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SDLANG style















What are the characteristics of outcomes-based education?



The difference between the old and the new approach






Learning area



Critical outcomes



Learning outcomes



Assessment standards




























































The characteristics of the communicative approach
A balance between the teaching of functions and the teaching of structure Outcomes-based education and the communicative approach







































Learners would like to use their additional language
Learners' preferences






The traditional or grammar-translation method


The direct method
The audio-lingual method, behaviouristic or listen-speak approach
Community language learning (CLL)
The silent way
The Total Physical Response (TPR)


Implications of the communicative approach on presentation methods in the classroom
Implications of the communicative approach for the teacher
Implications for language material
A last word about the communicative approach




















Why is listening instruction necessary?
What are the most common obstacles to listening?
Using stories during listening instruction
Get their attention
Listening instruction for first and second additional languages
Aspects of listening
Teaching activities designed to develop learners' listening skills
Integration with other skills
Assessing listening






Speaking skills
The speaking programme for a home language
The speaking programme for first and second additional languages Assessing speaking
Self-assessment by learners
Assessment by the teacher
































Learners' interests
Use authentic reading matter
Variety is important
The text should form a meaningful whole
The text must relate to the theme





The psycholinguistic approach
The functional-communicative approach
The broad communicative approach









What is metacognition?
The value of metacognition for reading instruction



Before reading activities
During reading activities
Understanding words, expressions and abbreviations
The cloze technique
Deduce the meaning of words from the context
Recognising text structure
Structure of a text
Reading for detail
Recognising subjective use of language
Distinctions between facts and opinions and allegations
Critical reading
Argument (reasoning)
Denotation and connotation


Silent reading
Notes, summaries, mindmaps
Interpretation of visual reading matter
A taxonomy of reading comprehension
Other types of texts
After reading activities
Reflection on reading


Speed reading
Reading aloud


A few general guidelines for teaching literature
Learner involvement
An approach that fosters an experience and study of the text
Literary genres, narrative elements and techniques, and how to teach them
Narrator's point of view
Structure and intrigue
Time and space (milieu)
Teaching literary works
Combrink's model


Ways to stimulate learners' interest and to present poetry in an interesting manner
The purpose and value of poetry in the additional language teaching programme
Steps in the teaching process



















Integrated teaching
The communicative function of writing
The influence of assessment on the writing task
Functional writing exercises
Writing in the classroom
Using examples
Writing anxiety
Process versus product








Orientation to the writing task (this can also be called pre-writing activities)
Planning and writing the text
Dealing with topics
Learners' attitudes towards pre-writing activities
Writing a draft copy
Revising and improving the draft copy
``Publication'' of written work





Creative writing
Writing expressive paragraphs and essays
Short stories and other poems
Diaries or journal entries
Writing stories: truth or fiction
Writing a story together
Series of pictures
Functional writing exercises
Notes and letters to classmates
Writing letters
Writing reports
Writing about people who have been interviewed
Reinterpretation of events from a different point of view
Summaries (simple extracts) of and schemes for set topics
Answering questions or completing questionnaires or forms






Replacement tables
Sentence building exercises




































True-to-life and interesting
Language structure and use as part of the whole
Create a desire to communicate
Language structures outside the classroom
Natural language use














The presentation stage
The practice stage
The production phase





Ways of making spelling interesting
The CAT-CALL method
Look, close, write and check
Make learning spelling a game
Spelling and reading
Assessing and spelling
Using dictionaries in teaching spelling




























Critical outcomes, learning outcomes, assessment standards and themes 10.5.2

Selection of content based on assessment standards
Formulating outcomes
Phases in the presentation of lessons
The introductory phase of a lesson
Middle phase: presentation of the learning material
Conclusion of the lesson
Reflection after the lesson






















Using rubrics



The demands that outcomes-based education and communicative language teaching make on assessment
Instruments and methods of assessment
Using portfolios
What is a portfolio?
What should be included in a portfolio?
What requirements should portfolios meet?
Guidelines for using portfolios


Types of written questions that can be used to assess communicative skills
Open-ended questions and closed questions
Related items
The cloze technique









Dear Student


---------------------------------------------------------------------------Welcome to this module about the teaching of languages offered by the Department of
Teacher Education. As a student, you may be a teacher who is already teaching or a student who has absolutely no teaching experience. Whatever the case, if you have enrolled for this course, you certainly wish to learn how to plan learning units for language teaching which are interesting, meaningful and informative. I trust that, whether you are an aspiring or an experienced teacher, you will derive enough preparation to teach a home language or a first or second additional language communicatively and according to an outcomes-based approach.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------In this course you will be introduced to theory and terminology pertaining to outcomes-based education. You will also become acquainted with the practical aspects of outcomes-based language teaching and the communicative approach. Anyone who is involved in language teaching is very aware of the influence of multiculturalism on language teaching Ð it is for this reason that I have included an entire study unit that deals with this issue. Although I will discuss the teaching of the listening, reading, speaking, writing, and thinking and reasoning language skills separately, they form a unit and thus need to be taught in an integrated way Ð something I emphasise time and again in this module. I also spend a fair amount of time looking at assessment, because it is such an integral part of language teaching.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------As you work through this study guide, you will notice that I explain the basic theoretical principles of language teaching, but never refer to a specific language or grade. This I will do in Tutorial Letter 103. I will show you Ð using examples Ð how to adapt the general principles so that they are suitable for learners in the senior phase
(Tutorial Letter 103 for LADLAN-A and LLL301-E) and for the Further Teaching and
Training band (Tutorial Letter 103 for SDLANG-T and DLL3011-Q). Relevant documentation from the National Education Department will be sent to you in
Tutorial letter 104. The different codes indicate different groups of students.
. LADLAN±A: Postgraduate students enrolled for the Postgraduate Certificate in
Education (PGCE). This will prepare them to teach learners in the senior phase (grades 7±9) of the General Teaching and Training band. xii

. SDLANG-T: Postgraduate students enrolled for the Postgraduate Teaching
Certificate (PTC). This will prepare them to teach learners in the
Further Teaching and Training band (grades 10±12).
. LLL301-E: Undergraduate students enrolled for BEd degree. This will prepare them to teach learners in the senior phase (grades 7±9) of the General
Teaching and Training band.
. DLL301-Q: Undergraduate students enrolled for BEd degree. This will prepare them to teach learners in the Further Teaching and Training band
(grades (10±12).
Some of you are registered for the senior phase (LADLAN-A or LLL301-E) and the
Further Education and Training band (SDLANG-T or DLL301-Q), while the rest of you are only registered for one of the courses. You will be expected to apply the general language teaching principles to a specific language in your assignments.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------It might look like a great deal of work, but please do not become discouraged. Some of the information contained in this study guide is only necessary as background information Ð it does not need to be studied for examination purposes. I will indicate before the examination what you need to study.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------I would love to meet you and to be able to talk to you, but I realise that this is unlikely since you are a distance education student. Most of our communication will thus be written communication. In a classroom situation, I would ask questions to which you would be able to respond immediately. But since we are not in a classroom situation, I have set questions which I would like you to answer in writing. These activities require you to give your opinion or to link the content with your everyday life, experiences and prior knowledge. You have the opportunity to be creative, to do practice exercises, to offer an opinion and to say when you do not agree.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------I would like to know what your answers are to the questions I have set and, for this reason, I would like you to keep a journal. Make notes as you work through the study guide and remember to complete all the activities (journal entries) that I have indicated. This journal does not need to be neat, you do not need to write in full sentences Ð it really may consist of short notes, mindmaps, lists or summaries. It must carry your personal stamp and it must show me that you have worked through this study guide and have completed all the activities. You must submit the journal as an assignment (see Tutorial Letter 101).


---------------------------------------------------------------------------Since you have to complete your journal as one of the assignments for this module, it is essential that you number your activities as they are numbered in this study guide. Please xiii draw a clear line after each study unit's exercises. The journal must be handed in as an assignment and you will be given credits for it (the due date for the assignment will be given in Tutorial Letter 101). You will, unfortunately, not be allowed to write the examination if you do not submit your journal before or on the due date.
Good luck with your studies! It is my sincere hope that you will be able to use the skills you will learn as you work through this study guide. My hope is that you will use them substantially in the classroom.



Outcomes-based education and language teaching

This study unit is one of the most important in this study guide, because it introduces you to the outcomes-based teaching approach currently being followed in South
African schools. Much of the information about outcomes-based education contained in this study guide has been taken from the National Curriculum Statement Grades R±9
(Schools) (2002).

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. explain why it was necessary to implement outcomes-based education (OBE) in South Africa
. explain what OBE is
. explain relevant terminology such as critical outcomes, learning outcomes and assessment standards
. express your views about OBE

Journal entry 1a

Whether you know a lot or a little about OBE, write two to three paragraphs in your journal about your expectations of OBE. Try to answer the following questions in your paragraphs: . Do you think our education system will benefit from OBE?
. Think back to the old education system. Was everything that was done bad and meaningless? Was it really necessary to spend millions of rands just to implement a new education system?
. What aspects of the old system would you most like to have changed?
. What changes can OBE bring to South African education?
. Will these changes be positive or negative?
. Are you looking forward to using an OBE approach in your teaching?


In one sentence, explain what you understand by OBE.

Each person has his or her own opinions and expectations of OBE which are based on his or her knowledge of OBE and personal experience in a school environment. The one thing I would most like to have changed in the old system was the way in which we learned a second additional language. I still remember how during each lesson we sat in rows with our textbooks in front of us. The teacher would ask each learner, in turn, to complete a sentence out loud, to repeat it in the past tense or to give the

singular or plural of a word. The rest of the time, we had to memorise lists of words.
We never got the chance to use the language in authentic situations. I really did not benefit much from such a passive teacher-centred teaching approach and never really learned to speak the language spontaneously.

I have been collecting newspaper articles and other documents dealing with the development and implementation of the new curriculum since 1995 when there was first talk of a new curriculum for South Africa. It is interesting to page through them now that outcomes-based education (OBE) is firmly established in South African schools. Look, for example, at the following few extracts:

If you scan these extracts, you will see that the implementation of OBE has certainly had its share of teething problems. Fortunately, though, most of those problems have now been sorted out and South African teachers are ready to accept the challenges that await them.
You may possibly have read a lot about OBE in the media as I have done, or you may already have completed the EDB102±X and ETDHOD±B modules; if so, you will know exactly what OBE is all about. The following section will therefore serve either to refresh your memory or will provide those of you who are not familiar with OBE with the information you need to understand how OBE has been implemented in the
South African education system.

Education is never static and no education system is ever perfect. New education needs come to the fore as society changes; an education system must thus change on a continual basis if it is to meet the changing education needs of society.
It became necessary to revise South Africa's education system as a result of the many sociopolitical changes taking place in South Africa. The education system of the former government was clearly no longer suitable for the South African population in its entirety. South Africa's history of inequality was one of the factors that influenced this decision, but rapid changes in the world economy, and increasing technology, globalisation and human development also influenced this decision. Furthermore, industrial demands also required the education system to change in order to meet the changing needs of the workplace. Experts and various interest groups were consulted and it was decided that South Africa's education system would benefit most from an outcomes-based education approach, as such an approach would place South African education on an equal footing with other education systems.
To realise the vision of South Africa as a completely democratic and productive nation, we must provide tuition that is suitable and of a high quality to all learners, regardless of race, colour, gender, age, faith or language. The hope is that the new curriculum will not only enable learners to participate fully in all the processes relating to a democratic society, but also to realise their full potential.

Outcomes-based education is an integrated and holistic approach to teaching and learning. In the past, teaching focused primarily on the memorisation and reproduction of content. The curriculum was content driven, that is, the learners had to learn the content of a subject and then reproduce it in the same way in an examination. The application and utility value of the content were side issues.
According to the principles of outcomes-based education, the learner's intellect, skills, attitudes, values and thought patterns develop together. OBE is thus a holistic approach which educates the whole person, that is, it does not only focus on the development of the memory. This holistic approach implies the development of the learner's head, heart and hand.

1.3.1 What are the characteristics of outcomes-based education?
The broad, simplified guidelines of OBE are that learners need to be taught skills, values and attitudes in addition to mere content (knowledge).
Moreover, outcomes-based education claims to do the following:
. All learners can master a desired outcome if they are given sufficient time (some need more time than others) and if a wide variety of teaching methods and strategies are used.
. It is clearly spelled out what learners need to achieve. Learners do not achieve the outcomes by means of a set of prescribed learning experiences in one programme or grade. There are different ways to achieve a specific outcome.
. Earlier learning is acknowledged and the teacher is no longer the only source of knowledge. Learners learn from each other, from their experiences and by doing active research.

. Success leads to further success. The expression ``Nothing succeeds like success'' is an underlying principle of outcomes-based education. Any measure of success helps a learner to develop a more positive self-image, to increase his or her level of motivation and his or her willingness to strive for greater success. Positive and constructive continuous assessment is important, because learners need to see how much progress they are making.
. The learner's progress is measured by his or her demonstrated achievement (what he or she is able to do). A learner's progress is assessed continuously using a variety of assessment procedures other than written tests and examinations.
. Assessment aims to develop competence rather than to punish. Learners are assessed on the basis of what they know, what they can do and how they relate to their life world, rather than on the basis of what they do not know or cannot do.
Peer group assessment and self-assessment form part of the strategy. Group projects, interviews, presentations, portfolios and practical demonstrations supplement pen and paper tests. The learner's progress is monitored and he or she is given plenty of opportunities to try again, to adapt or to improve. Those who do not achieve a specific outcome are assessed again when they are ready.
OBE thus differs significantly from the old curriculum. OBE looks at what the top achievers in a specific learning area can do and works on the assumption that most learners can achieve those standards. OBE also stipulates that learners should be given numerous chances to refine their skills in the learning area. The expected results
(learning outcomes) of a learning activity are thus identified before the learning process begins.
It is important that these results are practically demonstrated, that is, that the results can be seen or heard; the results may thus not only be of an abstract nature.

1.3.2 The difference between the old and the new approach
One of the questions you were required to answer in your first journal entry was what you would have liked to have changed about the old system. The following table will give you an idea of what has, in fact, already changed.
Table 1.1
A comparison of OBE and the previous teaching approach
Content-based education

Outcomes-based education

. Teachers convey information.
. Education is teacher centred.

. Teaching is learner centred.

. Knowledge of the syllabus and content is important. . A wide variety of expected outcomes ensure acquisition of knowledge, understanding, skills, attittudes and values.

. Syllabus and content are independent of the learner's experience.

. Teaching is relevant to real-life stituations and learners' experiences.

. Focus is on facts and information.

. Focus is on applying knowledge.

. Subjects are unchangeable and compartmentalised, each with an expected accumulation of knowledge.

. Teachers are learning facilitators.

. There is cross-curricular integration of knowledge and skills to prepare learners for real life.

Teaching style
. Learner learn parrot-fashion without necessarily understanding the work.

. Critical thinking, reasoning, research, reflection and action are encouraged.

Content-based education

Outcomes-based education

. Teachers tend to give a lesson to convey information. . Learners work in groups and pairs; they debate, do role play and experiments.

. Learners are passive learners and teachers are responsible for imparting information and knowledge.

. Learners are active and take responsibility for their education by being actively involved in research, debates and experiments.

. Learning expectations are not explained to learners. . Learners know what outcomes they are expected to achieve.

