this moment (laughter) ut I like teaching, because when you are in teaching you get more skills concerning community

...You know more, you get more knowledge because you face more different people, than you, although when you are placed you can

’t not read the minds of the people, but when you are at school its easy. Because when the parents come here, the time it takes to knockknock, then you already teach her or his mind. Maybe he's brave or he's angry or what-what-what

(Interruption)

Initial Code

Knowledge of learning

Benefits of teaching

91

92

Tell me umm, and the parents, if they have problems do they come and talk to you about the children or do they. -.. if you the teacher you must sort it out?

When you have a problem you must tell the principal

“I have a problem with this learner, with this and this

”.

Then she give you a power to write a letter to parents...

Dealing with issues

93

94

95

Ok

Sorry I don't understand, when a child struggles what do you do?

Yes

Then as you teacher who write a letter and take it and give her, and she stamp and give the learner

“go home with that letter

” and maybe call the parent. Either they come or not. But we make a strategy, when you don't come, the child can live there until you come with that struggle.

Maybe we promise that we would absent him or maybe according wearing uniform not look like other learners...

Then we call the parents in order to ask...

How they deal with difficulties from learners

Financial difficulties

96

And if the parent doesn't come?

Hum? Caregiver

Reflections

Doesn

’t seem to really enjoy teaching

Principal control

Very formal approach

She misunderstood my question

D - 12

No Questions

97

99

If the parent doesn't come? What do you do then to the child?

98

Ooh

To help the child

100

That's really nice

101

Shame

Teacher’s Response

When the parents not coming, then we can research to neighbours,

“what’s wrong about this?”

Maybe she can get a grant, others no, it

’s already person ok. Then you say to other, please give me a shirt for the child when it is small, your trouser from your child please shoes so-so-so, then we take it in.

In that moment the parents can come and say thank you

Because when you are call them, others are say eish they call me with this problem with my child because of uniform, they say ai I can

’t go to them

But when you give them the cloths they come and say

“you helped me” and they say thank you.

Initial Code

Community involvement

Financial difficulties social

Financial difficulties

Social

102

Don't you want to eat?

No I can eat with there with my crunch

…. ai don't worry, time is ours today, when you are finished, its ok its ok. social

103

I want to just ask now the parents - do they (um forgot what I was going to ask her). umm in the whole school here, it seems like there are a lot of support from the teachers and the principal and everything and the parents. Do any of the teachers live in the community with the parents here, or do they live all far away?

Ok, two of them are living in the community, there is just

(name) and (name) although they are volunteers.

104

Ok so they know what is happening in the community?

Teachers from community

Yes, other stories I get from them and also the other one.

After last year, one of us they live at (????) only four - me and principal and Mr J live at

(???) but all of us

– others they live here. school

105

So how many teachers are in total here at the school?

Oh - I can count school

D - 13

Reflections

Interview was during her lunch time

No Questions

106

Ok let’s count

107

ai its fine ok

108

Yes

109

Yes

110

Yes

111

112

113

114

Yes

Sorry, let me check

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 about 10 people and a general worker, is that the same person?

Ok. And how may children do you have in the whole school?

Teacher’s Response

Two (N & N), S, but S today is the last day, I don't know which I can list ok, umm principal and M for

Grades, and me also and T and E

Teacher G

Teacher H and the Clerk

Initial Code

Staff complement school school school school school

And also Clerk and a general worker school

And also the general worker she is volunteer school

184 if I'm not mistaken No of learners

Reflections

Formal way of mentioning them

115

There more than last year?

umm school

There was talk that the 2 schools would combine because the numbers are decreasing

School Expanding 116

So the school is growing?

Ja

117

And do all these children now go to where? Which high school? Do they go to…?

High School W. Others inside in Swaziland

… There is another ..(cannot make out what was said

– mentioned another place where people from Swaziland come to??)

Social

118

Do you know how many of them actually finish school eventually? In the area do they all get matric or do they leave school before matric?

Most of time they are not dropping- they are continue

Learners Complete schooling

Not according to stats dept

119

120

That's good

And the girls go up to matric as well?

I think there is no dropping out umm - less droppers

Social

Social

Tried to get info on girl dropout rate

121

that's nice

And even technically

In this moment - they are busy with their education in this area school

D - 14

No Questions

122

123

I want to ask you in the class room - I saw that sometimes the children - you don't give them, not you personally, but I was just observing, sometimes they don't have the books. Do you have a problem with not getting the books like in

Limpopo they said there weren't books for the children? Do you have a problem with the department that they don't have books or do you have enough books and paper and stuff to teach?

Is is the books?

Teacher’s Response

Ai we have the problem, you can go to another school and order to that term, the department they say that

“all this will be ok, all things will be ok

”, then we can wait-wait-wait, until you go to other school in order to get.

Yes, others will give us.

124

So like for this year do you have all the books that you need for Grade

3?

ai they come late and they are not enough, but I make copies of that I want. That book are coming late

125

Ok and the children do you give them the meals here?

Everyday

126

Every child gets a meal?

Yes

Initial Code

Resources

Resources

Resources

Feeding scheme school

127

Ok

There is a menu, Monday this, Tuesday this. school

128

Is there anything you want to ask me?

About? Education?

(laughter) Ok I want to know of you here - what is the aim?

129

130

131

I’m her because I'm doing my masters

And Funke she is very good with literacy, she did a lot of work in literacy, that's why she comes with me cause she is helping me

She is my supervisor and then we just look, because we just want to see what happens, because there are so many different things in

South Africa

Ok

Ok

OoooH

D - 15

Reflections

Relationship with others schools seems good

Did not understand what I was doing there even though I did explain it

No Questions

132

so we want to see because we working, you’ve got the community project with

Ngelandi, we want to see what's happening in the primary schools, how they teach, what happens in the primary schools - just to have a look. So we know what's going on.

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Aah

– I want to do a masters. I will suffer like this (laughter)

– some banter about working hard at studies)

133

So its research?

134

Ok all right

135

Ok

136

Ok thank you

Its research. I'm just doing a research masters, just to see what is happening and it

’s very specific. I'm not looking at any other schools, I'm only looking at your school and School A, that's it. And I'm only looking at Grade 3 just to see how do they experience English - is it very difficult for them?

What happens you know, just what is happening at a school

What are the challenges that they have.

So that's it - just to see, because there are lots of things that people want to know what's happening

137

138

139

When you do Masters degree, how many modules do you have ?

Just 2? ai 2 modules, but where do you come from if you are here. If I do

Masters I must go to

Pretoria?

