Reading & Writing

Articles

Vol. 8, No. 1, 2017

Reading Competency of First-Year Undergraduate Students at University of Botswana: A Case Study
IntroductionThe ability to read and interpret textbooks and other assigned material is a critical component of success at university level. Reading skills form the basis for learning and are an important element for obtaining knowledge in academic learning...
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Vol. 7, No. 1, 2016

Promoting Reading Skills or Wasting Time? Students' Perceived Benefits of Reading in an Intermediary Programme at the Vaal University of Technology
IntroductionEducation in South Africa, and more specifically tertiary education, continues to face challenges. Sutherland (2009:4) states that the South African government has addressed the inequalities perpetuated during the apartheid era and continues...
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Word Recognition Strategies Amongst isiXhosa/English Bilingual Learners: The Interaction of Orthography and Language of Learning and Teaching
Word recognition: A complex interplay of orthography, language structure, and cognitive skillsRapid and effortless word recognition is a major component of fluent reading (Aaron et al. 1999; Invernizzi & Hayes 2010:196). Although reading straddles...
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A Longitudinal Study of a Reading Project in the Northern Cape, South Africa
Introduction'Reading in decline in South Africa'; 'SA schools at rock bottom in international assessments'; 'South Africa is a nation of dunces, international comparisons show'; 'Too late to fix for next generation?' shout the media headlines every time...
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The Story of a Narrative: Teaching and Assessing English Writing in a Township School
Introduction and problem statementIn a globalising world increasingly networked through multiple modes of literacy, writing is becoming arguably more important than it ever was. For schooling systems, effective engagement with the contemporary world...
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Automaticity in Reading isiZulu
IntroductionRecent years have seen a surge of policy supporting the use of indigenous languages in Africa (Trudell 2010), but literature about reading in African languages is sparse. The article reports on indications of automaticity in a study of competent...
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First-Year Students' Essay Writing Practices: Formative Feedback and Interim Literacies
IntroductionThe place of feedback in written assessments cannot be overemphasised. Several researchers have examined feedback in assessment practices from different perspectives (Clark 2012; Dornbrack & Dixon 2014; Elton 2010; Mathew & Sternberg...
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Are We Teaching Critical Literacy? Reading Practices in a Township Classroom
IntroductionThe access to and acquisition of English are complex and uneven endeavours. Prinsloo's research (2012) in three different school contexts in South Africa shows that teachers and learners have access to different types of English, depending...
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Cultural and Social Uses of Orality and Functional Literacy: A Narrative Approach
IntroductionLesotho is a landlocked and mountainous country completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Studies show that 90% of the total area of Lesotho's 30 350 km is only suitable for ruminant grazing (Zvomuya 2013). Livestock management...
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Authentic Learning for Teaching Reading: Foundation Phase Pre-Service Student Teachers' Learning Experiences of Creating and Using Digital Stories in Real Classrooms
IntroductionThe important role of storytelling in young children's learning experiences cannot be underestimated. Matthews-DeNatale (2008:2) supports this view by emphasising the close link between storytelling and meaning-making (the essence of learning...
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Exploring Writing Apprehension Amongst Afrikaans-Speaking First-Year Students
IntroductionThis article explores writing apprehension amongst first-year students in a compulsory academic literacy module and a student-selected Afrikaans linguistics module at a South African university. Daly and Miller (1975a:244), in reference to...
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Promoting Literacy through Reading Programmes for First-Year University Students
IntroductionLiteracy is a paramount concern for academics teaching in higher education. Although South Africa may boast a youth literacy rate of 98.8% (Literacy Rate - Youth Total in Trading Economics 2015) with women being slightly higher at 99.27%...
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Vol. 7, No. 2, 2016

'You're in FunDzaland': Pre-Service Teachers (Re)imagine Audience on a Creative Writing Course
Introduction and overview of argumentAudience is a central concept in writing and literacy pedagogies, yet it has seldom been conceptualised in relation to imagination. This study focuses on an undergraduate creative short story-writing course for pre-service...
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'I Got Content with Who I Was': Rural Teachers' Encounters with New Ways of Practising Literacy
IntroductionImagination is seldom considered in relation to in-service teacher development initiatives for literacy teachers. Many workshops and interventions for in-service teachers have been introduced in response to South African learners' poor performance...
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Languaging in and about Lunyole: African Storybook Materials as a Catalyst for Re-Imagining Literacy Teaching and Learning in Two Ugandan Primary Schools
IntroductionIn June 2015, USAID and the Uganda School Health and Reading Program (USHRP) reported findings from research into the reading achievements of Grades 1-3 learners in selected Ugandan schools. The recommendations section of this report reads...
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Drawings as Imaginative Expressions of Philosophical Ideas in a Grade 2 South African Literacy Classroom
IntroductionIn this article, we report on an early literacy research project that focused on how young children respond philosophically1 - not artistically, or psychologically2 - to a carefully selected picture book. Our findings show how the young children...
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Imagination and Literacy: Introduction to the Special Issue
IntroductionThe book The Little Prince by writer, poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery (published in 1943) has delighted readers of all ages and continues to fascinate and enthral until today. The story draws on Saint-Exupery's own experiences as...
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Imagination, Waldorf, and Critical Literacies: Possibilities for Transformative Education in Mainstream Schools
'Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.' - Rudolf SteinerIntroductionImagine a world in which all human beings are actively engaged in imagining and working...
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Vol. 6, No. 1, 2015