Use of learning material
. Textbooks aim to convey the content of the syllabus. . New learning material encourages an eclectic approach which encourages recourse to a wide variety of resources.

. Assessment of knowledge of syllabus content is done by means of tests and year-end examinations.

. Continuous assessment is done throughout a phase to provide an overall picture of an individual learner's progress.

. Assessment focuses on the retention (remembering) of knowledge.

. The aim of assessment is to obtain information about which steps should be followed next to achieve the required outcomes. The aim of assessment is thus not only to determine if a learner passes or fails.

. Assessment is done by teachers and external examiners who calculate a final mark in numerical terms.

. Assessment, which includes teacher assessment, self-assessment and peer group assessment, is a comprehensive statement of what the learner has already achieved.

. Learners are taught not to question anything they learn Ð this prevents them from thinking for themselves. . Learners learn to ask questions and to respond personally to that which they learn Ð this fosters critical thinking.

. Because learners depend on teachers to teach them, they stop learning when they leave the formal teaching situation.

. Because learners have acquired the skills for learning, they are motivated to continue learning for the rest of their lives.

Journal entry 1b


Now that you have read more about OBE, would you like to change the paragraph you wrote in your journal about your expectations of OBE? Please do so if your view has really changed. If your opinion of OBE has not changed, give reasons for your view by working through each of the points mentioned above.
Answer the following questions Ð only if you are already teaching:


. Do you allow for group interaction where learners communicate face-to-face with each other?
. Does the success of your lesson depend on whether the learners fulfil their assigned roles?
. Is your assessment based primarily on examinations and perhaps a few tests, or is there regularly continuous assessment in which the learners are actively involved?
. Do you expect your learners to memorise content parrot-fashion or must they tangibly demonstrate (so that it can be seen and/or heard) that they have achieved the outcomes previously agreed upon?
. Does your teaching focus primarily on your learning area or do you include themes or topics from other learning areas?
. Does your teaching include a large degree of ``talk and chalk'' or do you motivate your learners to express their opinions about what you have said, that is, to tell the rest of the class why that which you have said is applicable or not applicable to their lives?

Compare your answers to these questions with the information contained in table 1.1. Are you still a slave of the old system or has OBE liberated you to the extent that you can facilitate learning?

Before you can plan and present an OBE lesson in a specific learning area, you must answer the following three questions:
. What outcomes must learners achieve (in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values)? . What learning activities can I plan so that the learners achieve these outcomes?
. How will I assess whether the learners have achieved these outcomes?
These three questions give rise to a number of other questions, such as the following:
How will I know what the possible outcomes are? Are the outcomes the same for all learning areas? What is a learning area? How will I know what to assess?
In order to answer these questions, I must introduce you to some new terminology.
OBE has a variety of concepts and terminology (e.g. learning areas, critical outcomes, learning outcomes and assessment criteria) unique to this approach and if you do not know exactly what each of these concepts entails, you will battle to understand the principles of outcomes-based education. Please ensure that you fully understand each of the concepts dealt with below; you must understand each concept so clearly that you are able to explain it to someone else.

1.4.1 Learning area
The ``subject'' (home language, first and/or second additional language) that you teach falls into the Languages learning area and the focus is on improving communication between people. People use different forms of communication (e.g. written, spoken, signifying [signs], symbolic [symbols]) to react to their life world.
The better our communication skills (i.e. the way we communicate), the better we will be able to understand each other. This should lead to a country which is free from intolerance, misunderstanding and prejudice. In this learning area, we look at the

concept of multilingualism and the advantages and disadvantages thereof. All learning is related to one or another form of communication and this learning area is dealt with as early as in the foundation phase in grade 1.

1.4.2 Critical outcomes
The comprehensive outcomes are known as critical outcomes. There are 12 of them.
They are generic and extend past the boundaries of cultures and the curriculum. In some curriculum documents, these critical outcomes are referred to as essential outcomes. They are general and are thus important for all learners and for all learning areas. The critical outcomes were derived from the Constitution of the Republic of South
Africa (Act 108 of 1996); the Constitution describes the type of citizen that must be developed through education and training. The critical outcomes envisage learners who are able to
. identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking
. work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation and community . organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively
. collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information
. communicate effectively using visual, symbolic and/or language skills in various modes . use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and the health of others
. demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation
The development outcomes envisage learners who are also able to
. reflect on and explore a variety of strategies to learn more effectively
. participate as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities . be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts
. explore education and career opportunities
. develop entrepreneurial opportunities

Journal entry 1c
Study the critical outcomes thoroughly. Now write short notes in your journal in which you indicate how language teaching can help learners to work towards these outcomes.

Although some outcomes are far more applicable to language teaching than others, language teaching can be used very effectively to achieve the outcomes. You will be able to do this very easily if you choose your learners' reading material, listening material and writing assignments carefully and sensibly. You could, for example, set your learners a task where they are required to read widely about the Aids pandemic
(e.g. brochures, TV transcripts, newspaper articles, letters written by people with Aids

and factual books) and then to write an argumentative essay entitled ``The government's refusal to provide Aids medicine to Aids sufferers is an injustice to all
South Africans''. By doing so, you will be teaching reading and writing skills, as well as helping your learners to achieve the following two critical outcomes, namely ``to collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information'' and ``to demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problemsolving contexts do not exist in isolation'' (Department of Education 2002:1). Please remember that a critical outcome cannot be achieved in the domain of one learning area; critical outcomes are only achieved in the long term and require input from the different learning areas.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------When you plan or prepare a lesson, you need to indicate what critical outcomes your learners will be working towards.


1.4.3 Learning outcomes
Because the critical outcomes are diverse, do not focus on specific learning areas and must be achieved in the long term, more specific learning outcomes have been established for each learning area. These learning outcomes are clear, concise statements about expected learning behaviour. Learning outcomes focus on specific types of knowledge and skills.
The four learning outcomes for languages in FET (grade 10±12) are as follows:
(1) Listening and Speaking. The learner is able to listen and speak for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts.
(2) Reading and viewing. The learner is able to read and view for understanding and to evaluate critically and respond to a wide range of texts.
(3) Writing and Presenting. The learner is able to write and present for a wide range of purposes and audiences using conventions and formats appropriate to diverse contexts. (4) Language. The learner is able to use language structures and conventions appropriately and effectively.
The learning outcomes for languages in the senior phase (grade 7±9) are as follows:
(1) Listening. The learner will be able to listen for information and enjoyment, and respond appropriately and critically in a wide range of situations.
(2) Speaking. The learner will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in spoken language in a wide range of situations.
(3) Reading and viewing. The reader will be able to read and view for information and enjoyment, and respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in texts.
(4) Writing. The learner is able to write different kinds of factual and imaginative texts for a wide range of purposes.
(5) Thinking and reasoning. The learner will be able to use language to think and reason, as well as to access, process and use information for learning.
(6) Language structure and use. The learner will know and be able to use the sounds, words and grammar of the language to create and interpret texts.

1.4.4 Assessment standards
Assessment standards describe the level at which learners should demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcome(s) and the ways (depth and breadth) of demonstrating their achievement. Assessment standards are grade specific and show how conceptual progress will take place in a learning area. Assessment standards describe the knowledge, skills and values that are needed to achieve a learning outcome; they do not prescribe the method. Since assessment standards describe the minimum level (degree of difficulty), depth and breadth (scope) of that which must be learned, it is logical that the assessment standards will differ from grade to grade.
Look, for example, at how the assessment standards for the learning outcomes
Writing differ for grades 7, 8 and 9.
Table 1.2
Assessment standards for Writing
Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Design media texts:

Design media texts:

Design media texts:

. use a framework to design a simple advertisement;
. use a framework to design a simple brochure.

. design a simple advertisement of pamphlet;
. write a simple news report.

. write simple, personal advertisements (e.g. advertise something that is for sale);
. design the front page of a magazine, CD or book cover.

Assessment standards for FET are included in Tutorial letter 104.

1.4.5 Assessment
Assessment is an integral part of OBE. Without valid and reliable assessment procedures, teachers will simply not know if learners have or have not achieved the outcomes Ð and even more importantly, the learners will not know if they have achieved the outcomes.
Assessment is not something that teachers should only think about at the end of a term; it must form an integral part of the teaching process. Assessment must give a clear picture of what the learners are learning, that is, their knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Traditional methods of assessment (i.e. written tests and examinations) do not always give learners the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Alternative methods of assessment such as portfolios, journals, self-evaluation, peer group evaluation, interviews and practical exercises should also be used.
Assessment is dealt with more comprehensively in study unit 11.
Do not confuse assessment and assessment standards! Although they are linked, they are not the same. Assessment standards give an indication of the knowledge, skills and attitudes learners should have, while the wide variety of assessment methods will determine if the learners have acquired Ð by means of the assessment standards Ð the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes.

1.4.6 Themes
Although there are separate learning outcomes, it does not mean that each should be presented as a separate unit or subsection of the learning area.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Listening, speaking, reading and viewing, writing, thinking and reasoning and knowledge of sounds, words and grammar should be integrated during teaching and assessment even though they are presented as separate learning outcomes. This is known as the whole language teaching approach or the integrated approach.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------By following a thematic approach, you will be able to successfully implement integrated or whole language teaching. Theme work encourages learners to learn new words associated with a subject; it also gives them important background information about subjects they find interesting, for speeches they need to deliver during an oral lesson or for a paragraph they need to write during a writing lesson.
Furthermore, themes can be chosen in such a way that they tie up with the development outcomes and thus make learners aware of important environmental and human rights issues such as poverty, Aids, the right to land, consumer pressure, sexism and racism.

Journal entry 1d




Consult Tutorial letter 104. What is the difference between Assessment standards and
What is the relationship between Assessment standards and Assessment.
Compile a list in your journal of 10 themes that you would like to deal with in your class. Important: Do not read the following question until you have completed your list! Now look at your list again. Your list most likely comprises themes that you are interested in. Do you think your learners will find these themes interesting? Now add a few themes your learners are likely to be interested in.
What age group did you have in mind when you compiled this list?
What should you keep in mind when you choose themes?

Learners' interests play an important role when we choose themes. When I was still teaching, I used to ask my learners at the beginning of each year to suggest some themes and I then made sure that I included some of these themes. By doing so, you will ensure that you choose appropriate themes for each age group. It always struck me that I was able to choose themes Ð without intending to Ð that the boys liked better than the girls. We need to take care with this Ð try to choose themes that address boys' and girls' interests.
It is important to choose themes that are relevant to the learners' lives, but it is also important to stretch them, that is, to introduce them to things that they do not know.
Take, for example, the theme Recreational activities. Everyone knows something about
South African recreational activities, but what about the recreational activities of children in other countries and of other cultures? How do they relax? The theme can be expanded to include items such as this.

When an teacher plans an OBE learning unit, he or she needs to do the following activities: .

Determine the learning area (in your case, it is the Languages learning area).
Decide on a theme (e.g. the environment, entertainment, teenage life).
Determine the critical outcomes that learners should work towards.
Determine the learning outcomes that must be achieved.
Identify the relevant assessment standards.
Choose the texts and then decide on the learning activities and the other learning areas that will be incorporated.
. Identify the resources, media and technology which will be needed.
. Decide how you will assess the learners.
We will discuss how to plan a lesson in more detail in study unit 10.

Journal entry 1e
The following letter (summarised form) was written by a parent and published in a newspaper. Think about what this parent has written. Do you agree or disagree with his views? Give reasons for your answer.
Mr X, a worried parent, writes:
Outcomes-based education undermines learning. It encourages teachers to be lazy, which means that learners have to do all the work. I believe that OBE produces learners who are able to talk a lot and to reason superficially, but have no in-depth knowledge of a subject. Where before have you ever seen teachers teaching without textbooks and learners learning without textbooks? Learning areas are vague. How are learners supposed to know if they are busy with

History or Geography if there are no clear boundaries between the learning areas?
How can they prepare for tests if the learning areas overlap? Furthermore, OBE prevents learners from doing their best right from the beginning, because they know they will get another chance. I'm sure that some learners will never show any progress, because they are allowed to work at their own pace. This is a problem; learners need to learn that tasks have to be completed as quickly as possible for the sake of cost effectiveness. OBE does not value individual initiative and hard work.

This parent does not really understand what OBE is all about. OBE does not mean that learners do not learn facts or content! With OBE, is it more a case of what a learner does with the facts and how he or she applies them; it is thus no longer a case of acquiring knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Learning areas are still demarcated, but learners are now encouraged to experience the world in totality rather than seeing the world as a set of individual compartments. Textbooks are still used, but they are no longer seen as the only source of information.

In this study unit, I briefly explained what OBE is and why it was necessary to change to OBE. Since you will be looking (or have already looked) at OBE in detail in other modules, I have only discussed the most important aspects.

Journal entry 1f
In the very first journal entry in this study guide, I asked you to write one sentence about what you understand by OBE. Now read that sentence again. Do you now have a better understanding of OBE? If you wish to rewrite your sentence, please do so using a different colour pen.
If you are able to explain each of the following, you have achieved the learning outcomes for this study unit.
Critical outcomes: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The two critical outcomes which, according to you, can best be achieved through language teaching: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Learning outcomes: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The learning outcomes for the Languages learning area (briefly): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Assessment standard: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Learning area: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Outcomes-based education is well suited to language teaching. As you will see in study units 3 and 4, language teaching should be taught using a communicative approach. This means that learners should be given many opportunities to communicate and to use the language. They must be able to execute a variety of activities with regard to reading, listening, speaking and writing in the language, and the teacher's role is to facilitate communication between learners rather than to do all the talking himself or herself. The utility value of the language later in the learner's life is extremely important and so the focus is on authentic language material that can be used in everyday life. These principles are in line with the OBE approach.
We look at language teaching in a multicultural context in the next section.



Teaching language in a multicultural context

This study unit aims to explain the implications of a multicultural and multilingual environment for language teaching.

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. explain the implications of multilingualism, multicultural classrooms and high and low status languages for language teaching in schools, and be able to take this into consideration in your own teaching
. show understanding of the learners' cultural diversity and tolerance of mixing and changing codes
. distinguish between a home language and additional languages

Journal entry 2a
South Africa is a wonderfully multicultural country. South African society is exciting, because it captivates its people while also expecting them to behave in a sensitive manner. By answering the following questions in your journal, you will get a clear picture of your involvement in this multicultural reality:

How many languages do you think are spoken in South Africa?
How many languages do you speak?
Can you also read and write all the languages that you speak?
How many people do you know in your environment that only speak one language?
Do you sometimes mix your languages when you speak? Do you consciously change over to another language at times in order to express yourself better?
How willing are you to communicate with others in a language that is not your own?
Do you think that your home language is more important than other languages?
What do you think is the biggest difference between teaching one of South Africa's official languages (e.g. IsiNdebele, isiXhosa) and teaching German or French?

South Africa has 11 official languages and the Constitution of the Republic of South
Africa (Act 108 of 1996) recognises 15 others! If you are taking this course, there is a good chance that you speak, read and write a minimum of three languages. I do not know of one person who only speaks one language (small children excluded) and I am sure that there is no one like this in your community (also read sec 2.2 for more information about multilingualism and its implications for language teaching). Did you indicate that you mix your languages? You do not need to feel guilty about it!