Oh, this is the holidays now?

I had to do 2 modules and then

No they do it in the school holidays

No, no the modules

140

Oh

141

Oh

142

Oh, ok – so you want to teach?

They do it, because most of the people that I do the masters with are teachers

So some do it in

– like I’m doing mine in learning support

No, no I am not a teacher, that

’s why I say I don’t know if you do it right or wrong - I just watch

D - 16

Reflections

No Questions Teacher’s Response Initial Code

143

144

Ok

Ok

So some do school management, some do policy, some do curriculum, some do learning support, some do educational psychology - it

’s all one group. Then they specifically have the classes when it is, um holidays or on a Saturday or something so that the teachers can come.

So that is doesn't interfere with your classes. They try to make it specifically for people who live far.

145

Ai I can do it, I am doing

ACE now and after ACE, when I

’m done with ACE and Diploma its Masters degree?

146

I’m not sure how it works Oh, not sure, Ok

147

But you can find out

The problem is Teacher H, he's doing masters at

Pretoria..

.(not clear what

was said) … It is so difficult

148

149

150

151

But you must remember you don't go do your

Masters now. You first go do your Honours, then your Honours prepares you for Masters. So it is step-step-step. Is there anything else?

Thank you very much

Thank you very much and thank you also for showing us your class.

You are a natural teacher, hey? You really are.

You are very good, I learnt a lot.

Thank you

Reflections

D - 17

152

153

154

155

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Questions Teacher’s Response

13-Mar-13

Tell us a bit more about you. Maybe if you can tell us sort of how did you land up at this school and how long have you been here.

156

While she was pregnant

For me to be here. I I I I I started on in 2005. In 2005 there was a lady who was teaching Grade R. So he was pregnant then she asked me to come and help the learners while she was on maternity. So after that

… the she got a post under the foundation at school. So she leave the Grade R class and come for the

Foundation phase teaching

Grade 4. Yes. So there was a post where they needed the Grade R teacher. So I I

I just applied for the post.

So they recommend me because I was the one who was

….

Yes. Was just helping during the pregnancy.

Initial Code

Working experience

Experience

Reflections

157

And .. you’ve taught here since 2005?

Yes. Experience

There is a strong tribal community in this area.

158

159

It’s a long time.

Ok. And before that what did you do?

But. But. Yes from 2005.

But permanently to be. For me to be in the school I was from 2007.

At home, I was just going for the home based care.

Trying to do some work with where there are some projects in the area.

160

161

Ok.

Yes. The tribal authorities there was a call made. It was .. I was under the projects doing that call at the tribal offices.

So you’re from this area? Yes.

162

163

164

Oh…So you are siSwati siSwati?

Cause all the other teachers come from

Oh Ok. Well that’s good.

So you can tell us. The community here – what are they like? And the children. Their home life.

What’s that like?

laughs

Yes. I am from this area.

Most of our community like to

…to plough. Because this area seems to be a

Experience

Social

Social

Experience

Experience

Experience

Community

D - 18

No Questions

165

Farming?

166

167

168

seeds…oh manure?

169

To fertilize?

Teacher’s Response

All the people place. So they were just

…..farmers.

In the olden days they

… this was just for the farmers. For ploughing mealies, beetroot, spinach.

And they are

…in most time they used to

….they are having cattles. That

’s why they like this place. They have to plough and for their cattles to be having a nice place. Yes.

Most of the time the children of this place and community they have no job to do. So there, there while they are working in the farmers in the fields they get some money because now

…for now there are projects that they are under

…under with the farmer

’s projects.

So there are people who give them money to work in the fields. And when they are working they also do some opportunities

…opportunities to others that they are not working. So they pay them one day for the hoeing of the fields and for when they are pouring the manure.

Yes, the manure.

Yes, the fertilizers. Even when they are spraying.

They also have to pay them. Now most

…many people now they are in work because of the fields. Yes.

Initial Code

Farming

Unemployment

Reflections

Community support

Piecework

170

171

So do the fields belong to the farmers? And do they get the community to come work there or do the community own the fields?

Ok

It

’s the community in the fields. And those who don

’t have the fields they come to work for the others.

Social

172

And did you study to become a teacher or did you? How did it work?

173

The ECD?

Yes.

Yes, I am studying, even now. Last year I got a certificate Level 5 ECD certificate for the Early

Childhood Development.

Yes, ECD certificate.

D - 19

Qualification

Qualification

No Questions

174

And where did you do that?

Teacher’s Response

It was just a

…it’s a training specialist. That college

ABBASOL training specialists from

Initial Code

Qualification

175

176

177

So is it from the community?

Pretoria

So is it..

from Pretoria Qualification

But we are learning at

Inkwantini. I travel every

Saturday

… morning until 4.

Yes, I am coming home at

4. We attend classes during weekends only. During

Saturdays. And during

…when the schools are closed. Yes, that

’s when we are taking our classes.

So now I am doing the diploma level.

Qualification

Current studies

178

So is the certificate one year?

179

So you do it in one year and now you are busy with the diploma?

Yes, it is for one year.

Yes.

180

And the diploma?

And I will complete the diploma next year.

181

Is that the two year diploma?

182

Are you doing it through

Potch also?

183

Where are you studying that diploma?

Yes, two year diploma.

Askies?

Saszi Training

….

184

Is that like a school….?

185

186

187

188

Ok, so it’s not from the university.

Ok, and you will be finished then.

Ok

So it is probably from

Fasset, aagh, from the

Seta. That you can get at a Seta

Ah, it is like a company, or a CC company, yes

No

But it is recommended under the department.

Yes

Yes

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

Qualification

189

And that you will finish next year

Yes Qualification

D - 20

Reflections

No Questions

190

And then? What are you going to study?

191

Oh

Teacher’s Response

After that I want to do a

B.Ed. I started a B.Ed at

Unisa, but only to find that I don

’t know exactly what I needed to be done. So I registered for the intermediate phase while I am in the foundation phase.

Initial Code

Wrong registration

Yes. So after completing the diploma I did

…..I will go back and do the BEd in the foundation phase.

Enjoys working with small children

192

193

194

195

196

197

198

Do you like foundation phase?

And, are you, do you have your own children?

How many children do you have?

Four boys….and one girl.

And do you speak siSwati at home with them?

Do you, do any of the people here speak

English to the children at home? Do you think?

So your children know siSwati?

Are they here? At this school?

Yes, I like these small ones. Qualification

Yes, I have children.

There are four. Three boys and one girl. Laughs.

Yes. I speak siSwati.

No. Not mostly

…especially because we are Swazis.