The Relationship between Self-Efficacy and Reading Proficiency of First-Year Students: An Exploratory Study
IntroductionIt has been widely acknowledged that self-efficacy, which is the belief in one's ability to successfully perform a task, plays an important role in learning (Amil 2000; Bandura 1986; Liem, Lau & Nie 2008; Loo & Choy 2013; Pajares...
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The Structure and Features of the SMS Language Used in the Written Work of Communication English I Students at a University in South Africa
IntroductionShort message service (SMS) language - also known as text messaging - has become a subject of a number of studies in recent times. One of the focal areas of these studies has been on features of SMS language, especially of young or teenage...
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'One Day I Will Pick Up a Snake, Wanting to Read It': Becoming a Successful Reader in a Rural Environment
IntroductionZhang (2006:583), reviewing the Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality (SACMEQ) findings for 2000, shows that rural children lag behind their counterparts in cities. This is confirmed by other large scale...
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Teaching of Writing in Two Rural Multigrade Classes in the Western Cape
IntroductionTo improve social cohesiveness of all South Africans in a non-discriminating society, the South African Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy (South Africa, Department of Education 2001a) was drafted. This document and the White Paper...
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Agency and Intermediate Phase Writing in a Farm School
IntroductionTransnational tests have revealed weaknesses in South African children's performance in literacy, especially in their ability to originate and comprehend meaning in their language of learning and teaching (LoLT). This project contributes...
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An Investigation into the English Reading Comprehension of Grade 10 English First Additional Language Learners at a Senior Secondary School
IntroductionPoor levels of English first additional language (EFAL) reading comprehension among school learners at most public schools in South Africa are a great concern. To this end, reading interventions are mounted at different intervals not only...
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The Impact of an Academic Reading Programme in the Bachelor of Education (Intermediate and Senior Phase) Degree
IntroductionResearch indicates that both local and international first year students struggle with the reading load that is required at tertiary level (Van Schalkwyk 2008; Bharuthram 2006:269; 2012:205; FalkRoss 2002). Bharuthram (2006:268) states that...
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Opening Up a Philosophical Space in Early Literacy with Little Beauty by Anthony Browne and the Movie King Kong
Early literacy in South AfricaThe complex reasons for learners' underachievement in literacy in South African government primary schools are well documented (Fleisch 2008, 2012; National Education Evaluation and Development Unit 2013). However, what...
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Freirean Principles and Critical Literacy to Counter Retrograde Impulses in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement
Introduction[T]he curricula of schools are other people's knowledge, imposed on students. Not surprisingly, some students do not bother to make personal sense of this knowledge but merely play the school 'game' of rote learning and reproducing the curriculum...
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Training Grade R Teachers to Impart Visual Perceptual Skills for Early Reading
IntroductionIn South Africa there is consensus that 'getting basic education right' is foundational for the future of this country. When national Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga spoke about the importance of the Grade Reception Phase (R) programme...
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Receptive Vocabulary and Early Literacy Skills in Emergent Bilingual Northern Sotho-English Children
IntroductionYoung children need to learn thousands of new words during their formal schooling years in order to comprehend the (mostly written) content of their school work. According to Wolf (2008):[W]hen one realizes that children have to learn about...
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Nigerian Creole as Language of Instruction: Will Nigerian Lecturers Use Nigerian Creole?
BackgroundLanguage of instruction is an indispensable part of teaching and learning. Spoken and written language influences thought patterns and helps teachers and learners vocalise their ideas and assume any role of their choice during instruction (Cazden...
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Broken Promises - A Novel's Impact on Shaping Youth Identity
IntroductionIn this article we focus on the gender constructions of girls and boys in contemporary youth literature from a South African context. Novels that youths read in schools are often read without any discussion. In such cases, students' knowledge...
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Vol. 5, No. 1, 2014