Multilingual people often mix their languages and it is not necessarily a bad thing.
People often change to another language because they are better able to express themselves (see sec 2.4), because they wish to impress their audience, because they think their audience might understand better or because some terms are better known in one language than in another.
A person's attitude towards another language is a personal matter, but you must remember that you cannot expect others to respect your language if you do not show respect for their language (I refer to this again in sec 2.5 and 2.7).
Let us return to question 8 of journal entry 2a. An oral community is involved in the teaching of an official language such as isiNdebele or isiZulu. The learner thus finds himself or herself in a situation where he or she hears the language over the radio or
TV, hears the language being spoken in the community and uses the language to communicate with people in the community. Magazines and newspapers are also often available in the language. The chances are thus good that the learner will unconsciously ``pick up'' many aspects of the language, because he or she comes into contact with it. In the case of unofficial languages such as German, French or Arabic, there is seldom an oral community; the learner's only sources of information are the teacher and the textbook and his or her only contact with the language is limited to a few hours each week in the classroom. Local newspapers, radio programmes and TV programmes are not available in the languages and the learner seldom has contact with home language speakers (also read sec 2.3 to see how the National Curriculum
Statement deals with this matter).
Each question you answered has implications for language teaching. I will now discuss each of these implications in more detail.

The close relationship between culture and the language or languages people speak, is very noticeable in a multicultural society. As a teacher, you should realise that the development of language tolerance leads to an improvement of learners' learning skills which, in turn, contributes positively to their development as people. It also changes their attitude towards learning, because they become aware of diversity and learn to look critically at the world which, in turn, influences their thoughts and their self-image. 2.2 MULTILINGUALISM
The context of learners in South Africa is pre-eminently multicultural and multilingual. . South Africans differ in terms of race, religion, ideology and descent and may be broadly classified as black (73%), Asian (3%), coloured (8%) and white (16%).
. There are 11 official languages and 15 other languages that are recognised by the
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) and that need to be
Mncwabe (1990) explains the diversity of language groups by giving a few examples: ``The black people belonging to the Nguni and Sotho speaking tribes can be divided in five major groups with different dialects. The Coloureds and Whites

speak Afrikaans and/or English and/or one/more European language(s), whilst the Asians also speak Tamil or Hindi.''
. The census figures of 1999 indicate that 8,6 percent of the total population speak
English as a first language, while isiZulu has 22,9 percent speakers, followed by isiXhosa (17,9%), Afrikaans (14,4%), Sepedi (9,2%), seTswana (8,2%) and seSotho
(7,7%). The other languages lay claim to less than 4,4 percent of the population.
Owing to the multicultural and multilingual nature of our country, few people speak only one language: bilingualism or multilingualism has become an important aspect of literacy. However, it is important to remember that each language in the country is just as important as all the others Ð no one language is more sophisticated, more important or more civilised than another. Whatever your teaching environment, as a language teacher you will have to convey your respect for other languages and their associated cultures, regardless of whether their status is low or high (refer to sec 2.7).
Language is an essential expression of a learner's life. The value of languages in a learner's life should be reflected in all learning experiences. These experiences, in turn, should increase learners' appreciation for their own language, but also cultivate an understanding of, and tolerance for, other languages and other language users.
This can best be summed up in the principle that all languages enjoy equivalence, albeit not equivalent use. When learners take languages such as German, French or
Arabic which are not official languages, they want to learn more about the cultures and habits of those people. They also want to know what the status of the specific language is and the value attached to speaking the language.
A large number of people are multilingual and use more than two languages in their everyday lives. Some of the languages are used only in private family life, while others are used mainly in public, such as in schools or the business world. To be bilingual or multilingual is not as exceptional as many people think; in fact, it is a normal and essential practice for most people. According to Tucker (1998:4), there are far more bilingual or multilingual people than monolingual people in the world and far more children are taught through the medium of a first or second additional language for the full duration of their school careers than those who are taught in their home language. Interesting, isn't it?

In a multilingual country, there will be people who have acquired a language as their first language or home language and people who have acquired or learned a language as a second or third language. The National Curriculum Statement differentiates between home language, first additional language and second additional language.
(This replaces the terms ``mother tongue'' or ``first language'' and ``second language'', ``third language'' and ``foreign language'' which were previously used.)
The term ``home language'' refers to the first language a child learns and uses most easily. The debate about precisely what a second or a foreign language, third language or additional language is will probably continue for a long time to come. Since constraints of time and space prevent us from going into detail about this debate, we shall use the following definitions:
. A first additional language is a language which is learned after the home language and which the learner is either exposed to outside the classroom or encounters as the medium of education.

. A second additional language is a language which a learner encounters only within the classroom, but which is not used in the community. In other words, the child is not exposed to the language outside the classroom.

The definitions of additional languages used above are quite contentious Ð particularly in South
Africa. Why do you think this is so?

If the situation in South Africa is taken as an example, it is obvious that this distinction between a first and second additional language is very problematic, because many learners take, say, Afrikaans as a first additional language, but are never exposed to it in their communities. It is also possible that an Afrikaans-speaking learner takes Afrikaans as the home language, English as a first additional language and isiXhosa as a second additional language. The learner, however, lives on a farm where he or she seldom comes into contact with English-speaking people, but comes into contact with a large isiXhosa-speaking community on a daily basis.
A passing thought: An interesting phenomenon with regard to literacy and multilingualism is that many people can speak and understand one or more languages, but are unable to read or write all of them. Are you able to read and write all the languages you speak?
The National Curriculum Statement states very clearly how the home language and the first and second additional languages should be approached. Carefully read Appendix A entitled
Introducing the Languages learning area in Tutorial Letter 104. Take particular note of the subsection entitled The additive approach to multilingualism. Underline the points you think are important.

I am sure you agree that the advancement of multilingualism in a country such as
South Africa is important for mutual understanding. In this regard, I would like to suggest that the specific language or dialect a person chooses to used in a given situation is a code or a communication system that is used for interaction between two or more parties.
A character in JM Coetzee's well-known book, In the heart of the country (1997), says the following:
I am spoken to not in words, which come to me quaint and veiled, but in signs, in confrontations of face and hands, in postures of shoulders and feet, in nuances of tune and tone, in an exchange of different tongues, in gaps and absences whose grammar has never been recorded.

Most South Africans speak more than one language or dialect, which means that they are obliged to choose a specific code when they speak and they can decide for themselves to switch from one code to another or to mix codes within a sentence. This type of situation where speakers switch from one language to another is called code switching (Stockwell 2002:9).

This may happen, for example, when you work in an English environment, but speak
Afrikaans at home. When you tell your family about something that was said at work, you switch from Afrikaans to English:
Tydens vanoggend se vergadering is besluit dat the costing of our services will from now on be done on an account based practice.

In this case, I would say that the code switching can be ascribed to an attempt to give an accurate representation of a decision that was made. There are, however, other reasons for code switching, such as accommodating a colleague who does not understand the language used for the discussion or preventing young children, in particular, from understanding what is being said.
In a multilingual learner-centred language class, code switching (changing from one language to another) will occur. Thinking skills are developed by learning to read and write in one's own language. These thinking skills are then used when learning to read, write and speak in an additional language. When learners are involved in activities which require cooperation from and discussion with their peers, then code switching should be permitted. When learners are involved in group work, they may sometimes be allowed to use their home language within the group, but any reportback should be in the target language.
Code switching is one way of promoting multilingualism. It will also help to promote a shared understanding of a common South African culture (Wessels & Van den Berg
Another form of code switching is code mixing. Code mixing occurs when someone switches languages repeatedly within one sentence (Stockwell 2002:10), such as ``OBE is a lekker way of teaching''.
According to Sridhar (1996:59), code switching is often viewed as a negative phenomenon by language developers, teachers and speakers. ``Code mixing has been regarded as a sign of laziness or mental sloppiness and inadequate command of language. It has been claimed to be detrimental to the health of the language. The traditional pedagogical resistance to code mixing stems from a combination of puristic attitudes and the use of a monolingual paradigm of language.'' Sridhar
(1996:59) maintains that this type of attitude devalues many aspects of multilingual behaviour and is unnecessary because recent research has shown that code mixing is general in multilingual situations and tends to be used by speakers who have good language skills in all the languages they mix. Code mixing is, therefore, a multifaceted and appropriate way of speaking within multilingual communities.

Journal entry 2b
Listen to your friends and identify when they switch codes within sentences or conversations. Write down snatches of these conversations and then give at least four reasons why this happens.

Earlier in the study unit (question 5), I asked if you sometimes mix your languages when you speak or if you consciously change to another language at times in order to

express yourself better. How did you answer these questions? I am sure you have realised that most people mix their languages; as a teacher, you should thus not be too hard on learners who do so.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Changing and mixing codes is acceptable in spoken language, but should not be used for formal writing. It is sometimes acceptable for informal writing.


The fact that there are cultural differences in South Africa necessitates an education system that recognises the value of diversity. Multicultural education attempts to provide for the needs of learners from different cultures and social circumstances. I am sure you see the need to look critically at everything that should be taken into consideration. In order to bring about meaningful reform in education, sociocultural factors should be taken into account. Learners are all unique individuals and cultural beings. Each of them comes from a particular culture, comes to school with his or her own convictions, value systems and experiential world, and these influence their dispositions, perceptions and behaviour in the classroom. In order to perform their tasks efficiently, teachers should be informed about their learners' background, be aware of the influence that culture and social circumstances have on instruction and learning, and be capable of designing learning experiences that allow for learners' backgrounds. Furthermore, it is equally important to create a learning environment that will spur learners on to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes that will make meaningful participation in a multicultural society possible (Rasool &
Curtis 2000:xvii; 12). Rasool and Curtis (2000:94) believe that it is necessary to offer
``culturally responsive teaching''.
As a result of the multicultural and multilingual communities in South Africa, the learner population in schools is extremely diverse: since 1994, more and more learners with different home languages and cultural backgrounds have found themselves sharing the same classroom. Consequently, teachers, particularly language teachers, are faced with a huge variety of communicative needs in a diverse group of learners whose language proficiency in the target language is spread across various levels. The fact that learners come from a multilingual environment has the following implications for language teaching:
. Learners' home language should be thoroughly developed, because competence in the home language forms the foundation for acquiring the additional language.
. A learner's level of competence in an additional language need not necessarily equal that of the first language.
. Teachers ought to have a basic knowledge of the learners' first language.
. Changing or mixing codes should be viewed in a positive light.
. There should be a relaxed and tolerant attitude towards variation in language.
Multiculturalism can be an asset in the language classroom. Learners can learn a lot from each other during group work.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------It is important to acknowledge a learner's home language during additional language teaching
(even if it is a minority language).


Teachers should remember that language forms an inseparable part of culture. In a multilingual classroom, there will be differences in life worlds and philosophies, learning styles, behaviour, sense of humour and nonverbal communication. To deny or ignore cultural differences is to negate a child's experiences and to undermine his or her self-image. Reciprocal recognition and respect for one another's cultures and languages are prerequisites for successful language teaching Ð particularly for the teaching of additional languages (Rasool & Curtis 2000:231±232). Children should know who they are and be proud of themselves and, for this reason, teachers should acknowledge what each learner contributes to the class, affirm it and build on it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Only when a language teacher acknowledges and appreciates the unique culture and language of each child in the class, will the learners reciprocate by showing their appreciation of the language which the teacher is teaching.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------In a multicultural society, there is usually a very close link between language, culture and education. Culture is a comprehensive concept which, according to Coombs
(1985:244), includes the following:
... the society's system of values, ideology, and social codes of behaviour; its productive technologies and modes of consumption; its religious dogmas, myths, and taboos; its social structure, political system, and decision-making processes. A society's culture is expressed in many forms Ð in its literature, art, architecture, dress, food, and modes of entertainment Ð but its language and education are central to its identity and survival.

Language usually carries aspects of the culture of its speakers. The link between language and culture is not always clear, but there is a widely held view that cultural aspects determine the use of language, and that on the other hand, language creates cultures. Gregerson (1977:156) says, ``language can be studied not only with reference to its formal properties ... but also with regard to its relationship to the lives and thoughts and culture of the people who speak it''.
Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997) emphasise repeatedly that language cannot be taught without considering the culture of the speakers of the language. They go on to say the following about communicative competence:
Communicative competency in a country such as South Africa entails more than merely knowing and speaking a language well: the learner must develop a sensitivity for different cultures ...
Intercultural communicative competence is, thus, of great importance (Kilfoil & Van der Walt

It often happens, for example, that English and Afrikaans speakers perceive it as an

``error'' when an African language speaker uses the pronoun ``she'' to refer to a man:
``She walked down the road'' instead of ``He walked down the road''. African languages do not, however, use a pronoun to differentiate between male and female.
In South Sotho, for example, the expression O tsamaile is used for both males and females (he/she walked). This does not point to any kind of deficiency in African languages, but simply to the fact that these languages divide nouns into different classes (like German does). Because man (monna) and woman (mosadi) are in the moclass, the ``o'' is used to link them to the verb (e.g. O tsamaile). Teachers need to be especially careful not to make assumptions about learners when they incorrectly use concepts from the home language in the first or second additional language.
When teaching an additional language, it is essential to look critically at the learners' first language. Ask yourself the following questions: What linguistic phenomena occur in the first language, but not in the first and/or second additional language?
What influence might this have on the first or second additional language? (Think, for example, of the double negative which is unique to Afrikaans.)

Journal entry 2c
Read the following scenario and answer the questions that follow:
Sharon is fourteen years old and is in a class consisting of learners from four different ethnic groups. The teacher, Mr Visser, is a white Afrikaans-speaking man who teaches isiXhosa as a second additional language. Sharon was previously at a private Englishmedium school which encouraged learners to think critically and to express their views.
Consequently, she questions what Mr Visser says and frequently argues with him. Mr
Visser usually gets very angry, because he does not believe that children should backchat adults. This creates lots of tension between the two. It is also interesting to note that Mr Visser does not get on very well with Ndileka Ð despite the fact that she is the complete opposite of Sharon. Ndileka is as quiet as a mouse in class and seldom asks a question. She does not look directly at Mr Visser when he asks her a question.
He sees this as a lack of manners. He also gets irritated with her because, as a black learner, she should be doing far better in isiXhosa. (What he does not know and has never tried to find out, is that she is a Sotho speaker.)

Can you explain Sharon's behaviour?
Can you explain Ndileka's behaviour?
Is the teacher's anger justified?
Is Mr Visser's irritation with Ndileka's average performance justified?
How should Mr Visser act towards Sharon and Ndileka?

It is clear that Mr Visser lacks knowledge about the different cultural groups and that he does not understand that different cultures communicate in different ways (i.e. through symbols, habits, gestures, eye contact and even silence or nonverbal communication). Learners from certain cultural groups would never criticise a teacher or, for example, ask questions or interrupt a teacher when he or she does not understand something. In Sharon's culture, for example, it is more acceptable to question teachers' opinions and to be more critical of them. Mr Visser should learn more about Sharon and Ndileka's cultures so that he is able to understand them.
Language teachers need to realise that some African languages differ extensively.
Rasool and Curtis (2000:102) suggest the following:

To have effective interactions, teachers must care about, listen to, trust, be honest with, be respectful of their students. In evaluating their students' work, teachers must be sure to critique only the work and not the person who did the work.