Most of them, they are

Swazis.

No, they are at Nglandi school.

Experience

Experience

Home language

English exposure at home

Yes. They speak siSwati. siSwati

Specialist

199

In high school?

Yes. Specialist

200

And, and, when you look at the school. How many children are in the school in total at the moment?

I think it is 120.

201

And the teachers?

Because now you are splitting the teachers, hey?

Teachers? Ah, permanent teachers are three. It is the principal and two teachers, males. The others are volunteers. And I am the

ECD practitioner for Grade

R.

202

203

Ok. So how many volunteers are there?

Three volunteers?

There are three.

204

Are the three volunteers the ones that do the foundation phase?

Yes.

Yes. They are doing foundation. Two in foundation, one in intermediate.

205

One intermediate.

Yes.

School

School

School

School

School

School

D - 21

Reflections

Not sure if she understood the question.

No

206

Ok. And the foundation phase you are splitting it up per subject?

207

Questions Teacher’s Response

Yes, now. For now we are doing it per subject because we, we, we. we lost. We have a loss in teachers. We have no foundation teacher exactly. Yes. Because the one that is here last year, is now, he retired. Yes. So we don

’t have a foundation teacher at all. Just the volunteers that are helping.

Initial Code

Changes in school

And with the other teachers, do you…if...for example now in your, your Grade 3 class or whatever, do you know when the kids come to your class, do you know who is good at English, and who is good at siSwati? Do you work, talk to the teachers about the learners?

Ja

…Ja..I can say that…yes. because they are not in the same level.

Readiness

208

Yes

But the siSwati, they are talking it

….exactly. But they don

’t know how to read exactly. The Swazis name, like

‘o’, the ‘z’ the ‘v’…they are, they have a problem in pronouncing the words while they have to write them, but in speaking

….they speak. The only thing is when they write.

Learner's Literacy skills

209

Write.

Yes

210

And the, if you need help from the other teachers.

Do you go to the other teachers?

Yes, even those who are in the intermediate. We go to them to seek for help.

Teacher support

Reflections

Insight about poor education

D - 22

No

211

212

213

Questions

Ok. And the parents? Do they come to the school if there is a problem? Or if you phone them, do they come in?

And….the parents…if, if, if there is a problem with the child, do they try and do anything with the child at home? Or is it only your responsibility?

When they get homework, do they take their books home? or I know…Ja

Teacher’s Response

Yes, they come to know how is going on about with their children in classes.

Because we ask them, when we give them work to do at home, we ask the parents first. So that they can know what is going on at school. Because some of them, they say no.

Teachers are paid for teaching, so why did they come to us to say we must help these learners at home? So others they don

’t know here at school we have volunteers, not exactly professional teachers for the foundation. So that is why we try to communicate with them, so they can help us here with the learners.

Some of them, they try.

Especially those who are maybe younger, but the old ones, they come to school to know what is going on or what is needed for the child to do.

They come to school to know, to ask. Yes. But in writing maybe, maybe, those who are staying in their grandmothers.

Grandmothers come to school and ask

“Who

(how?) is this learners going in class?

” You see.

Most of the time, the foundation, foundation because Grade 1, Grade

2, Grade 3, they leave their books at school. Cos we are afraid when they go with them at home, sometimes they come dirty, sometimes they come with papers out. So we, we ask them to leave them at school unless when they are having only a homework. They go with the homework, only one book at home.

Initial Code Reflections

Support from parents

Literacy skills of care givers

Homework

D - 23

No

214

215

Questions

Ok. And after school? Do they do any homework at school, after school?

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Some of them. They try to do it at school, but sometime others like to do it at home.

Afterschool

And at home, do you read anything in English?

Yes Reading

216

What do you read? What do you like?

We, sometimes, we, there are readers here, in these books. We try to photocopy the readers because we have only one reader. So we try to photocopy them and give them the papers to read at home. So that after when they come to school, sometimes we do the reading in the assembly, because we have assembly on Monday and

Friday. We give them time to read in the assembly.

Maybe this week it is

Grade 1, next week it is

Grade 1, this week is

Grade 1. (Can

’t make out last words)

Reading

217

218

And…there... I didn’t notice, but is there a library on…

Ok, And Grade R, has that always been part of the school?

219

Were you trained on

CAPS last year? Did you get any training?

220

You were trained?

221

And when you go through the books, do you use the books exactly like they tell you in the CAPS system?

No, we don

’t have a library Resources

Yes,. Yes. They are part of the school, but they are not registered fully at school. Yes.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Specialist

Training

Specialist

Specialist

Reflections

she has such empathy and concern for learners

D - 24

No

222

223

Questions

Do you use it like they say there?

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Yes, we try to do it as they are, because even our program goes with this book. So we have to do what is needed to be done in the program.

To..to..follow and follow the book. Because when it says you will do this and this and this. You can do it, but you can add something if you feel you like to, have to add. You add something unlike to take it as it is but you will never do what you are not told to be done in that book.

Reflections

Teacher's role CAPS Passionate

So you follow the book exactly. And what would you say is the biggest challenge for you to teach English.

To teach English. Specialist

Quite deep, the exposure to different cultures

224

For you as a teacher and what you think the children might find difficult.

I was just thing for the children because they don

’t have a teacher. So to let them just come to school to sit and play its not giving sense. So, we try just to help them that they must know that when they are going to school they are going for this and this. So they need to get what they are coming to school for. So we try to help them as a teacher,

I am not their teacher but because of the love that I know they need to read or to know something so that is why I said that is why I will help. Although I am not paid for that but just for the help the children can gain something that is why I said that I must help.

Challenge to teach

English

225

That is very nice. That is very good. But you seem like to teach. You enjoy it.

Yes, I am enjoying it. I love to be with children and I love children always.

Teacher's role

D - 25

No Questions

226

And what is a good thing about teaching English.

227

228

Where do you read?

What books do you read?

Do you read the magazines, or the textbooks or the newspaper, novels, stories?

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Teaching English. It is good because as it is not my language I read many things, I read language, I read stories. I read many things maybe we are not doing in our language.

Yes.

There are some books maybe for reading those with (?)

Yes there are some books at school but I take short stories and novels.

Role of Literacy

Specialist

Specialist

229

So you read that?

230

And you personally what do you read?

231

we have gone over 15 minutes.

Reflections

Yes at school, we read those books. Even if they are from Grade 6. The

Grade 3s maybe like to read those books.

I maybe like at Nglandi they have a library there.