The Impact of Poor Working Memory Skills on a Grade 2 Learner's Written and Oral Literacy Performance
IntroductionThis research aims to examine the effects of poor working memory skills on a Grade 2 leamer and explores how these difficulties impact on his performance in literacy. Working memory is a mental workspace that can be used flexibly to support...
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Towards a More Explicit Writing Pedagogy: The Complexity of Teaching Argumentative Writing
IntroductionAdvances in technology, changes in communication practices and the imperatives of the workplace point to a repositioning of the role of writing in the global context. Brandt (2009:54) notes that 'more and more people around the world are...
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Integration of Sources in Academic Writing: A Corpus-Based Study of Citation Practices in Essay Writing in Two Departments at the University of Botswana
IntroductionThis article describes and interprets findings from a small corpus of non-native undergraduate essays from two departments at the University of Botswana. The analysis focuses on how students use citations to report the work of other writers,...
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Reading Is Very Important, But.: Taking Stock of South African Student Teachers' Reading Habits
IntroductionThrough exploring the contradiction between student teachers' acknowledgement of the importance of reading and their personal reading habits, this article is an attempt to take stock of future teachers' attitudes towards reading. It does...
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Developing Early Readers: Patterns in Introducing Critical Reading Skills and Strategies to South African Children
IntroductionA universally accepted goal of primary education is the mastery of reading comprehension, since reading comprehension provides the basis for most learning that takes place in secondary school (Sporer, Brunstein & Kieschke 2009). This...
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Lessons Learnt: Observation of Grade 4 Reading Comprehension Teaching in South African Schools across the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2006 Achievement Spectrum
IntroductionThe majority of the evidence of South African learners' poor development in reading literacy comes from learners' results in primary level national (Department of Education [DoE] 2005), regional (Moloi & Chetty 2010) and international...
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Reviewing Published Information on Reading in Botswana Secondary Schools
IntroductionIn 2007 the authors were awarded a grant to conduct a review of the languages of literacy education in Botswana. That review was used, in part, for a case study the co-author completed on San Junior Secondary students' understanding of literacy...
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Reading Strategies Used by Grade 9 English Second Language Learners in a Selected School
IntroductionThe literature has shown that awareness of the reading process and reading strategy use of readers can improve learners' reading comprehension (Porter 2010; Wessels 2007). According to Tercanlioglu (2004:12), reading strategies are specific...
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Influence of Pre-Question and Genre-Based Instructional Strategies on Reading
IntroductionReading problems are a global issue. Hock and Mellard (2005:192) referred to the National Adult Literacy Survey which revealed 'that nearly half of all adults in the United States of America, or 90 million people, scored in the two lowest...
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Vol. 4, No. 1, 2013

'Not Waiting for the Initiative to Arrive': Teachers Promoting and Sustaining Reading
IntroductionDespite these factors, teachers' limited content knowledge (Taylor & Vinjevold 1999) and poor time on task (Hammerness et al. 2005) continue to bedevil South African schooling. It is self-defeating to criticise instrumental, performative...
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Digital Literacy in Ugandan Teacher Education: Insights from a Case Study
IntroductionInformation and Communication Technology (ICT) is taking root steadily in the wider Ugandan society (Andema 2009; Edejer 2000; Mutonyi & Norton 2007; Nawaguna 2005). In 2006 the Ugandan government launched a national ICT policy framework...
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Exploring Relationships between Reading Attitudes, Reading Ability and Academic Performance Amongst Primary Teacher Trainees in Swaziland
IntroductionAttitudes to reading for leisure were examined in a Swazi context featuring teacher trainees enrolled for the Primary Teacher's Diploma at a Teacher Training College in Manzini, Swaziland. The basis for the study was that the affective domain...
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Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies of University of Botswana English as Second Language Students of Different Academic Reading Proficiencies
IntroductionThe importance of the reading skill in academic contexts has made it imperative for second language researchers to find out how students can be helped to deal with academic reading and writing tasks. Researchers have explored reading strategies...
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Writing Skills and Strategies of Bilingual Immigrant Students Learning Greek as a Second Language and English as a Foreign Language
IntroductionThe reason for conducting this study stems from the growing number of second-language students in Greek primary schools since Greece has been an immigrant-receiving country for the last two decades. Given the fact that immigrant children...
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An Assessment of the Reading Motivation Skills of Nigerian Primary School Teachers: Implications for Language and Science Education
IntroductionThere is little debate amongst researchers, policymakers and educational stakeholders that reading achievement amongst African students is an important issue. There is also no contending the fact that improvement of literacy levels in schools...
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Vol. 3, No. 1, 2012

Libraries and Information Provision for African Relief
IntroductionLibraries in sub-Saharan Africa can play an important role in poverty relief, by providing access to information through modern formats. Information can facilitate freedom from oppression and protection from exploitation. However, books alone...
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Reading for Empowerment: Intertextuality Offers Creative Possibilities for Enlightened Citizenry
Understanding textualityReading (or literacy in general) is something that calls out for attention in our society today, because the reading process invariably opens up worlds and expands one's horizons. If one cannot read, one's life effectively becomes...
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