Lemmer and Squelch (1993) also provide guidelines for effective communication:
. Listening. Teachers should listen not only to words, but also to the meaning of what is communicated Ð both verbal and nonverbal messages are important.
. Control perception. In a multicultural classroom, perception (possibly incorrect perceptions) should continually be clarified. It is not permissible simply to make deductions. . Ask for feedback. The teacher should make sure that a message is mutually understood. Make sure that the feedback is clear. In some cultures, for example, it is impolite to answer ``No'' to a question or request. There may be confusion if a question receives the answer ``Yes'', but the request is not carried out.
. Do not respond in a judgmental way. Cross-cultural tolerance can develop only when people learn not to react over hastily or emotionally. Instead, they should listen well, control their perceptions and ask for feedback.
. Develop self-awareness. We need to be aware of our own communication style and the possible problems it might cause.
. Be willing to risk. It is often necessary to take emotional risks in order to ensure open communication (e.g. by asking for feedback).

Although South Africa has a multilingual policy that recognises many official languages, not all the languages are equal in terms of the status associated with the language. Some languages are spoken by small minority groups, while others are spoken by large groups. Some languages are used for public administration, economic activities and education, while others are used only as home languages. In a multilingual country, because of their utility value in various social structures (e.g. courts, education, economy, politics) and the opportunities offered to those people who can speak them, languages are evaluated differently. The implications of this are that one or more language groups in a society has/have more power and status than other groups, with the result that they are in a position to force their language on other smaller groups. This state of affairs has often given rise to a distinction between languages with a higher status or greater prestige and those which were oppressed and had less status.
The result of the existence of languages with high or low status was the rise of language minority groups in a society. If ``minority'' were defined in terms of power and not of numbers, all groups whose first language was not an official language in their country of residence, would be linguistic minorities. Such a linguistic minority would then be forced to become bilingual or multilingual.
If the majority of a population is willing to learn an additional language, the term used is additional bilingualism. So we see that people are not compelled by societal circumstances to replace their home language with another. The case of additional bilingualism gives rise to the smallest number of problems with learning a language, possibly for the very reason that, as a rule, there are no negative feelings towards the additional language. When, however, people are forced by circumstances to replace their home language, the term used to describe this is subtractive bilingualism, which can give rise to negativity and is frequently accompanied by a loss in cultural identity.

Cummins (1988:139) points out the implications of additive and subtractive bilingualism for the educational situation when he says:
Educators who see their role as adding a second language and cultural affiliation to students' repertoire are likely to empower students more than those who see their role as replacing or subtracting students' primary language and culture in the process of assimilating them to the dominant culture.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------No language teaching aims to replace the learner's home language; rather, it aims to add a language. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------The high status which English enjoys as an international language and the fact that it is associated with upward mobility, access to tertiary education and economic prosperity in the Western world has meant that, in many countries Ð including
South Africa Ð English has become the lingua franca as well as the medium of education in schools and universities. This high status enjoyed by English has a negative influence on African languages: ``They lose status, identity and role, in spite of being spoken as first language by numbers of people far in excess of those who have English as a first language'' (Sridhar 1996:54). It is this state of affairs which causes English to be referred to as a ``killer language''.
According to Sridhar (1996:54), there are movements in various countries that are attempting to get recognition and impart status to indigenous languages that were suppressed or marginalised during colonial and postcolonial periods. This is also happening in South Africa. Since the new political dispensation came into operation, and the 11 chief languages in the country were given equal status, more and more voices have been raised in favour of developing indigenous languages. The new education policy on languages in education views the indigenous languages as fully fledged languages and endeavours to upgrade their subordination to English.
This situation is heartening because, from a linguistic point of view, all languages have equal status. As a (future) teacher, you should, firstly, see how important it is for the potential equality of all languages to be recognised and, secondly, realise that stigmatisation of learners' home languages can be psychologically damaging.
Linguistic racism must be eradicated! Heugh and Siegruhn (1995:97) state that
``... misconceptions about the inherent superiority and inferiority of languages undermine the status of nondominant languages.'' Versveld (1995:24) makes the point that many children from less affluent socioeconomic backgrounds in South
Africa use fewer language codes but are multilingual. Access to more than one language gives them a head start. Yet the tragedy of this is that learners have virtually no opportunity to develop these skills in the classroom.
Language teachers should see that they are thoroughly informed about the perceptions held by learners and society of different languages, because these perceptions will influence the teaching of such languages. It tends to detract from learners' self-respect and cultural identity if their home language is denied or if its value is negated by insistence on maximal and exclusive use of the target language. It is important for learners to have a positive perception of their home language, because

when they learn an additional language, they should, essentially, retain a high regard for their home language. Moreover, competence at the home language forms the basis of the acquisition of additional languages.
The role of empowering learners academically and socially cannot be underestimated. Cummins (1988) and Squelch (1993) discuss empowerment at schools and suggest that learners who are empowered by their experiences at school are enabled to develop the ability, self-confidence and motivation to do well academically. Cummin's ideas on how empowerment may be accomplished, include the following key components:
. the inclusion of the cultural and linguistic legacy of minority group learners in their experience at school
. nondiscriminatory evaluating processes and techniques
. teaching that is related to the learners' experiential world
. active participation on the part of the school's parent community
This view of Cummins is supported by De Klerk (1995:60) who has done research at various English-medium schools in the Cape and has found that Xhosa learners at those schools where isiXhosa is offered as an additional language, have become far more relaxed and self-assertive, are keen to participate and have begun to show more self-confidence. 2.8 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY UNIT
Now page back to the learning outcomes I set at the beginning of this study unit and ensure that you have achieved them. If you are able to explain each of the following, you have achieved the learning outcomes for this study unit. Use the open spaces for your answers.

Multilingualism: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Home language: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
First additional language: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Second additional language: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Code switching: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mixing codes: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
High and low status languages: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cultural differences: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The implications of the above for language teaching: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


I have indicated in this study unit that language teaching in a multicultural and multilingual country cannot be separated from the learners' culture and the culture of the language being taught.
Culture, language and power and their reciprocal influence are issues that need to be addressed in every learning area, particularly in the Languages learning areas, because those problems and issues that appear to have no solution, can be discussed, argued and debated if the necessary language and communication skills are in place.
``In schools the communicative approach could be of use, because language is being taught by means of activities and exercises that will encourage learners to communicate with each other. In a multicultural classroom the communicative approach will foster cross-cultural communication on the condition that teachers also develop their own awareness of cultural differences'' (Kilfoil & Van der Walt



Important principles of language teaching I am going to discuss some important principles of language teaching in this study unit. Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. explain why listening, reading, speaking and writing should be taught in an integrated way and should be based on specific true-to-life situations
. explain what the communicative approach is
. plan lessons so that they are communicative, learner centred and show progression Journal entry 3a
Read the following two scenarios and then answer the questions:
Mr Smith and Mrs Makeba both teach a first additional language to grade 9 learners.
Although they both use the same themes and often discuss the problems they experience, their approaches in the classroom differ completely. The following two extracts are from their lessons which are based on the same theme and topic.

Scenario A: Mr Smith's class
There are 32 learners in Mr Smith's class. They sit in rows. After Mr Smith has greeted them, he asks them to open their textbooks to page 53 to a passage about gender discrimination.
The passage gives four different views about sexism. He reads the first paragraph and then asks each learner, in turn, to read a paragraph. He stops them repeatedly while they are reading to correct their pronunciation. Mr Smith summarises each paragraph after a learner has read it and either translates or explains difficult words to the learners. He writes some of the words on the chalkboard, together with their meanings and translations, so that the learners will remember them. He uses a few words in sentences to explain how they can be used. The passage consists of nine paragraphs; only eight learners thus get a chance to read. Once they have finished reading the text, Mr Smith asks them questions about it Ð he corrects their use of language as they speak.
There is an explanation of how to use direct and indirect speech in the textbook and Mr
Smith reads this out loud. He then explains the rules that should be followed when changing a sentence from direct speech to indirect speech. He writes the rules and example sentences

(to explain the rules) on the chalkboard and then gets the class to repeat the rule a few times. He then cleans the chalkboard and asks individual learners to repeat the rules. He does this until he is satisfied that the learners have understood the rules. There are a number of exercises in the textbook and he gets the learners, in turn, to change those sentences written in direct speech into indirect speech, and vice versa. He corrects the learners if they answer incorrectly and explains why the answer is incorrect. Once again, he starts at the front of the class Ð those learners who were asked to read now answer the language questions. Those learners who have already had a turn now longer concentrate on the lesson.
When the bell rings, he asks the learners to do the exercises they had done orally in class as a written exercise for homework. The next day, Mr Smith writes the correct answers on the chalkboard and asks the learners to mark their own work. Those questions they got wrong must be redone under the heading ``Corrections''.

Scenario B: Mrs Makeba's class
There are 36 learners in Mrs Makeba's class. The learners sit in groups of six Ð some groups comprise a mix of girls and boys, while other groups have only boys or girls. Before the learners enter the classroom, she fastens a large poster on the board which reads ``Sexism is worse than racism!'' Under this, in big letters, she writes, ``Look at the posters on the wall''.
Discuss them with your group, but remember that you must speak the language that I teach!
The posters on the wall have statements such as the following: ``Men are better drivers than women'', ``Men cannot concentrate on two things at once'', ``Men are from Venus, women are from Mars!'' and ``What do you give a man who has everything? Answer: A women to show him how to work''.
The learners start discussing these statements straight away and it is not long before the girls and boys are bickering. Every now and again, a learner laughs out loud. The discussions take place in the learners' additional language, but they do sometimes change over to their home language when they get very excited. Mrs Makeba asks a couple of learners to share their views and those of the other learners in their group who disagree.
She then announces that Sexism is the new theme they will be working on. She explains that at the end of the first lesson they will need to be able to make notes after listening to a tape and that they will have to repeat, using indirect speech, what somebody else has said. The previous day, she asked four people to read a text onto tape. Before she plays the tape to the learners, she writes some of the difficult words on the chalkboard and explains what they mean. She asks some of the learners to use the words in sentences. She asks the learners to identify each person's views about sexism and to write them down. After the learners have listened to the tape, she asks them to compare the different views they identified from the reading and to compare them with the other group member's answers.
It is only now that the learners open their textbooks to page 53 and get the opportunity to each read through the passage quietly. They must look up any words they do not understand in a dictionary. There are a number of examples of direct and indirect speech in the passage and Mrs Makeba draws the learners' attention to them. She explains how direct and indirect speech works on the chalkboard and asks that they do the exercises in a group context. She moves through the class and helps where necessary. She hands each learner a comic strip which the learners love to read. Each learner must use indirect speech to tell the rest of the group what the characters in his or her comic strip are saying or thinking. Mrs Makeba asks them to exchange comic strips and to write the message contained in the new comic strip in the indirect speech. The following day, she divides those learners with the same comic strips into groups and they must assess each other's work.

Draw two columns in your journal and then indicate which statement is applicable to which lesson. (You do not need to rewrite everything, just indicate the number.)
Table 3.1
Mr Smith

Mrs Makeba

1 It focused on the teacher and not on the learners.
2 It focused on the learners and not on the teacher.
3 The learners got a chance to use the language.
4 The learners knew exactly what they needed to be able to do after the lesson.
5 Learners had a desire to use the language.
6 The learners enjoyed the classroom activities.
7 It was more important for learners to use the language correctly than to use it to communicate.
8 All four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) were integrated in the lesson.
9 Learners got bored.
10 Effective learning took place.

Mr Smith completely dominated the lesson and controlled the learning process at all times. The fact that he continually corrected the learners shows that correctness is more important to him than communicating and conveying the message. Learners will be ``put off '' this type of learning. He did not integrate the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in his lesson. I do not think that his learners will be able to use indirect speech successfully outside the classroom. The learners were clearly bored and disinterested (they looked round the classroom).
Mrs Makeba's lesson was successful, because she kept some of the important principles of language teaching in mind. Right from the beginning, she created a desire in the learners to communicate with their classmates. She knew that by using the
``battle of the sexes'' in a mixed class she would get a heated response and this is why she first got the learners to speak about the passage before they read it. She thus integrated all the skills in one lesson. By first getting them to listen to a listening passage, she allowed them to see how the grammatical structures of direct and indirect speech are used in authentic situations. She explained to them what they would need to achieve by the end of the lesson and thus indicated a direction and the
``final destination''. (If you do not know where you are going, how will you know when you have got there?) Mrs Makeba's lesson was learner centred and she planned her activities in such a way that the learners were given as many opportunities as possible to become actively involved in the lesson. Her role was thus to organise
(facilitate) the communication between the learners and the learning content rather than to do all the talking herself. The learners in Mrs Makeba's class certainly learned more than their friends in Mr Smith's class.
I will now discuss each of the underlying principles of Mrs Makeba's lesson in more detail. 27

In the past, educators usually taught a language (particularly an additional language) by explaining language rules to the learners and by drilling words, sentence structures and isolated language items into the learners (just as Mr Smith did). The learners usually received lists of foreign words with their meanings, lists of fixed expressions or sets of rules they had to memorise parrot fashion. The consequence of this traditional method was that learners usually knew the grammar rules well, and were able to recite dialogues and structures in the classroom but, outside the classroom, in a less structured and more spontaneous environment, they were not really able to communicate effectively. In reaction to this, language teaching began to focus more on communication. The following guidelines should be kept in mind during any language teaching Ð whether it is a home language or an additional language.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) The broad subject approach should be communicative. Communicative language teaching comprises the following: teaching that allows the learners to use the target language for different functions, in different communicative situations and during which they reflect on their use of the language with the purpose of improving their language skill
(2) The focus should be on the structure of the language and the functions for which the language is used (e.g. to congratulate someone, to make enquiries, to introduce someone, to greet someone), as well as the skills that are required to fulfil the functions.
(3) The emphasis should be on the interaction of individuals Ð not just with themselves, but also with their life world (which includes other people).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Although different teaching strategies may be followed during language teaching, the teacher must always remember that the most effective language development takes place when
. learners are actively involved in a variety of activities which require that they use their listening, reading, speaking and writing skills in an integrated way
. the individuality and specific needs of the language learners are acknowledged and accommodated . learners believe that their learning is relevant and interesting
. the learning environment supports and encourages the learners so that hesitant learners are willing to participate in language activities
. learners realise that the process used during an activity is just as important as the product of the activity
. teachers set clear outcomes, that is, they know what they are teaching and assessing (Members of the Field Committee for Languages 1995:12)

Language skills are often divided into four sections, as indicated in figure 3.1.
Although this model is over-simplified, you must remember that language skills cannot be divided into four watertight compartments. It is, however, a good starting point for a discussion about the integrated approach to language teaching.










Figure 3.1
An analysis of the four language skills
If you study figure 3.1 thoroughly, you will notice that there is a vertical and horizontal division. The receptive skills (taken from the word ``reception'') are found in the top two quadrants and these are responsible for receiving the message, that is, understanding (decoding) the communication. The skills that are required to produce or convey the message (to encode) are found in the bottom two quadriants, that is, below the horizontal line.
The oral skills which comprise two aspects, namely, listening and speaking are found on the left-hand side of the vertical line. Listening is receptive and is also a part of oral
(verbal) communication. Right of the vertical line are reading and writing Ð both are writing skills Ð on the right of the vertical line. Reading is thus receptive and requires written communication, while writing is written and productive in nature.
Thinking forms the basis of all these skills.
Each of these skills needs attention in the language classroom. In real-life communication situations, we generally make use of two or more of the skills at any one time. According to Kroes (1992:17), the implications for language teaching are as follows:
While a specific lesson might be devoted to one of the four skills, classroom activities should reflect real communication situations. This means that it might necessary to use two or perhaps more of the four skills simultaneously (own translation).