Maybe there afterschool or when I am at home I can just go there to borrow any book. Maybe like when I want to do a research because here as I am reading I am trying for the

ECD. There are some things that need to be researched so I go there and try to search for some books that are having that information. So it makes me to be that much. Yes

Laughs, yes

Learner's literacy skills

Teacher literacy skills

232

Maybe we can just have an informal talk while

233

While you have your meal?

234

Oh At what time?

235

How many children?

Now we have to go to

Hambanatsi (?). We are going to play soccer there and netball.

At Tsthaba, we are playing at 1 but because we have not transport we have to travel on foot.

There are many because there are boys and girls.

I think there are more girls.

Ja, there are more girls than boys.

Extra murals

Engagements school

School

It is in CAPS document

D - 26

No Questions

236

237

Oh I have one more question. The boys and the girls in the school are they the same or are there more boys, more girls than boys?

And do they all come to school?

238

239

240

241

242

243

244

Teacher’s Response

There are no ones at home.

No they are all at school.

Yes.

OK

Can I ask just one question about reading?

When you teach the letters, a, b, c, d do they tell you what order?

Which ones to go first and which ones to go second?

Exactly I am not sure because this is the first time I am doing it in this classes.

So I am not sure of it.

OK, no we are starting with vowels. The vowels that we are going to start its

‘o’ . Yes we can start with

‘o’ because many alphabets maybe when you are writing, most of them like

‘a’ then a as if you are writing o then the.

So when you went on the training, the CAPS training. Did they say to you, you must first start with a and then b. Or did they say start with the vowels or did they.. dis they do any of that?

Oh

And the rest of the alphabet? Do you know which order do they tell you?

So

‘o’ is the first vowel to teach. Yes.

No, not exactly.

For now I don

’t have anything. Laughs

Ok, Do you have anything you want to ask me or any of us?

It is just to see what happens in a classroom, what the children are like, what the teachers are like.

Just to see.

I have just come to basically. Just so that you understand.

Basically I have just come to look what happens in a classroom.

So it is just to see what there is, how big the class is. Is it is just to observe, because I am doing a study on the

Grade 3 class, in this school and that school. It is a small study just to see what happens, that’s it.

Ummh, very difficult because when you are busy with this ones, there is that ones making noise. Busy with this ones, this ones are always disturbing.

Initial Code

Attendance

Social

Knowledge of learning

Content

Specialist

Teaches 2 classes at the same time

Reflections

Teaching method Research

Teaching method

Demands on teachers are excessive

D - 27

No

245

246

247

248

249

250

251

252

Questions

It’s not to check against what is right or wrong.

What teachers are doing.

It was interesting to see they way you had the classroom with some facing that way, some facing that way and then they turned that way.

Somebody so flexible in that classroom.

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

I like it but not for the all of my life. Yes, because teaching have a lot of work to be done. Lots of work, lots of work. But we like teaching, yes but ummm a lot of work.

???, this side is sports they want the sports. This side its classes they want preparations for that for classes. This time is coming this one and everything they want it in time only to find that the work is too much. And they want exactly what they want in time, but only to find that the there are many things we need to do in that time.

Reflections

Challenges to teaching

Challenge to teaching

It must be difficult to teach two classes?

And do you want to be a teacher for..? Do you like teaching?

During the year?

Yes

Yes, I can tell she likes teaching.

The work in the teaching or the work that you need to prepare? Where is all the work?

And last question. The assessments, so you do the assessments the department says, like now and do you do any other tests during the year?

Do you, even when you were a Grade 1 teacher.

You taught Grade 1 hey?

Yes, we are doing them.

Because we are doing, we have class recs, we have homework, we have tasks and we have the provincial papers.

Challenge to teaching

D - 28

No Questions

253

When you were a Grade 1 teacher did you do any tests with them during the year.

254

To assess across the..

255

Thank you.

Teacher’s Response Initial Code

Yes to assess across them in the class, for the whole.

Maybe per term we are looking at the things we are doing so after that we have completed the things.

We have only one task for the term. Yes, so then that is the provincial paper they are going to write.

Reflections

D - 29

APPENDIX E

FIELD NOTES

CONTENTS

Field Notes

Teacher 1 School A

Teacher 2 School B

Teacher 3 School A page

E - 2

E - 6

E - 10

E - 1

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

No

Comments

1

First school visit: 4 Sep 2012

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

Initial Code Reflections

The school was prepared for us and we were met by one of the teachers. A vegetable garden has been cultivated to help feed the children and the community.

I would be observing Teacher 1

’s class.

She is a volunteer teacher who also teaches

ABET in the afternoons and assists with the pension pay-outs.

Today was the pensioners

’ pay-out day so the learners have to accompany their grandparents to receive their grants.

Only 3 out of the 12 learners attended school today. In general there did not seem to be a lot of children.

I would be observing Teacher 1

’s class.

About the teacher: 6 Sep 2012

Feeding scheme

Volunteer

Reduced engagement

Learner attendance

Volunteer

How can effective learning take place when learners aren

’t at school?

She is a volunteer teacher who also teaches

ABET in the afternoons and assists with the pension pay-outs.

School attendance

She was very helpful and showed us all the teacher and learner guides that had been supplied by the department.

Teaching aids

They are working according to CAPS and she has been on the training. Teacher 1

Training

Ndebele and has married a man from the area. Married a siSwati

She had to learn siSwati and has been in the area since 1992.

A participant of the STAR project she was familiar with UP.

Home language of teacher

STAR participant

The teacher doesn

’t follow guidelines

About the classroom: 6 Sep 2012

We observed both a Maths and an English class.

Some posters were both in English and siSwati, while another one was in Zulu. There were different charts; weather chart, birthday chart, days of the week, and months of the year chart in the classroom.

Charts

After more research I realised the NB of the classroom to promote language development.

Although the classroom had plenty of posters but they were not ordered and there were duplicates. Different alphabet -word association posters.

Charts

There were posters and birthday charts they were from the previous teacher. There was no evidence of the learners' work.

Student work

Initially impressed but then found out that the drawings were not made by the learners and it was just done to comply with dept. regulation.

I found out later that these were from a different teacher.

E - 2

No Comments

20

21

22

The learner were arranged traditionally and the teacher had her desk at the back of the classroom. All the exercise books were on tables at the back of the classroom.

I did not notice any dictionaries in the classrooms.

About the Maths Lesson: 6 Sep 2012

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

Initial Code

Organisation

Dictionaries

Reflections

The children were well behaved and knew the daily routine.

The class had to confirm the weather and show it on the weather chart.