Language teaching (home language and additional languages) should, therefore, be based on the principle of integrated language teaching. Integrated language teaching implies that the learning outcomes laid down in the National Curriculum Statement should be taught in an integrated way and that there is a need to move away from the tendency to teach different components such as composition, prose, poetry and grammar separately as if each is an independent part of the language. It is even a good

idea to use material from other learning areas. Learners are then able to write letters of complaint about the lack of nature conservation in their area, or to write a poem about Maths, or to learn how to do a summary using an extract from a History textbook. Integrated teaching (also known as whole language teaching) works as follows:
When teachers teach reading, they might use an article from a magazine as the piece to be read. They would, however, start by reading the article (or a section of it) to the learners and then asking a few questions about it to enhance the learners' listening comprehension. Thereafter, they would do reading and comprehension exercises based on the article, such as by asking whether the heading of the read piece is suitable, underlining the key sentences of paragraphs, looking for certain information, judging the validity of arguments, determining the author's point of view et cetera. Written work would entail, say, a letter to the newspaper in answer to the article concerned, while one or two grammatical structures could also be explained with reference to the read piece (grammar teaching). It is vital that grammar is always taught with reference to authentic language material (e.g. a magazine article, a newspaper report, a poem, an advertisement, a flyer, a radio discussion, a short piece of prose, or any other spoken or written language material).
Please do not let this give you the impression that the explanation of grammar and spelling rules, deliberate vocabulary expansion, poetry interpretation and so on are totally taboo. It is just that these may no longer be done as separate ``subjects'' (if we may use that term). For instance, teachers may no longer devote an entire lesson to the noun or to specific spelling rules. The old practice of the teacher walking into the classroom and saying, ``Today we will be doing punctuation. Punctuation marks are used when ...'' is not longer permissable. The teaching of grammar must stem from reading (or even listening). When a piece (literary or nonliterary) is read, for example, and the teacher notices that it contains several good examples of the use of punctuation, he or she may discuss the different punctuation marks in context. When
I say ``in context'', I mean that the punctuation marks should be treated as they occur in the read pieces.
Do not try to deal with all the punctuation marks at one time. If a particular punctuation mark is not used in a text, deal with it the next time it is used in a text.
Another example: If listening exercises are done well and the teacher realises that language structures such as assimilation and assonance are used regularly, she could teach the learners about these functions.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Although one skill or activity will form the focus of the specific lesson and thus get the most attention, the other skills must also be integrated in the lesson.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Although the whole language approach is used more in home language and first additional language teaching, it can also be used meaningfully during second additional language teaching. I am sure you are aware that a learner (including a first and second additional language learner) must first hear the language (listen to it) before he or she will be able to speak it. (This is even true for home languages, because there are many people who can speak a home language, but who are unable to write it.) Reading (with understanding) and writing are thus skills which are only acquired

after the acquisition of listening and speaking. According to Askes (1991:15), the correct order in which an additional language can be learned is listening (with understanding), speaking, reading (with understanding) and writing and the best way to conquer a language is to use it regularly by speaking out loud. In the additional language classroom, learners should thus be given ample opportunity to speak, sing, perform et cetera the target language. Tongue twisters work well in this regard and the advantage is that learners use games/play to concentrate on the pronunciation of words. Tongue twisters such as the following are lots of fun, because everyone says them out loud:
She sells seashells at the seashore
How many cookies could a good cook cook, if a good cook could cook cookies?

The tasks you give the learners should force them to speak the additional language outside the classroom.

The following extract of an article by Galloway (1993) gives a good background of the subject ``communicative language teaching''.
What is communicative language teaching?
Communicative language teaching makes use of real life situations that necessitate communication. The educator sets up a situation that learners are likely to encounter in real life. Unlike the audiolingual method of language teaching, which relies on repetition and drills, the communicative approach can leave learners in suspense as to the outcome of a class exercise, which will vary according to their reactions and responses. The real life simulations change from day-to-day. Learners' motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in meaningful ways about meaningful topics.
Margie S Berns, an expert in the field of communicative language teaching, writes in explaining Firth's view that ``language is interaction; it is interpersonal activity and has a clear relationship with society. In this light, language study has to look at the use
(function) of language in context, both its linguistic context (what is uttered before and after a given piece of discourse) and its social or situational context (who is speaking, what their social roles are, why they have come together to speak)'' (Berns 1984:5).
What are some examples of communicative exercises?
In a communicative classroom for beginners, the teacher might begin by passing out cards, each with a different name printed on it. The teacher then proceeds to model an exchange of introductions in the target language: ``Guten Tag. Wie heissen Sie?'' Reply: ``Ich heisse
Wolfie,'' for example. Using a combination of the target language and gestures, the teacher conveys the task at hand, and gets the students to introduce themselves and ask their classmates for information. They are responding in German to a question in German. They do not know the answers beforehand, as they are each holding cards with their new identities written on them; hence, there is an authentic exchange of information.
Later during the class, as a reinforcement listening exercise, the students might hear a recorded exchange between two German freshmen meeting each other for the first time at the

gymnasium doors. Then the teacher might explain, in English, the differences among
German greetings in various social situations. Finally, the teacher will explain some of the grammar points and structures used.
The following exercise is taken from a 1987 workshop on communicative foreign language teaching, given for Delaware language teachers by Karen Willetts and Lynn Thompson of the Center for Applied Linguistics. The exercise, called ``Eavesdropping,'' is aimed at advanced students.
``Instructions to students.'' Listen to a conversation somewhere in a public place and be prepared to answer, in the target language, some general questions about what was said.

Who was talking?
About how old were they?
Where were they when you eavesdropped?
What were they talking about?
What did they say?
Did they become aware that you were listening to them?

The exercise puts students in a real-world listening situation where they must report information overheard. Most likely they have an opinion of the topic, and a class discussion could follow, in the target language, about their experiences and viewpoints.
Communicative exercises such as this motivate the students by treating topics of their choice, at an appropriately challenging level.
Another exercise taken from the same source is for beginning students of Spanish. In
``Listening for the Gist,'' students are placed in an everyday situation where they must listen to an authentic text.
``Objective.'' Students listen to a passage to get general understanding of the topic or message. ``Directions.'' Have students listen to the following announcement to decide what the speaker is promoting.
``Passage.'' ``Situacion ideal ... Servicio de transporte al Aeropuerto Internacional ...
Cuarenta y dos habitaciones de lujo, con aire acondicionado ... Elegante restaurante ... de fama internacional.''
(The announcement can be read by the teacher or played on tape.) Then ask students to circle the letter of the most appropriate answer on their copy, which consists of the following multiple-choice options: a b c d

a taxi service a hotel an airport a restaurant

Source: Adapted from Ontario Assessment Instrument Pool, 1980, Item No. 13019

Gunter Gerngross, an English teacher in Austria, gives an example of how he makes his lessons more communicative. He cites a widely used textbook that shows English children having a pet show. ``Even when learners act out this scene creatively and enthusiastically, they do not reach the depth of involvement that is almost tangible when they act out a

short text that presents a family conflict revolving round the question of whether the children should be allowed to have a pet or not'' (Gerngross & Puchta, 1984, p. 92). He continues to say that the communicative approach ``puts great emphasis on listening, which implies an active will to try to understand others. [This is] one of the hardest tasks to achieve because the children are used to listening to the teacher but not to their peers.
There are no quick, set recipes.
That the teacher be a patient listener is the basic requirement'' (p. 98).
The observation by Gerngross on the role of the teacher as one of listener rather than speaker brings up several points to be discussed in the next portion of this digest.
How do the roles of the teacher and student change in communicative language teaching?
Teachers in communicative classrooms will find themselves talking less and listening more Ð becoming active facilitators of their students' learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1986).
The teacher sets up the exercise, but because the students' performance is the goal, the teacher must step back and observe, sometimes acting as referee or monitor. A classroom during a communicative activity is far from quiet, however. The students do most of the speaking, and frequently the scene of a classroom during a communicative exercise is active, with students leaving their seats to complete a task.
Because of the increased responsibility to participate, students may find they gain confidence in using the target language in general. Students are more responsible managers of their own learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1986).
The communicative approach to language teaching developed because teachers realised increasingly that by merely learning and applying language rules, learners did not really learn how to use language effectively in everyday situations. As you can see from the article above, the communicative approach concentrates on the appropriate use of language as a means of effectively communicating in a variety of situations. In the past, communication was seen as the desired end product of a number of methods; it never formed part of the process of teaching and learning. Learners should not only learn to communicate, they should also learn while they communicate. They thus need to receive sufficient input or examples of how these language structures are used in everyday communication as well as receiving sufficient opportunities to exercise communication (output). Although the communicative approach was initially used in the teaching of additional languages, the current trend is to present any language in a communicative way.
As its name indicates, the communicative approach refers to a specific approach which is adopted when teaching a language. In other words, it is not a specific method but actually a combination of different methods. The communicative approach to language teaching is intended to improve learners' mastery of a language and their competence in the target language (it could be their home language or an additional language), and to enable them to use the target language appropriately as a means of communication in any given social context. Any teaching programme that is geared to promoting learners' communicative competence, should allow for the fact that there are several components or subskills which make up the communicative competence. These subskills are as follows:
. Linguistic competence or grammatical competence. This entails knowledge of the



vocabulary, pronunciation and syntax, and the mastering of specific structural rules. Conversational competence. This involves knowledge of the rules that govern the structure of longer texts and conversations and the ability to make sense of separate utterances.
Sociolinguistic competence. Sociolinguistic competence is control of the speaking and writing styles that are appropriate to various situations, knowledge of the rules of good manners (courtesy), and so on. It includes the ability to use the correct linguistic forms according to the context: who speaks to whom, what they speak about, where and with what purpose they speak Ð in other words, formal language for formal occasions.
Strategic competence. This refers to the knowledge of strategies that will permit communication to continue even if knowledge of the language is defective, that is, the ability to use various verbal and nonverbal strategies to clarify your message.
Sociocultural competence. This competence entails an awareness of the sociocultural context in which the language is used (e.g. customs and practices of the cultural group). Social competence. Social competence is the need and self-confidence to communicate with others as well as the empathy and ability to handle social situations.

Communicative competence thus extends beyond the formal language that is taught in the classroom. You must make learners aware of the cultural aspects that go handin-hand with a language.

Journal entry 3b
Reread the article by Galloway quoted on page 30±32 and then identify at least five characteristics of a communicative approach to teaching language. Indicate them as follows in your journal:
Characteristic 1: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Characteristic 2: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Characteristic 3: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . etc. 3.3.1 The characteristics of the communicative approach
According to study guide 7/95 of the Members of the Field Committee for Languages
(1995:4±5), the communicative approach has the following characteristics:
. Communication. This is the nucleus. A desire to use the language is the most important incentive to learn language structures and vocabulary. Teachers ought to try to create situations in which the learners are motivated to communicate with one another, with the teacher and eventually with the wider community.
Thus whereas previously, the emphasis was on the structure of the language
(learning language rules), the emphasis in the communicative approach is on what we can do with the language, that is, to communicate.
. Language and context. Language should always be seen in context, that is, in




conjunction with the aim, audience and circumstances. Language teaching should thus not overemphasise drill work of separate items. Transformation or replacement exercises, or any exercise which aims to explain a single grammar rule will not automatically lead to the use of that rule.
Classroom activities. Classroom activities should be learner centred, interactive and meaningful to the learners. This is best achieved by working in pairs or groups.
The teacher. The teacher's role is to organise and facilitate communication between the learners or between learners and the study material, rather than to do all the talking. The target language. Teachers should create a climate in which learners can use the target language with purpose, interest and enjoyment. All possible attempts should be made to create a carefree environment, since stress, ridicule and embarrassment inhibit learning.
Experimenting. Teachers should encourage learners to experiment with the language. Another approach to assessment. Assessment should focus more on effective communication than on memorised content of the language itself. Teachers should evaluate how effectively learners are able to use their knowledge and understanding of the language to create meaning. This means that teachers should place less emphasis on grammatical correctness and more emphasis on successful communication. It does not mean that grammatical correctness should be overlooked, but simply that there is a shift in emphasis.
Methods. Teachers should at all times be aware of, and respond to, learners' individual needs, abilities and interests. No specific method can be prescribed in the communicative approach. A variety of methods and techniques should be integrated to achieve the greatest success.

The teacher's role is, therefore, to accomplish and facilitate communication between the learners or between the learners and the study material, rather than doing all the talking. There should be continuous interaction between the learners. Group work is indispensable, because the teacher needs to continually simulate (imitate) everyday communication situations in the classroom and provide learners with the opportunity to communicate with each other (i.e. they have to listen to one another, talk to one another, etc.). A teacher could, for example, bring a few old telephones to class for the learners to conduct imaginary telephone conversations with one another
(cell phones would actually be more contemporary). The situations which they discuss should be true-to-life. They could, for example, congratulate each other, issue invitations to a party, take messages and make enquiries.

3.3.2 A balance between the teaching of functions and the teaching of structure The term ``language functions'' refers to the purpose for which the language is used, for example, to conduct an everyday conversation, to share a personal experience with someone, to describe an event or to examine and comment on issues. Another function is the use of language as an instrument to convey information, to write a report or a lecture, or to read a poem or novel. Additional examples of language functions include apologising, asking for and giving directions, introducing one person to another, agreeing with someone, greeting someone, thanking someone and expressing condolences.
Teachers of language should strive to achieve a balance between teaching grammar

(structure) and teaching functions. These should be taught in harmony, because it is useless for a learner to know all the rules of a language without being able to apply them in a conversation. On the other hand, it does not help to teach the learners to use a bunch of functions without teaching them sufficient grammatical rules to use the language in new, unfamiliar sitations. The focus should, therefore, be on the grammatical structure (correct sentence structure, use of words, etc.), the functions for which language is used and the necessary skills (e.g. how to congratulate someone, how to make an enquiry Ð either verbally or in writing, how to listen critically to a presentation, to read a book, address an audience or conduct a debate).
Since the communicative approach to the teaching of an additional language its origin in the teaching of additional languages, I will speak more about the communicative approach in study unit 4.

3.3.3 Outcomes-based education and the communicative approach
You are probably wondering how I am able to state that language teaching should follow an outcomes-based approach and a communicative approach. Let me explain.
Although the communicative approach is not part of outcomes-based education, there are many similarities between the two approaches. If you teach using an outcomes-based approach, you will automatically teach communicatively; if your teaching is communicative in nature, it will also be outcomes based. Because the communicative approach prepares learners for the requirements that communication will make on them in everyday life, many of the critical outcomes can be achieved with the aid of communicative language teaching. The communicative approach has as its goal the development and practical application of listening, reading, speaking and writing Ð so too, the most important learning outcomes for Languages are listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Because in real life, language is always used in a specific situation, classroom activities ought to imitate real, true-to-life and everyday communication situations. This means that the language exercise or language activity is placed in an imaginary trueto-life communication situation (role play and simulation are examples of how this is done) and that the learner is then expected to respond to it by using language. In this way, learners are taught to deal with situations from real life.
Thus, teachers are required to create opportunities for genuine interaction in which the learners participate. They do not just sit and listen to the teacher.
I quote from Byrne to explain this concept.
Byrne (1988:10) uses the following headings in her discussion of true-to-life teaching: .

Bring the outside world to the classroom.
Simulate the outside world in the classroom.
Escape in imagination from the classroom into the real world.
Get out of the classroom into the outside world.

She goes on to explain that the life world must be brought into the classroom by playing games and performing certain tasks which require a degree of problemsolving ability. ``Simulate the outside world in the classroom,'' says Byrne (1988:10) through various roleplay activities. In the classroom we are not actually tourists (patients,
customers in a shop, etc) nor are we at the airport (or having a meal in a cafe) nor are we (with luck) suffering from a cold or in trouble with the police Ð but we can involve the learners in all these Ð through pretence. through simulations. These, basically, are discussions in depth, within a defined context, in the course of which the learners can participate either as themselves or roleplay someone else ... within the framework of a simulation, however, we can provide various kinds of opportunities for the learners: as main speakers (for those that like to talk a lot!), as reporters (for those that enjoy a mainly listening + writing role) or simply as themselves Ð as teenagers, but in a setting which has been defined for them.

Byrne (1998:12) explains the option ``Get out of the classroom and into the outside world'' as follows:
This is done through activities generated and linked together by a project, such as producing a class newspaper or magazine. Not all these activities will take place outside the classroom, but they do provide opportunities for interviewing and investigating in real life settings.

Byrne makes a very important point here. Projects give learners lots of opportunities to practise all four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing).

Journal entry 3c

Think about a project that you could give your learners that will
. compel them to use all four of these skills
. require them to perform language activities inside and outside the classroom
. prepare them for communication in their adult lives

Now write a brief description in your journal of the project.

Explain what the learners will need to do to complete this project.
Name two role plays that you will use in the classroom. Explain what learners must do during each role play and what skills they will learn.

You could, for example, encourage learners to initiate an anti-littering campaign in the community. Learners should design their own posters, request permission to hang posters in strategic places, write letters to the city council, ask for financial assistance for the project, et cetera. Another example: if you can get the support of the school staff, encourage learners to compile a staff page. Learners should conduct interviews with the teachers and then write a short article on each.

The communicative approach is essentially learner centred. The aim is to motivate learners to learn the target language by building on and expanding their knowledge

and experiences. It is thus necessary for the teacher to know precisely what each learner's existing language ability is and why he or she is studying the specific language (especially in the case of additional languages).

Journal entry 3d
Reread Mrs Makeba's lesson at the beginning of this study unit (p 26) List all the things she did to make her lesson learner centred. You must list at least five items.

Learners' communicative skills are developed by involving them actively in various meaningful, interesting, realistic and attainable activities which they will find to be worth the effort. The successful achievement of such tasks then serves as motivation for subsequent tasks and improves their self-confidence. Learners become particularly motivated when they see that what they are learning has utility value and can be used in everyday life. Teachers should thus compile activities that will interest learners.
Learners should participate actively in the learning event. The traditional view of learning was that learners should acquire knowledge and, consequently, teachers spoke and learners listened. Teachers played the chief role and determined the learning sequence and learning procedure. Today, this type of approach is unacceptable. The learners should be continuously and actively involved in the lesson event. Group discussions, group work, role play and written work must take place in the classroom. According to Lipton (1994:81), the following are characteristics of learnercentred classrooms:

Small-group activities.
Cooperative learning in small groups.
Partner-practice or paired activities.
Presentations by learners.
Activities where learners make visuals for practice sessions.
Activities where learners plan and direct games.
Activities where the classroom becomes a working area or a departmental store.
Activities that promote communication.
Opportunities for learners to ask questions, give personal preferences and options.

Your own teaching should also display these characteristics!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Even the most enthusiastic learner will soon get bored if the teacher only uses role-play activities to stimulate learner activity in the classroom. Jokes, poems, puppet shows (using an old sock with a face drawn on it), corresponding with classes from other schools, corresponding via email, and learners and teachers changing roles will all stimulate active involvement in the class.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Read the following quotation by Cajkler and Addelman (1992:13). Now you should

understand why whole class teaching (do not confuse it with whole language teaching) should be alternated with small group work and other activities where learners are actively involved.
In every class there are a number of children who go unnoticed: the pupils that James Pye (1989) calls the ``invisible children''. They are not especially clever, especially dull, especially naughty, especially well-behaved. They are just there. They can become so accustomed to being unnoticed that they grow to accept it, even to use it to avoid being involved or doing much work. They usually sit somewhere in the middle of the classroom Ð not at the front/side or even at the back, where they are conspicuous. Wherever they sit, they are able to have an easy ride and, incidentally, are neglected by many teachers. Whole class teaching could have been invented to create invisible children, as it is well-nigh impossible for a teacher to give every child attention when using a classteaching approach. This, of course, places increased pressure on the language teacher to move out of the class-teaching approach wherever possible and appropriate.

Remember, whole class teaching is not a sin. It is an appropriate way to convey information, to explain and demonstrate language structure and use, to brainstorm before writing a letter or any other writing task, or to listen to a story. In addition, using an overhead projector, the chalkboard or a tape recorder can focus and improve learners' concentration. It also allows the teacher to quickly identify any problems.
Whole class teaching should not, however, be the only form of teaching.

Every child is unique, just as you and I are. Every child brings his or her experiences, vocabulary and language ability along to the classroom.
Precisely because of their uniqueness, these aspects differ from learner to learner. Thus the idea that all learners should do precisely the same exercises is not valid. Tasks which the learners have to perform, should be differentiated according to their developmental level and degree of readiness for certain activities.

This aspect of the communicative approach is closely related to the basing of classroom situations on everyday, real communication situations, because source material and technology form part of everyday life. It is essential to use contemporary and up-to-date reading, listening and viewing material. This is where textbooks fall far short, because most textbooks tend to be out of date. Learners soon tire of working from textbooks on a daily basis. Newspapers, magazines and numerous other types of general language material such as brochures, advertisements, notices, maps and graphs, radio and television broadcasts, the Internet and so on, should be used.
In the classroom, writing is often limited to the writing of letters (which are read only by the teacher), paragraphs or the answers to questions, and speaking to the delivery of prepared speeches. In real life, however, people are often expected to fill in forms, write a report on an accident or write short memoranda to their bosses or colleagues.
Alternatively, people are required to programme personal messages on their answering machines or those of other individuals. These are examples of the types of skills that ought to be practised in the classroom with the aid of source material and technology. I would like to give you some advice: buy a file and start collecting different types of

source material (e.g. brochures, advertisements, magazine articles, good and bad examples of letters to the press, cartoons) which can be used in the language classroom. It need not only be written material; tape radio advertisements or radio discussions and keep them. Try to find radio, television and magazine advertisements that advertise the same product Ð learners can then decide, for example, which advertisement is the most effective or what is lost in each advertisement.

Language teachers cannot expect learners to do the same activities year after year.
They must make provision for essential progression in the development and degree of difficulty of a specific area of knowledge or language skill, that is, progression within a specific grade, as well as from one grade to the next. To meet the latter requirement, teachers should thoroughly coordinate and plan the various grades' teaching programmes. 3.9 PRINCIPLE 8: COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING IS A MUST
Teachers need to develop a large repertoire of teaching methods and techniques, since the same method is not suitable for all learners. Besides the fact that the communicative approach is based largely on group work, one of the critical outcomes requires learners to be able to work together effectively with other learners in a team, group, organisation or community. Moreover, active learner participation is seen as a crucial part of the learning process and there is a need to move away from rote learning. Group work, role play, games, brainstorming, problem solving in groups and project work are thus indispensable to the teaching of languages. When learners work together in a group to achieve a common goal, it is called cooperative learning.
Group work and cooperative work are indispensable in the language classroom. When learners are given the opportunity to work in smaller groups (of between 3 and 7 learners per group), they are able to participate and become actively involved in the learning event. A learner in a big group might only get one opportunity to express an opinion during a lesson, but a learner in a small group is encouraged to contribute more frequently. Learners support each other during group work by interacting meaningfully and by sharing decision making and responsibility for the end product.
Remember, the language classroom Ð and thus group work Ð must prepare learners to meet their language needs in later life.
Group work is a very effective way of ensuring that the following are integrated: listening, speaking, reading and viewing, writing, thinking and reasoning and knowledge of sounds, words and grammar.
Although group discussions (activities where group members learn through interaction and communication with each other) are an important aspect of group work, there are many other activities that can be done in a group context. These include joint writing tasks (e.g. editing each other's work in a group context, writing a story together and story circles), role play and group improvisation, brainstorming
(each member's ideas are listed and then discussed), games, team projects and group tasks. The teacher introduces the lesson, indicates the groups and the learners receive the material they need to complete the task. The teacher clarifies concepts and explains the

procedures for completing the task, after which the groups set to work. It is important for every member of the group to achieve his or her learning outcome.
Group members encourage and help one another to understand the work. The teacher intervenes only if someone does not understand something or if the cooperation breaks down (Johnson & Johnson 1994). Individual and group achievements are evaluated and there is feedback from the other groups as well as the teacher (Lemmer
& Squelch 1993).
Cooperative learning may, for instance, also be implemented by letting learners hold group meetings. In such a case, the learners are divided into groups of six or seven.
The most important meeting procedure terms such as agenda, quorum, minutes, resolution, consensus, affiliation, ex officio member, ad hoc committee, cooption, and so on should be explained to learners in advance. Also, the teacher should explain how to compile notices of meetings, what should appear on an agenda and how minutes ought to be written. Learners should then decide in their group which club or organisation they want to belong to. They also need to decide who will be holding the following positions within the organisation: chairperson, secretary, guest speaker, person who will be doing the thank you speech, person who should write and deliver the financial report, and so on. Then, as a group, the learners should write a letter in which they invite a guest speaker to address their club or organisation during one of their meetings, compile (writing) an agenda for the meeting, then invite (writing) a guest speaker to the meeting, hold (speaking) the meeting and write (writing) the minutes of the meeting. Examples of minutes could be circulated among the learners for them to read (reading) in advance, while terminology pertaining to meeting procedures, such as ``quorum'' and ``unanimous'' could be clarified. During the meeting, learners could practise various types of language functions. Different members of the meeting could, for example, be asked to thank the guest speaker, to invite the members to a social function, and so on.

Journal entry 3e
If we remember that we are all, at one time or another, required to attend or chair a meeting, by holding meetings in the classroom, we are pursuing quite a few critical outcomes. Reread the paragraph above and then write down all the critical outcomes that this exercise seeks to achieve.
By holding meetings, learners learn how to work together effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation and community; they manage and organise themselves and their activities in a responsible way and communicate effectively with the aid of visual, symbolic and/or language skills.
Learners often struggle initially with cooperative learning, so you will need to teach them how to work in groups. If you have already completed the EDB101±X or the
ETDHOD±B modules, refresh your memory by reading the relevant section in the textbook entitled Outcomes-based education: theory and practice by Van der Horst and
McDonald (2002). If you have not yet completed either of these modules, please pay particular attention to cooperative learning when you do them later on, because cooperative learning is a very important principle of language teaching.

I have tried in this study unit to give you an indication of those principles which you should always keep in mind during language teaching.
Now page back to the learning outcomes I stated at the beginning of the study unit. If you can answer the following questions, you have achieved the outcomes:

Why should listening, speaking, reading, writing and reasoning be presented in an integrated way? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What is the core of the communicative approach? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How can you use everyday situations to facilitate language teaching? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Learners get tired of always working from a textbook. What solution do you have to this problem? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How will you ensure that your teaching is learner centred and not teacher centred?

The eight principles I have discussed in this study unit are valid for home languages and for first additional languages. The communicative approach will only be fully implemented at a later stage for second additional languages. In reality, learners must be actively involved Ð through interactive and goal-directed activities Ð in the development of their listening, speaking, writing and reasoning skills.
In study unit 4, I will focus on additional language teaching.



Let us focus on additional language teaching

This study unit aims to highlight the teaching of additional languages.

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. critically discuss a number of approaches to additional language teaching
. explain why you want to follow a specific approach in your teaching

Journal entry 4a
Think, for a moment, about your own additional language or languages. When it is necessary for you to use the language or languages? What are your needs when it comes to using an additional language? Now consider your needs and the situations where you use your additional language and then decide what the goal of additional language teaching should be. Write it in your journal.
When you teach an additional language, it is generally to teach learners to
. listen so that they can understand a home language speaker speaking at a normal pace . speak the language as well as possible
. understand what they are reading without first translating the work
. write so that they are able to formulate their thoughts logically in the target language The correct use of language structures underlies all these activities.
It is essential that you remember that your learners' situations may differ radically from yours. They may have less or much more exposure to their additional language than you had. Learners in remote geographical areas, for example, often only know the language they hear at home. They seldom speak English (much less their second additional language). In cases like this, the teacher teaching the additional language or languages will have to use relatively simple (elementary) activities in the class. In urban areas or even in less remote areas, children often know more than one language. You thus need to thoroughly determine each learner's situation with regard to his or her additional language and adapt your lesson planning and activities accordingly. 43

Language teaching focuses primarily on developing learners' communicative language ability so that they are able to interact meaningfully. Although there are undoubtedly certain parallels between the acquisition (learning) of a home language and an additional language, the teaching, learning and development of the additional language involves certain distinctive processes which necessarily require a unique approach, methodology and assessment.
As I have already mentioned, the home language teacher should attempt to build on the learners' knowledge of their own language (which they can already speak and write). Learners of additional languages usually have (but not always) little or no knowledge of the language and thus need to be taught the basics of speaking, reading, listening and writing. Remember that the South African situation is unique in many respects. It is not unusual to find children that can communicate fluently in more than one language Ð largely because of the multilingual environments in which they are raised Ð but many of them cannot read and write all the language they speak. It is important to remember that the learners and teachers of additional languages are not required to achieve the same outcomes as the home language learners and teachers. As an additional language teacher, you will sometimes be confronted with a situation where some learners are more proficient in the language than others, so you will need to vary the level of difficulty of the activities you present without moving to the level of a home language.
Take the following into consideration:
The world that is upon us now is a ``global'' community and it is essential to understand the culture of your neighbour. We do not live in isolation anymore. Nor can teaching be done with one perspective only.
I think it embodies moving away from the teacher as disseminator of knowledge and more towards the teacher as facilitator Ð the teacher's job is to facilitate the students' own construction of what the additional language means to them in context, and in time and space. We provide the tools.
Teaching with a global perspective is fluid, adaptable and ever changing, not static. In addition, I think it should involve a heavy dose of cultural context and information Ð not to change the students' cultural values or morals, but to increase awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity
(Kristmanson [sa]).

Cahill and Camper (1989:11) make an important point when they state that the process of language acquisition should also be seen in a philosophical light:
... the acquisition of a language has to do with activities of the human consciousness. It must be accepted that human intellectual abilities are not sufficient to unravel and explain the processes and activities of the human consciousness. Seen in this light, we will never find a final answer to how, for example, a person acquires a language. A speculative element will always be a part of any theory formed (own translation).

Van der Walt (1983:35) asks quite rightly: ``Will we ever really know how a second language is acquired?''