Then they had to update the daily calendar which had not been updated since 15 th

August

Most of the lesson was done in siSwati with occasional English words like in the numbers and counting

The children recited the Lord

’s Prayer in

English and sang some other songs in siSwati.

The children had to count in 25s from 450 and then backwards- orally and then she showed them on the board.

This was followed by calculations using the number line.

After a couple of examples each child was asked to do a sum on the board

They were only given books, paper and pens much later to complete the exercise on their own.

The teacher left after break and the learners were left on their own. The learners did not seem anxious about this.

Learner behaviour

Discipline

Weather chart

Role of L1

Role of L1

It seemed very difficult for the learners to do

Resources

Reduced engagement

About the English Lesson: 6 Sep 2012

The English lesson consists of reading out a passage followed by the learners repeating what the teacher read. There was no dramatisation used to read the story.

The learners could not understand basic

English greeting and spoke siSwati or hand gestured to us

Once completed the learners had to do a comprehension test.

It took a long time to hand out the books and start the comprehension test. The teacher then sat at the back of the class for almost 15 min without interacting with the learners.

The teacher explained the consent forms to the learners who were then asked to write their names on the forms.

The learners seem to struggle with this. Most of them only wrote their first name.

Teaching practice

Learner English knowledge

Teaching practice

Transition

Learner's writing skills

Fist and only time I heard the learners signing.

Teaching at wrong knowledge level of the learner

E - 3

No Comments

40

Other info: 6 Sep 2013

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

We were invited to tea with the teachers after the lesson. It was good to interact with on a more personal level. Interestingly the male teachers did not join us.

Lesson plan: 6 Sep 2012

The different types of weather, introduction of

'all' sounds and poem reading activities were not presented. No phonic work done.

An audio taped should have been played to the class

Independent activity consisted of answering the questions.

The lesson was for 45 mins of which almost 20 was not spent teaching.

Principal input: 6 Sep 2012

I had a chat with the principal to find out about the school, the community and what he thought were the challenges

There are 4 permanent teachers at the school and the others are volunteers.

Debriefing: 6 Sept 2012

I was frustrated that there was so much unproductive time in the classroom. In the schools my sons went to the teacher made so much effort to teach them while here it seemed like a glorified baby sitting service. There were so many things I would do differently if I was a teacher at this school. The teacher did not seem resourceful and passionate about what she was doing. The principal did not seem there to support his teacher. I had the feeling that he saw his role as a manager and had to attend department meetings. Dr Omidire helped to clarifying some questions raised during the observations, and also made me aware of my own value system and personal prejudices regarding teaching and teachers.

Driving to the schools, the remoteness of the settlements struck me. The roads were bad and there were groups of children walking to school. Some children, I thought, were too young to be walking on their own. The schools were bigger than I imaged and better resourced than I had expected. In school A there was even a healthy-looking vegetable garden. The classrooms were filled with posters and drawings. However, on closer inspection, I noticed the ceilings were falling in, the windows were broken and there was no electricity

Initial Code

Informal interaction

Activities not completed

Resources

Independence?

Teaching time

Interview Principal

School composition

Personal values

Reflections

School does not have a tape recorder

Personally, I find it difficult not to give something in return for a service offered, and I was very conscious during the data- collection process that I was receiving more than I was giving and did not want the participants to feel used at the end of the experience

E - 4

No Comments

52

Learners books: 8 Sep 2012

53

Analysis of the photos of the visually documented learner exercise books revealed that incorrect punctuation, grammar errors and poor sentence structure were not identified by the teachers

Initial Code Reflections

Exercise books

E - 5

54

55

56

57

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

Comments Initial Code Reflections

About the classroom: 5 Sep 2012

The class routine is well entrenched and everyone seemed to know what to do. Both a

Maths and English class was observed. More of the CLOS-R categories were observed in the

Maths lesson than in the English one. There seemed to be a good rapport between the learners and teacher. The learners seemed to feel comfortable going to her and asking questions.

Discipline

Again, no dictionaries visible in this classroom Dictionaries

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

About the Maths lesson: 5 Sep 2012

The lesson included games and she used different methods to teach concepts to explain fractions. She seemed to build on prior knowledge. Her interaction with the learners was both inclusive and exclusive. The teacher made sure everyone contributed but then she would make a degrading remark and even threw a book at a learner. The teacher had a powerful role and the learners took turns cleaning the board, handing out books etc.

She tried to relate the concepts to things the children would understand and promised sweets to the learners who got the answer right. No sweets were given out though. The learners were got turns to divide fruit on the board into fractions but they way she made them divide it did not make sense to me e.g. dividing an orange horizontally.

The learners were arranged traditionally and the teacher had her desk in the front of the classroom. All the exercise books were on tables at the back of the classroom.

The teacher had a powerful role and the learners took turns cleaning the board, handing out books etc.

Organisation

Discipline

About the English lesson: 5 Sep 2012

65

The learner were all given books their reading books and she started the by

….She read the story in English and then translated into siSwati and Zulu. The learners did not always understand what was happening and some were even on the wrong page.

E - 6

No Comments

66

67

68

69

70

71

During the English class the teacher corrected mispronounced words. Both the teacher and the class would praise individual learners when they got the correct answer. There was a whole routine when someone got the answer right.

Initially, it seemed to be a nice way of reinforcing behaviour but then it became repetitive with no distinction between different types of performance and took up a lot of instruction the class time. After the story the learners took turns writing words with "ll" in them. When the learners were writing on the board she made them check for mistakes.

Teacher 2 seemed to encourage comprehension of the text. She tried to get the learner to think beyond the text by asking what they would take with on a fishing trip. I was not sure how many learners had actually been fishing though. She went through all the answers verbally with the class and then asked to learners to write them in their books.

The teacher hardly spoke English.

Not understanding siSwati or Zulu was a problem and I think it might be a barrier in the research.

Although I had explained that we were just observing she kept on trying to include Funke & myself in her instruction. She tried to teach us some Zulu words and showed us which words are similar to siSwati and Zulu but mean different things.

She would start a sentence and wait for the learners to complete it but they hardly did.

Initial Code

Learners well done song

Comprehension

Role of L1

My L1 knowledge

Including us in class

Reflections

After watching the video recorded lesson her methods did not seem effective

Teaching style

72

73

74

There was a learner whose desk was bigger than everyone else making it difficult for her to write on. Although there was a spare desk the learner was not asked to move nor was she asked allowed to answer any of the questions even with her hand up most of the time.

All the learners had access to the reading material in the class of Teacher 2, but not all the learners were following what was being read and some even had their books open on the wrong page.