Before you read further, consider the following questions:
. How did you learn your home language (mother tongue)?
. How did you learn your first additional language?
. Compile a list of differences in terms of how you learned your home language and how your learned your additional languages.
. How old were you when you first began to learn an additional language?
. Who do you think is best able to learn an additional language Ð adults or children? Give a reason for your answer.
Pose these questions to a few of your friends or colleagues.
I often pose these questions to people and usually get a variety of diverse responses about how they learned an additional language. Most people tell me that they started learning their first additional language at primary school and their second additional language at high school. They often remember specific techniques that teachers used to teach grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary, such as drilling specific language structures, memorising vocabulary and fixed expressions Ð they were seldom given the opportunity to apply their knowledge to written work. Other people have told me that they moved to new neighbourhoods as young children where nobody spoke the same home language as them. Although they struggled for months to learn the vernacular or colloquial language of the area, they speak the language fluently today without any accent Ð despite know nothing about the language's structure and grammar; speaking the language is automatic and `'natural''. Some people's parents enrolled them in grade 1 in schools where the medium of instruction was strange and although they struggled initially, they are totally bilingual today.
By thinking about how you learned a language and by asking other people about their experiences, you will be able to learn a lot about the process of acquiring an additional language. It is clear that there is a difference between consciously learning a language at school and acquiring a language in a social environment (neighbourhood, country or school) where the language is used on a daily basis as a means of communication. Language acquisition refers to the way in which a child learns his or her home language. If a person learns a language in a social environment because he or she comes into daily contact with the language, it is also language acquisition. Language acquisition is an unconscious process and occurs as a result of informal learning; if a person is acquiring something or has already acquired it, he or she is not always aware that it is happening or has already happened. Consciously learning a language, in contrast, means that a person has informal knowledge of the language and explicit formal linguistic knowledge of the language; the person consciously learns new words and learns how to apply the grammar rules, et cetera. The conscious learning of a language usually takes place in formal language teaching situations (Towell &
Hawkins 1994:6; Echavarria & Graves 1998:42).
It is generally accepted that young children learn (acquire) a new language naturally and with surprising ease, and that they speak it relatively faultlessly and without any accent; older learners, in contrast, generally struggle to learn an additional language and usually speak it with an accent (Dunn 1983:7). Children who acquire an additional language at a young age seldom have formal knowledge of the language rules that govern the additional language, but are still able to speak it fluently.
Research studies over the years have tried to determine if there really is an optimal age

to acquire a second language. A number of possible reasons have been given for the perceived advantage that younger children have over older children. There are also a large number of empirical investigations that have attempted to explain this phenomenon. Larson-Freeman, as quoted by Harley (1986:xi), sums it up as follows:
At one time or another second language acquisition researchers entertained the thought that one, all, none of or a combination of the following could be used to explain the purported differential success between child and adult learners of a second language: biological factors, affective factors, motivation, time allotment, cerebral dominance (hemisphericity) and learning conditions. (The emphasis is my addition.)

The findings of the empirical investigations are varied. Some investigations have confirmed that preadolescents have a special ability (known as their language acquisition device or LAD) and thus have an advantage over older learners when it comes to learning a language; other investigations indicate that older learners have an advantage because of their advanced cognitive abilities Ð they are thus better able to apply language rules (Echevarria & Graves 1998:46). It is also speculated that should adults be exposed to a second language for long enough, they would also acquire the language without having any knowledge of the language rules.
The acquisition of additional languages is a very interesting field and I wish I could deal with it in more detail. Visit your local library for more information about this topic. 4.3 HOW CAN I TEACH AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE?
4.3.1 Introduction
This module focuses primarily on the conscious learning of an additional language in a classroom situation. If the language you are teaching is also spoken in the community, you must use the oral community and the social environment to supplement what you are doing in the classroom and to combine the conscious learning of a language with the acquisition thereof. You can do this by giving the learners tasks to carry out in the community (e.g. conduct an interview with a grandparent in your neighbourhood to find out how things have changed since he or she was a child).

4.3.2 Learners would like to use their additional language
In the past, teachers usually taught an additional language by explaining grammar rules to the learners and drilling words, sentence structures and isolated language points into them. The learners received lists of words and fixed expressions which they had to learn by heart. The result of this traditional approach was that the learners usually knew the grammar rules very well, but the minute they had to speak to someone in the language, or when they had to use the language in a shop, post office or other real-life situation, they were unable to do so. They learned how the language tools worked, but were never given the chance to use and apply these tools in communication situations. Van der Walt (1984:21) points out that learners who study a language usually want to know how to greet people in that language, how to introduce someone to others, to warn, persuade, give advice, ask and give directions, et cetera:
Yet how often are students taught to do these things? A student may know the grammar and


vocabulary of a language and yet still be unable to begin and end a telephone conversation appropriately, or be unable to excuse himself from other people's company, or he may not know how to make sure his listeners understand that he is uncertain about something. We must therefore include in our teaching the ability to do things with language and to express meanings in the language. Language must be seen as interpersonal communication, used for a whole range of purposes and in a wide variety of situations.

Tying in with this, Askes (1992:64) mentions that in his experience learners know exactly what a noun or a verb is, they know what part of speech the word ``warning'' is and also what it means, but that they are unable to actually warn others.
Linguists feel that teachers should adopt a broad approach to language teaching, rather than concentrate on specific methods. The use of a specific method could be too restrictive and narrow.

Journal entry 4b
Up to now, I have only explained how additional languages were presented in the past. You are probably wondering how it is done today. Speak to some of the teachers at your local high school and ask them what methods and activities they use to teach an additional language. If you have children at school, ask them what they do in the additional language classroom. Write the information in your journal.
According to Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997:34), the following is a list of the current trends in additional language classrooms:
. There is no one best method of teaching a language. All the approaches should be tried and the best selected from them.
. The learners speak more than the teachers.
. Teachers use a wide variety of methods in the presentation of their lessons, in exercises, in evaluations and for homework.
. Total physical response is widely used Ð it is used at a more advanced level in higher grades.
. A variety of teaching material is used: sound cassettes, written media, pictures, maps or actual objects.
. Authentic cultural objects are incorporated where possible.
. Gifted children are encouraged and receive more advanced work.
. Interpersonal communication is strongly emphasised.
. Interdisciplinary or content-based approaches are followed.
. Teachers frequently use pair work, group work and cooperative instruction as well as individualised instruction.
. Lessons are characterised by variation because of the children's limited concentration span.
. An informal approach is used. The emphasis is on understanding and speaking the language. . Listening activities provide ``understandable inputs''.
. Words and expressions are used in context and not in isolation.
. The initial emphasis is on listening and speaking and then on reading and writing.
. Associations are made between the additional language and the object, rather than between the word in the additional language and the equivalent in the home language. . Functional communication situations that occur in real life are created and


language structures and functional language usage are practised in these situations. In each lesson previous work is systematically revised and inculcated in the learners. The pace of the lesson is lively and is kept that way by means of timeous changes and transitions from one activity to the next.
The learners are encouraged to speak to each other in the additional language.
Evaluation is done on a continuous and integrated basis.
The learners dramatise discussions, songs, poems, stories, historical events, et cetera. 4.3.3 Learners' preferences
At one stage, Miscke (2001±2002) sent a questionnaire to 200 students learning
Sotho. She received 187 responses. The students were asked what helped them the most to learn the language. They responded as follows:
Learning activities


. role play


. language games


. songs


. talking with and listening to other students


. memorising conversations or dialogues


. getting information from guest speakers


. getting information from planned visits


. writing a learning diary


. learning about the culture


The students came to the interesting conclusion that learner-learner interaction had the most value. They also believed that it was important to learn about the culture of the language.
One of the questions they were asked was how they would like to be assessed in terms of whether they had acquired the language or not. They responded as follows:
Assessment of language use
. written tasks set by the teacher
. using the language you have learned in real-life situations
. other


If you analyse the information above carefully, you will notice that additional language teaching is now characterised by a large number of language teaching approaches, methods and guidelines. New approaches and methods are constantly being developed. As a result, teachers invariably have to find ways to link up with these new methods that are supposedly based on the latest linguistic ``insights''. Some aspects of each approach have been retained while others have fallen into disuse, and

this has resulted in the eclectic approach that we follow today. In section 4.4, I give a historical overview of the most important additional language teaching methods which have all, to a greater or lesser extent, contributed to the eclectic approach we use today.
How a method is used in a classroom depends, to a large extent, on the individual teacher's interpretation of the relevant principles. Some teachers prefer using one particular method, while others pick and choose from all the possibilities and thus create their own unique mix.
The discussion in section 4.4 is based largely on the works of Askes (1992), Kroes
(1992), Brown (1994), Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997), and Wessels and Van den Berg
(1998). Study each approach thoroughly and then compile a list of the advantages and disadvantages associated with each approach. (Please note that I often use the word ``method'' even though it is actually an approach.)

. Traditional methods Ð before 1900

4.4.1 The traditional or grammar-translation method
The traditional method comprises written translations into and from the foreign language and the teaching of grammar rules according to a deductive method (= from the rule to examples). In practice, the grammar translation method is implemented as follows:
. The learners have to translate a text written in the additional language with the aid of dictionaries.
. All the ``new'' words are memorised by the learners. Sometimes entire phrases, sentences or paragraphs are memorised.
. Grammar rules are taught in a deductive manner. The language rule is formulated and the learners have to learn it by heart. Then it is explained with the aid of examples and further reinforced by means of grammar exercises where the rule applies. Exceptions to the rule are memorised.
. Learning and saying tables out loud (such as lists of degrees of comparison or intensive forms) is common.
. Exercises are mostly written and there is little opportunity for verbal interaction in the target language.
. The learners receive language instruction in their home language.
The written word and grammatical rules (the form of the language) are much more important than spoken language in this method. The teacher is the source of all knowledge. Language is mainly taught for the purpose of translating texts from the source language to the first language, and knowledge of grammatical structures is thus extremely important (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997).

Do you have any criticisms of these methods? Look for the positive and negative points by referring to the following aspects: the use of dictionaries, the emphasis on language rules, the lack of dialogue in the classroom, a lack of variety in presentation methods, the over-emphasis

on written work, the use of the home language to teach an additional language, the communicative function of language, et cetera. Do you think that these methods have utility value in the present-day teaching of additional languages?
Would you use these methods in your class? How do these methods compare with the communicative approach?
Translations from and to the target language have, for the last few decades, been a taboo. The value of translations is now, however, being recognised. Translations have their place Ð provided that they are not used too often. The problem I have with this approach is that the additional language is taught using the learners' home language.
But in today's multicultural classroom, we have to ask: ``Who's home language?''
The biggest problem with the grammar-translation method is that learners never really learn to use the language to communicate spontaneously (speak, read, write and listen).

4.4.2 The direct method
By the end of the 19th century, many language teachers had realised that the grammar translation method was not suitable for teaching an additional language.
They realised that learners should have more opportunities to use the language practically and that they should learn to speak by speaking themselves, to understand by listening and to read by reading. According to the direct method, learners learn the language directly (immediately) in and through the specific language. If teachers want their learners to learn an additional language as a home language, learners must acquire the quality of thinking in a foreign language (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:9).
The direct method is aimed at developing direct associations between words and objects in the learner's brain. This method is based on the assumption that an additional language should be learned in the same way as the home language. The teaching of grammar to children under the age of 11 is thus discouraged, as it is argued that children learn to speak their home language correctly without being aware of its underlying language structures or grammar rules or receiving instruction in grammar. Structure and grammar are not important Ð the spoken word is primary. Learning programmes are based on situations and topics and teachers use pictures, models, maps, et cetera.
The founders of the direct method rejected almost all of the techniques of the traditional method. They were strong advocates of speaking instruction and regarded communication as the main purpose of language instruction. In practice, the direct method amounts to the following:
. The additional language is used as the medium of instruction right from the start.
Beginners do not have to do any translation Ð it is only incorporated sparingly much later with advanced children.
. The instruction process is based on the observation principle. The teacher makes use of the immediate environment by indicating certain objects and then naming them. The teacher could, for example, use a pair of scissors to cut paper and then say: ``Look, I'm cutting the paper with a pair of scissors.'' The teacher could also use various other techniques to help the learners to form direct associations: illustrations of actions, pictures, sketches or gestures.
. Words are always taught in context. The use of too many new words in one lesson is discouraged and words with a high frequency of use receive preference.
. Words are taught by explaining their meaning in the additional language. The question-and-answer method is often used along with pictures. If the teacher

shows the learners a picture of a chair, she could ask: ``What is this?'' to which learners should answer: ``This is a chair.'' Then the teacher could ask: ``What colour is the chair?'' et cetera.
. Grammar is taught inductively, but only once the learners have mastered the language to a reasonable degree. The learners are then directed inductively to discover the rules themselves based on their existing language knowledge.
. There is continuous repetition. This repetition consists of listening exercises, verbal drilling, written reinforcement and reading activities. This includes activities such as reading out loud and/or memorising certain passages such as verses, stories and dialogues, comprehension tests based on written passages, extended exercises in pronunciation, phonetic writing and reading followed up by written and oral exercises. . There is a strong emphasis on variation in presentation methods. Methods should be varied to retain the learners' interest.

Do you have any criticisms of the direct method? Think about the appropriateness of factors such as the foreign language as a medium of teaching, the initial lack of formal grammar, the demands made on teachers, the use of pictures and illustrations, et cetera. How does this method compare with the communicative approach?
. Transitional method Ð 1900±1970

4.4.3 The audio-lingual method, behaviouristic or listen-speak approach
These methods, which all have the same basis, originated in a period when behaviourism was a strong focus of psychology. The familiar stimulus-response exercises are used on a large scale and amplified. Drilling (in the classroom or in the language laboratory) therefore forms an important component of this approach. This method is characterised by the presentation of a dialogue, from which certain sentence structures are selected in context and then drilled into the learners. There are no grammatical explanations and use of the learners' home language is minimal. This method also utilises role play, memorisation and replacement exercises. Correct pronunciation is emphasised. Simulation and memorisation of structures play an important role.
The audio-lingual approach is also known as the listen-speak approach; it is the general name used for the linguistic approach to language teaching that emphasises listening (with understanding) and speaking as activities that need to be acquired before reading (with understanding) and writing are acquired. Nothing, in terms of this approach, should be read before it is heard and spoken, and nothing is written until it is read (Brown 1994:71).
A number of shortcomings were, however, identified in this approach:
Initially the supporters of this method set out to teach communication skills in the target language, but gradually became entangled in pattern practice, model sentences, model dialogues and substitution tables that were stilted and unnatural. This was the result of trying to incorporate only the structure or tense that was to be taught during that specific cycle. Later versions of the method tried to avoid this problem by introducing real-life situations, and by introducing structures in a specific context. This did not solve the problem either, since the boredom and monotony of pattern drill and substitution tables continued to demotivate learners (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:10).