Other info: 5 Sep 2013

Awareness of learners needs

75

After the lesson were invited to a hearty lunch with the teachers. The teachers seemed more comfortable talking to us here. Male teachers were not at the lunch.

Informal interaction

E - 7

No Comments

76

Lesson plan: 5 Sept 2012

77

78

The 'ss' and 'ff' sounds should also be explained

” but only the ‘ll’ sound was covered in the lesson. The teacher was supposed to discuss the animals, their habitat and which animals can be found in the water. None of this was observed. The learners had to draw pictures of animals.

It was a 45 min lesson, with wasted given out books. The teacher asked us if she could end the lesson.

79

Debriefing: 5 Sept 2012

Initial Code Reflections

Activities not completed

80

The atmosphere was different at this school.

The principal seem to work closely with her teachers. All the staff seemed to support each other. The school seemed more organised. Dr

Omidire also noticed this.

Personal values

81

82

83

84

85

86

87

88

Learners books: 8 Sep 2012

Similar findings to the learners' books in School

A.

Meeting everyone again 12 Mar 2013

The staff were friendly making Photostats for the assessments of the day. The principal was sick. The learners were left mostly on their own while the photocopies were made. The focus was only doing the assessments so no other lessons seemed to be presented. We decided to return the next day to speak more with the principal and the teacher.

Observing the class or doing any interviews would be out of the question today. An appointment was made for Friday for the interview. There was confusion about the appropriate time but then the principal was called and 9:00 was set.

Exercise books

Reponses to researcher

Handed out gifts

– nought and Easter eggs

Gifts for learners

We decided to try and do the interview earlier

(Thurs). Initially the teacher seemed agitated but then agreed. The interview too place during lunch so as not to interfere with any classwork. She seemed more relaxed and spoke easily about her past and previous experiences

Interview 12 Mar 2013

89

During the interview I confirmed information from previous interactions at the school and classroom observations.

90

T3 not qualified busy with ACE Qualification

E - 8

No Comments

91

Teacher and principal help each other out e.g. she will explain accounting concepts to EMS students because she has a Business

Management Diploma.

92

Parental support is available with some children. The role of education is seen as the responsibility of the teachers

93

94

95

96

Initial Code

Teacher support

Parental support

Learners struggle with both English and siSwati

Language proficiency

Not being able to punish learners is limiting in teaching

Punishment

Problems are perceived as physical e.g. machines or poverty.

Got into teaching by doing ABET training -

2002-2003, 2004 ?, 2005 -2009 taught at another school, Grade 4 & & Maths ants NS as a volunteer.

Challenges

Experience

Reflections

E - 9

97

98

99

100

101

102

103

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Comments

Meeting everyone again 12 Mar 2013

Initial Code

The principal was not there when we arrived but the teachers were expecting us.

There was a more positive and welcoming feeling at the school, even Teacher 1 was friendly and talkative and explained the changes at the school.

Last year there was talk about the school and joining School B so I was not quite sure what to except.

Teachers approach to researcher

School Changes

Although I had confirmed that I was coming months ago, when I called to remind him the principal said it was an inappropriate time because the school was busy with assessments.

However he did agree to me observing a class but arranged it was the wrong Grade.

104

105

106

107

108

109

110

111

112

113

114

115

The clearner/cook was doing all the photocopying for the assessments that day.

There was no one to help her or check that it was being done correctly.

Teacher 1 was now teaching the Grade 4s.

However, the new Grade 3 teacher was helpful and agreed to let me observe her teaching.

School Changes

School Changes 12 Mar 2013

The principal agreed to be interviewed on

Tuesday as did Teacher 1 and Teacher 3. The setting was more informal at the school and the principal was not there for the day. At tea time we offered to make tea and coffee but no supplies were available. Deslea shared her tea from Australia but without sugar it was not well received. The women don

’t sit with the men teachers at all.

School

Lost a fulltime teacher in the foundation phase School changes

No replacement made so the work load had to be shared among the remaining teachers

School changes

Foundation Phase teachers teach a subject rather than a whole class.

Grade 2 & 3 are taught together in a class

School changes

School changes

School changes 3 teachers teaching 4 grades.

There are 120 children in the school with 6 teachers, of which 3 are volunteers and probably not qualified.

Although it was assessment week, we did not see any assessments being done. The children are often left on their own without any supervision or classwork.

Handed out gifts

– nought and Easter eggs. school composition

Engagements

Gifts for learners

Reflections

E - 10

No Comments

116

About the classroom: 12 Sep 2013

117

118

The classroom had not changed from last year.

The learners was divided into three groups. 2 sets of Photostats given out per and table. Each table had 5 learners at a table so they had to share the copies made. When the class were asked to look for words they were allowed to move to the front of the class.

English class observed: 12 Sep 2013

119

120

Initial Code

Organisation

The teacher seemed to have a good rapport with the learners. She was not overly strict.

Rapport

Her teaching style was mostly teacher cantered. Discipline

121

Her voice clarity was good.

122

The story was read in English and then translated into siSwati, line for line. After the teacher had read the story to the learners, each table had to read a paragraph as a group out aloud. Two flash cards were presented and

‘moon’ and ‘boot’. Later she incorporated the information from Prof Konza and introduced a third sound.

123

The class were asked to look up words with the sound in the text and then look for words around the classroom on the posters. The learners had to make up words with the wormy letters.

Voice

Structure

Working in groups

124

She also encouraged learners to share in the literacy learning with others through the wordbuilding game. In

125

The teacher mentioned that the children were divided with at least one strong reader in each group but later she mentioned that she did not know who the good or poor students were.

126

127

Nothing was written out and understanding not checked.

In her class the learning experience was pleasurable for the learners and the class was energetic and enthusiastic

Stimulating

Differentiation?

Stimulating

Lesson plan

128

129

130

Vocabulary development lacked word depth and breadth instruction, for example Teacher 3 concentrated on the words with the

‘oo’ sound like floor, broom and moon without giving any context for the words

Lesson plan: 12 Sept 2013

The lesson plan was only given after the observation of Teacher 3's class and revealed that little time was spent on building vocabulary as there was "no discussion of the pictures and story" . As a speaking exercise the learners were supposed to name different parts of the house and name things from the garden.

Vocabulary

Activities not done

E - 11

Reflections

No Comments

131

Other info: 12 Sep 2013

132

133

134

135

There was some confusion about who was going and what time the school would be closed so the interview with Teacher 1 was postponed.

The children were much friendlier and interacted more with us, greeting and asking how we were.

We invited ourselves for tea only to realise that the school did not have refreshments available to its staff.

About the school 13 Mar 2013

136

137

138

Initial Code Reflections

Learners approach to researcher

Welcoming

Poverty

The principal was not there and the male teachers came to assist us. He therefore did not make the interview.

Principal involvement

About Grade 1 & 2 lesson 13 Mar 2013

We observed Teacher 1 teach the Grade 1 and

2s English. Each class was taught separately.

Organisation

139

140

141

The classroom had been rearranged to accommodate the child who could not see.

The chairs were reorganised when the writing exercises had to start.

The

‘blind boy’ was at the back totally ignored.

While the grade 2s were being taught the grade

1

’s had to just sit and keep quiet.

Debriefing

Differentiation?

142

Prof Konza was with on this trip and it was great having her input on the observations.

Overall had a more positive experience. I felt more welcome and was impressed with the passion Teacher 3 taught. She seemed to understand the importance of education.

Personal values

143

Other info 5 May 2013

144

Although I had practiced using the recording equipment it proved to be quite a challenge in the classroom. There was no time beforehand to set up, and the lighting in the class was not ideal. It was also difficult to position the camera to see what the teacher and the learners were doing. The camera had to be moved often, making the floor the focal point. Also, I had not taken into consideration the limited access to electricity and the length of time it takes to charge the Samsung tablet.

Video and camera skills

E - 12

No Comments

145

Learners books: 15 Sep 2013

146

Similar findings as to last year.

147

148

Member checking: 12 Sep 2013

At school A, I meet with both teachers.

149

I confirmed that the teachers understand the concept of grouping, qualifications, school structure and homework policy.

Initial Code Reflections

Later I also realised that there were no encouraging comments in any of the learner books, not even a smiley face or star.

E - 13

APPENDIX F

PHOTOGRAPHS

CONTENTS

Photographs

Teacher 1 School A

Teacher 2 School B

Teacher 3 School A

Types of photographs:

Classroom posters

Written exercises

Exercise books page

F - 2

F - 8

F - 13

F - 1

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Classroom posters

04-Sep-12

F - 2

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Lesson Plans

05-Sep-12

F - 3

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Written exercise

06-Sep-12

F - 4

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Written exercise cont.

06-Sep-12

F - 5

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Exercise Book - Learner 1

04-Sep-12

F - 6

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Exercise Book - Learner 2

04-Sep-12

F - 7

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

Classroom

05-Sep-12

F - 8

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

Lesson plan

05-Sep-12

F - 9

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

Written exercise

06-Sep-12

F - 10

Teacher 2: School B

Exercise book - Learner 1

05-Sep-12

F - 11

Teacher 2: School B

Exercise book - Learner 2

05-Sep-12

F - 12

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Exercise book - Learner 1

12-Sep-13

`

F - 13

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Exercise book - Learner 2

12-Mar-13

`

F - 14

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Exercise book - Learner 2

12-Mar-13

F - 15

APPENDIX G

CODING PROCESS

CONTENTS

Guide used for Qualitative Coding

CLOS-R

Guidelines for CLOS-R Scoring page

G - 2

G - 7

G - 8

G - 1

Theme 1: Instruction

Subtheme: Content

Explicit Instruction

Opportunity to practice

Assessment

Final

Indicator

Purpose

Grammar

Vocabulary development

Similarities between L1 and

L2

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

Meaning making

Homework

Coding guide

Activities in lesson plan & teachers guide

Initial Codes

Initial indicators

Activities not done, activities not completed, actives introduced by teacher, teaching aids

Language explanations

Lesson plan, teacher doesn't follow guidelines

Grammar

Teaching style

Teaching style, explanation of words, sentences etc. in

English and siSwati

Direct comparison between L1

& L2

Answering questions about what was read, comprehensi on, checking knowledge

Looking at text, teaching practice

Vocabulary

Role of L1

Learners answering questions about story

Reading

Vocabulary

Similarities betw L1 & l2

Reading

Exercise books

Learners responses L2

Meaning

Afterschool

Examples in exercise books, board, answering comprehension questions

Independence, learner answers questions

Asking learners questions about text

Homework - teachers

Teaching style

Meaning

Formative assessment

Assessments

Asking learners questions and changing instruction accordingly

Formative assessment

G - 2

Feedback

Subtheme: Process

Scaffolding

Flexible grouping

Subtheme: Product

Assessment

Final

Indicator

Modelling

Bridging

Contextualisatio n

Schema building

Text representation

Purposeful instruction

Language practice

Learning style

Community building

Final

Indicator

Progress monitoring assessment

Explicit error correction

Indirect error correction

Explicit affirmation

Implicit affirmation

Explanation of rule

Coding guide

Helping learners

Helping learners

Helping learners

Helping learners

Initial Codes

Pronunciation, spelling, feedback

Connecting with other knowledge

Linking to curriculum transferring info learners expresses understanding in writing exercise

Initial indicators

Modelling, bridging,

Working in groups

Working in groups

Working in groups

Working in groups

Coding guide

Assessment s

Feedback

Feedback

Feedback

Feedback

Feedback

Grouping learners

Initial Codes

Initial indicators

Asking learners questions and changing instruction, assessment according to

CAPS, track learning

Teachers says its wrong explaining what was wrong

Teachers says its wrong without explaining what, no

Teacher stating why correct/wrong

Thank you song, acknowledgement s -thank you, good, etc.

Assessment

Explicit affirmation

Teaching something specific

Explanation of rule, teaching point

G - 3

Theme 2: Environment

Subtheme: Learning

Environment

Physical arrangement

Room design

Psychological climate

Literary resources

Organisation

Resources

Wall charts

Charts,

Resources

Content themes Resources

Evidence of the learners

’ work

Learner participation

Classroom management

Student work

Including learners, facilitation, excitement

Rapport, discipline, transition, instruction, punishment, learner behaviour

Cultural inclusivity layout of room

Reading books, dictionary, stationary, tape recorder, text books

Wall charts, weather

Content based charts

Learners work

Include learners to participate

Routine, discipline, managing behaviour and lesson

Classroom management

Talks about culture/commu nity

Subtheme: Home

Environment

Economic factors

Literacy Practices

Availability of resources

Employment

Shared reading activities

Educational level

Financial difficulties, feeding scheme

Unemployment, community, social

Literacy support from home, parental support, parental involvement

Literacy skills of care givers

Work, resources, learner uniforms

Type of work

Homework - caregiver support

Print exposure.

Proficiency level, basic reading skills

Community life style

G - 4

Theme 3: Role of the Teacher

Subtheme: Knowledge

Specialist

Instructional knowledge

Final

Indicator

Coding guide

CAPS Training Training

Language knowledge

Subtheme: Learner Expert

Readiness

Interest

Learning Profile

Qualification

Teaching

Experience

Pronunciation

Meaningful interaction

Functional use of L1

Final

Indicator

Language proficiency

Pre

Assessment

Connecting to prior knowledge

Thinking style

Initial Codes

Qualification,

ABET

CAPS training

Training to teach foundation phase,

L2

Volunteer, experience, grade exp, employment status

Teaching experience at school and in

Grade 3

Teacher literacy skills

Role of L1

Type of interactions with learners in L2, home language

Explaining things so that learners can understand & explain things

Coding guide

Learner skills, English skills, readiness, home language skills

Initial Codes

Teacher knows the learners skills

Assessments

Assessment to determine learners knowledge

What do learners like

How do the different learners learn

Initial indicators

Initial indicators

G - 5

Categories

Other

Community

Challenges

School

Role of L1

Reading

Presentation

Drop our rate

Resources

Teachers

Learners

Principal involvement

Autonomy of teacher

Extramural

Teacher support

Discipline

Classroom management

Classroom management - general

Feedback

Final Indicator

Biographical

CAPS

Summative

Academic low

Involvement

Knowledge

Dealing with learners

Teaching

Attendance

Coding guide

Biographical information regarding teacher

CAPS info - reading frequency

Initial Codes

Reading

Assessment

Government required assessments

Asking learners not to write long sentence, not challenging learners

Community involvement

Community knowledge

How they deal with difficulties from learners

Challenges in teaching

Reduced engagement, learner attendance

Language proficiency of teacher

Voice

Learners completing school

Resources

Getting members of community to help

Teachers knows community

Workload, learner proficiency, resources

School teaching time

Reads L2 books

Support from other teachers

G - 6

Dimension s

CLOS-R

Instructional

Practices

1 Rapport

2 Credibility

3 Citizenship

4 Purpose

5 Substance

6

7

Explanation word

Explanation sentence

8 Explanation text

9 Metalanguage

10 Oral language

11

Oral/written language

12 Awareness

13 Environment

14 Structure

15 Independence

16 Pace

17 Transition

18 Attention

19 Stimulation

20 Assessment

21 Scaffolding

22 Feedback

23

Responsivenes s

24 Persistence

25 Challenge

26 Inclusion

27 Connection

Explanation

The teacher creates a warm, positive and inviting classroom where relationships with children encourage literacy learning.

Children

’s respect for the teacher enables her to maintain order and lesson flow.

The teacher promotes equality, tolerance, inclusively and awareness of the needs of others.

Children

’s responses indicate tacit or explicit understanding of the purpose of the literacy task.

The teacher provides a lesson/task that leads to substantial literacy engagement, not busy-work.

The teacher clearly explains specific word, letter or sound strategies or concepts.

The teacher clearly explains specific grammatical strategies or concepts.

The teacher clearly explains specific textual strategies or concepts.

The teacher provides children with language for talking about and exemplifying literacy concepts.

The teacher focuses on the development of children

’s oral language.

The teacher makes logical connections between oral and written language.

The teacher has a high level of awareness of literacy activities and participation by children.

The teacher uses the literate physical environment as a resource

The teacher manages a predictable environment in which children understand consistent literacy routines.

Children take some responsibility for their own literacy learning.

The teacher provides strong forward momentum in literacy lessons.

The teacher spends minimal time changing activities or uses this time productively.

The teacher ensures that children are focused on the literacy task.

The teacher motivates interest in literacy through the creation of a pleasurable, enthusiastic and energetic classroom.

The teacher uses fine-grained knowledge of children

’s literacy performance in planning and teaching.

The teacher extends literacy learning through reinforcement, modification or modelling.

The teacher intervenes in timely, focused, tactful and explicit ways that support children

’s literacy learning.

The teacher is flexible in sharing and building on children

’s literacy contribution.

The teacher provides many opportunities to practise and master new literacy learning.

The teacher extends and promotes higher levels of thinking in literacy learning.

The teacher differentiates literacy instruction to recognise individual needs.

The teacher makes connections between class or community literacy-related knowledge for individuals or groups.

G - 7

T-1 T-2 T-3

-

ü -

-

-

-

ü ü ü

ü -

ü ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

ü ü

-

-

-

ü

-

ü

-

ü

ü -

ü ü ü

ü ü ü

-

-

ü ü ü

-

-

-

-

-

-

ü

-

ü ü ü

ü

ü ü ü

ü

-

ü ü ü

ü -

- -

ü

-

- -

ü

-

- -

- - -

-

Guidelines for CLOS-R Scoring

Distinguishing between different dimensions to help scoring

Rapport

Credibility

Citizenship

Purpose

Persistence

Challenge

Stimulation

Substance

Oral language

Oral/written language

Awareness

Attention feeling in classroom, ’good’ ‘thank you’ ‘song’ discipline inclusiveness learner’s response indicates understanding of literacy task opportunities to practice using different skills promotes higher order thinking motivates learning, creates an interest in literacy tasks learner engagement – not busy work encourages learners to speak, express themselves how spoken language is represented as text

Structure

Pace

Transition

Scaffolding aware of individual needs, individual participation learner is focused on a specific activity e.g. on the correct page, doing what they are expected to be doing explains the next topic moving from one task to the next, forward moving moving quickly from one activity to the next, timeously the right exercise

Feedback

Responsiveness techniques to promote learning, modelling, reinforcing, bridging, meta-schema anticipates errors, focusing on learners responses builds on learner’s contribution, flexible instruction

G - 8

APPENDIX H

TEACHERS GUIDES

CONTENTS

Lesson Plan and Workbook used by leaners

Teacher 1 School A 06 September 2012

Teacher 2 School B

Teacher 3 School A

05 September 2012

12 September 2012 page

H - 2

H - 5

H - 8

H - 1

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Lesson Plan

06-Sep-12

H - 2

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Workbook lesson

06-Sep-12

H - 3

TEACHER 1: SCHOOL A

Workbook lesson cont.

06-Sep-12

H - 4

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Lesson Plan

05-Sep 2012

H - 5

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

Workbook lesson

05-Sep-12

H - 6

TEACHER 2: SCHOOL B

Workbook lesson cont.

05-Sep-12

H - 7

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Lesson Plan

12-Mar-2013

H - 8

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Workbook lesson

12-Mar-2013

H - 9

TEACHER 3: SCHOOL A

Workbook lesson cont.

12-Mar-2013

H - 10

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