Linguists believe that language is a set of habits and that learners can adopt a language by repeating, memorising and generalising language structures (Kilfoil &

Van der Walt 1997). This method is still often used today and also in language laboratories. The goal is communication and mastery of the structural framework
(word order), but the teacher is the person who provides the input while learners become passive imitators.
The audio-lingual method seeks to systematise language teaching and to give it a scientific basis. Over the years, teachers have tried to include more communicative activities in this method, but they find it much easier to use a carefully graded, sequenced and controlled method of teaching than more loosely constructed, creative, learner-centred approaches (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:10).
This method was severely criticised (and rightly so) by Noam Chomsky. He pointed out that the creative abilities of children in their home language (i.e. the ability to create an unending number of sentences that they have never heard before) cannot be explained by the stimulus-response-amplification method. Chomsky had many supporters and his theories were widely expounded, but he unfortunately never came up with anything concrete that could be used in the teaching of additional languages; this meant that the audio-lingual method was not used for long.

Do you have any criticisms of this approach?
Think back to your school days. Can you remember if your teachers ever used any aspect of the audio-lingual approach in their teaching? Explain. How does this link up with the communicative approach? The audio-lingual approach is still used far more frequently today than people think.
Teachers may use some of these principles in the classroom; they should not, however, use this approach exclusively, because it does not promote authentic communication.
. Recent methods Ð after 1970
The past three decades have been characterised by a number of teaching approaches which developed mainly because of a focus on cognitive development. Behaviourism was criticised quite extensively, because it was felt that people could decide and think for themselves and that a person's learning processes were influenced by feelings. A person does not just learn through conditioning and by learning habits. Another factor that caused people to re-think the whole language teaching situation was multilingualism: ``When the demand for multi-lingualism arose, language teaching changed. Learner-centred classrooms, in which learners interact with their peers and facilitator, have become essential, especially in big classes'' (Wessels & Van den Berg
1998:73). It has indeed become increasingly important to change the emphasis from one workable method to a broader, more comprehensive approach.
Current teaching approaches place great emphasis on communication in the classroom and are based on the functional and communicative approach to language instruction. Before we continue, let me explain what is meant by the functional approach. The functional approach emphasises what the speaker wishes to do with the language.
Language functions refer to the purpose for which the language is used, for example being able to make small talk, speaking to someone about a personal experience, relating an event, or investigating a matter and commenting on it. They are also the instruments by which information is conveyed, a report or lecture is written, and a poem or novel is read.

Examples of language functions are apologising for something, asking and giving directions, introducing one person to another, agreeing with someone, greeting someone, thanking someone or expressing sympathy.
Language teachers should strive to maintain a balance between the grammar method and the functional approach. Grammar and functional language usage should be taught in harmony, as it is no good if learners knows all the grammar rules but cannot apply them in a conversation. On the other hand, it is equally unacceptable if learners are able to use various functions, but do not know enough grammar to use the language in new, unfamiliar situations. The learners should be able to use the language to communicate, whether in a conversation or in writing.
Whether one uses methods or approaches, many authors still believe that learners learn best by combining the different skills by using them in a specific context with meaning. A specific structure is learned by showing its function in a specific context familiar to the learner. Every literature lesson and every comprehension test also become a grammar lesson (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:69).
The methods discussed below are more than methods Ð they become approaches in that they concentrate on the learner as a whole, not merely as a responsive, habitcontrolled being. The teacher has to be extremely flexible and needs special training to be successful (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:22).

4.4.4 Suggestopedia
This approach was developed by Luzanov, a psychiatrist and educationist. It is based on the principles of the Science of Suggestology and tries to optimise the psychological forces that influence learners in a nonconscious or nonrational way. Very little conscious learning takes place, because learners are supposed to understand and solve language problems creatively without role learning (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:24).
It is a learner-centred method and learning takes place at the subconscious level. The facilitator uses dialogue often combined with slow, soothing Baroque music, games, rhythmic exercises or relaxing aerobic movements. Everything possible is done to create a relaxed atmosphere.
Baroque music is used because it is believed that it stimulates creative thinking via the right hemisphere of the brain. The approach puts a very strong emphasis on the massive input of new vocabulary (Kroes 1992:9). Brown (1994:97) believes that the relaxed atmosphere and relaxed stream of thoughts may help learners to build selfconfidence in a way that facilitates the acquisition of a language.

4.4.5 Community language learning (CLL)
This approach developed from the general principles of counselling learning. Learners should form part of a community in which members interact as whole people, because learning takes place at a cognitive (intellectual) and affective (emotional) level
(Brown 1994:95; Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:25).
Learners are regarded as whole people in a community and they have to go through various stages of linguistic progression such as the following:

. Learners make and learn a conversation (learners converse in their home language and the facilitator translates to the target language).
. Learners check the conversation.
. Learners transform the text.
. Learners assess the text.
. Learners continue to work with the conversation they have created.
. The facilitator gives guidance by means of activities, such as reading and dramatising. The learners usually sit in a circle with the teacher outside the circle. There is a tape recorder in the middle of the circle. A learner starts by whispering what he or she wants to say in the teacher's ear in his or her home language. The teacher gives the translation in the target language and the learner repeats it. As soon as the learner feels comfortable saying what he or she has to say in the target language, it is recorded. Each learner gets a chance before the recordings are played back. Little real instruction takes place. This approach is mainly used for oral proficiency, but later on learners may also learn to write down what they have said on the tape recording. The curriculum is very flexible, because the learners decide on the content. The teacher uses the material to teach the learners what is expected at that specific level (Kilfoil &
Van der Walt 1997:25).

4.4.6 The silent way
This approach is based on the theory of learning that holds that learners learn best by manipulating objects. The teacher only speaks when absolutely necessary, otherwise he or she only uses charts or rods. Problem solving is important for learning, because learners become independent and responsible for their own learning (Kilfoil & Van der
Walt 1997:26).
Apparatus such as the following is needed:
. A sound-colour chart, representing sounds in the target language.
. Blocks Ð the facilitator gets learners to say syllables, words and sentences by pointing to the blocks.
. Rods Ð serve as pointers, clock hands, et cetera.
. Words charts.
A typical lessons begins with pronunciation exercises and then, with the aid of the resources mentioned above, progresses to activities (Kroes 1992:8).
The facilitator is the key figure in spite of being silent. The facilitator thus needs professional training.

4.4.7 The Total Physical Response (TPR)
This method was developed by James Asher. The approach depends on a physical action to reinforce what is taught. The main idea behind this approach is that the more frequently something is repeated, the more easily it is remembered. Imperatives or commands form the greatest part of the input learners get from their home language and imperatives are therefore also used to learn another language. In this way, the learner acquires the target language more or less in the same way as the home language (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:25).

The facilitator utters an instruction, carries it out (or gets a model to do it) and the learners react by doing the same. At a later stage when the learners are ready to speak, they give the instructions to their peers and/or the facilitator.
The teacher uses only the target language and actions to show the learners what to do. At the beginning, the learners are not supposed to speak Ð they only react through actions. In this way, comprehension comes before speaking. Learners speak for the first time when they give each other instructions (Kilfoil & Van der Walt

Do you think that the TPR approach can be used successfully?
Which age group would benefit most from this approach?
How does this approach compare with the communicative approach?
This approach is the ideal place to start teaching a second additional language to a class comprising learners with different home languages. The teacher can easily demonstrate something without having to refer to a specific home language. This method is particularly suitable for young learners who are being introduced to a language for the first time, because it includes a lot of activities and uses simple instructions. 4.5 THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE TEACHING
4.5.1 Introduction
In study unit 2, you were introduced to the basic principles of the communicative approach to language teaching. In this section, I discuss the communicative approach with specific reference to the teaching of an additional language. There is really no such thing as a single communicative method; rather, various techniques are combined in different ways to form different combinations and each combination can be used to facilitate a communicative approach. Existing methods (such as those discussed in the previous sections) can thus be applied as part of a communicative approach. The communicative approach emphasises the need to effect communication rather than linguistic competence. Effective communication should be the focus of language teaching. The learners' ability to use the language to communicate in different situations is more important than their formal knowledge of language structures. In other words, the communicative approach emphasises communicative competence rather than linguistic competence Ð the focus must be on the meaning of the message conveyed by the learner rather than on the correct form.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Additional language teaching does not focus primarily on the structure of the language, but rather on what can be done with the language: communicate, convey meaning and to converse with people. Language functions Ð arguing, making a promise, convincing someone or giving directions Ð are emphasised.


The communicative approach is strongly learner-centred and the learners usually work in small groups with authentic (= credible, real) language material. Authentic language material comprises different examples of real, true-to-life situations where language is used in a particular way. All the activities should aim to facilitate communication and to convey meaning.
According to Finnocchiaro and Brumfit (1983:91±93), the most important differences between the audio-lingual method (which previously dominated additional language teaching) and the functional-notional approach (a notion refers to situations in which you communicate; function refers to what you want to do with the language e.g. give instructions, greet someone) which later led to the communicative approach, are as follows:
Table 4.1
Differences between the audio-lingual approach and the communicative approach
The audio-lingual approach

The communicative approach

focuses on structure and form

focuses on meaning

requires memorisation

avoids unnecessary memorisation

language is not necessarily based on context

language is always based on context

focuses on structures and words

focuses on communication

aims to achieve over-learning

aims to facilitate effective communication

drilling is important

drilling is used occasionally

forbids the use of the home language

the home language is used intelligently

aims to promote linguistic competence

aims to promote communicative competence

the sequence of the learning material is determined by the level of linguistic difficulty

the sequence of the learning material depends on the content, language function and meaning

teacher centred

learner centred

focuses on accuracy

focuses on fluency

argues that language structures are predetermined by learners

argues that learners' needs determine the teaching of language structures

argues that the intrinsic motivation to use the language is based on an interest in language structure argues that the intrinsic motivation to use the language lies in the pursuit of meaningful communication

4.5.2 Implications of the communicative approach on presentation methods in the classroom
The communicative approach has the following implications for the presentation of an additional language:
. Teachers must create communication situations in the class so that learners get the opportunity to really communicate and to exchange information. Group work is essential and learner-learner interaction must be emphasised rather than teacherlearner interaction.
. Although drilling should not be totally ignored, it is no longer an essential activity






during teaching. Pronunciation is important, but only to the point that people are able to understand each other properly.
Learners may use their home language to facilitate activities, to find the meaning of a single word or to understand a phenomenon.
Although translations are no longer forbidden, they should only be used when they have real value. (The implication is that different techniques may be used as long as they facilitate communication and prepare the learners to use the language in their adult and professional lives.)
Learners, themselves, must be given as many opportunities as possible to speak, write and read the language. Teachers thus need to speak less. Those situations where the teacher speaks and then expects the learners to repeat after him or her should not be seen as opportunities for the learners to speak.
It is totally natural to make mistakes when mastering a language (just think of all the mistakes a young child makes when he or she is learning his or her home language). Try not to rectify each mistake a learner makes as this will undermine his or her self-confidence. Teachers should also try to create a ``low level of fear'' in their classrooms so that learners are liberated from their ``speaking anxiety''.
Try to create as many opportunities as possible for learners to communicate with each other. Try to create real, true-to-life situations through role play, for example.
Learners are motivated when they feel that that which they are learning has utility value and that it will be useful in their social and/or professional lives.
Learners are taught grammar and vocabulary that is relevant to their everyday lives. Resources are used extensively and learners participate in role play, group work and language games.
You could make use of the following resources in your lessons: magazines, pictures, newspapers, weather reports, television programmes, hand puppets, music instruments, overhead projectors, et cetera.
Listening activities are very important. Learners should, for example, be able to repeat a story (event) after they have listened to a reading or a tape recording of it.
Dialogues, replacement tables, in-other-words exercises and the cloze technique may be used, but with discretion. A dialogue may be learned, adapted and developed in an unstructured speaking lesson. Remember, though, learning a dialogue and the associated language structure is not communication!

4.5.3 Implications of the communicative approach for the teacher
The teacher is, most definitely, not the focus of the language teaching situation Ð the learner should be central. Teachers need to concentrate on the learners' needs; they also need to find the most appropriate way of helping them to communicate in the target language. The teacher must facilitate, that is, to make things easier for the learners.
By planning suitable activities and situations, the teacher facilitates the learners' exposure to and communication in the additional language. The teacher thus brings together the learners and the language in the communicative situation.
The communicative approach is very challenging and makes enormous demands on the teacher. The teacher is entitled to reject the communicative method and to choose a method of his or her choice, provided of course that the learners will benefit from his or her method of teaching. The teacher must always ask the following question: ``If I were in the class, would I have enjoyed this form of additional language teaching?''

Journal entry 4c

Reread Mrs Makeba's lesson on page 26. List the principles of the communicative approach that you notice in her lesson.
Look at the following picture (adapted from Latti & Gouws 1992). Decide which one of the lessons is communicative and outcomes based in nature. Give reasons for your answer. Situation 1:
Class, today we are going to look at direct and indirect speech. I say:
``Close the door. ''I write it on the chalkboard. ``Close the door.'' We call this direct speech. Class, take note! Indirect speech works as follows: The teacher says that the door has been closed. The ...



Situation 2:
Close the door. Please close the door.

The teacher says that the door ...

What do we say?

Figure 4.1
A communicative teaching situation


The teacher asks that Grandpa must please close the door. 4.5.4 Implications for language material
The most important requirement for the language material that is used during the communicative approach to language teaching is that it must bring about authentic, real and credible language utterances. The learners' tasks must resemble, as far as possible, the real communication situations that learners are confronted with and will be confronted with outside the classroom. It is also essential that the language material used falls within the learners' fields of interest.
Askes (1992:74) believes that the following should be used to teach the meaning of words: .

real objects: clothes, soup, keys pictures and illustrations on the chalkboard: tree, mountain, tractor imitation: sneeze, run, stumble actions, facial expressions demonstrations explanations (this method must be given last priority)

4.5.5 A last word about the communicative approach
It is obvious that learners who learn a second additional language according to the communicative approach, must be assessed accordingly. It would be senseless to measure a learner's progress by testing his or her grammar if he or she has been taught according to the communicative approach. I briefly discuss assessment in study unit 11.
The big question is now how to ensure that the communicative approach during the teaching of creative work, reading, literature, et cetera takes it rightful place.
According to the communicative approach, all language teaching must be linked to the type of activities or tasks that learners will have to face in the additional language one day. During reading instruction, for example, teachers should pay careful attention to the communicative reading needs of the learners. Look at the following examples: . In which social and work situations will they later need to be able to read the language, that is, what functions will they need to be able to carry out? Learners will, for example, need to be able to use the language to communicate with colleagues, clients or employers. They will thus need to be able to read and react to basic information related to their work.
. They will need to be able to read and understand general sources of information
(e.g. posters, advertisements, newspaper headlines).
. It is also possible that learners will want to read for relaxation (e.g. an interesting book or article).

Journal entry 4d
The following table deals with aspects of the communicative approach to language teaching. Complete the table and ensure that you comment on each statement. (You do not need to rewrite the statements in your journal Ð write only the number.)






1 The communicative approach to language teaching is an approach for lazy teachers.
2 In the communicative approach to language teaching, no attention is given to language structures.
3 Because learners never learn language structures, they will never attempt to speak the language correctly.
4 In the communicative approach to language teaching, it is more important to be fluent than correct.
5 In the communicative approach to language teaching, no attention is given to the correct use of the language.
6 In the communicative approach to language teaching, mistakes are seen as part of the language acquisition process. 7 The communicative approach to language teaching aims to build learners' self-confidence.
8 Teachers who use the communicative approach to language teaching may not allow their learners to write.
9 In the communicative approach, the assessment of language acquisition is done in writing and communicatively.

In practice, you will find that the communicative approach to language teaching is more exacting than any other approach. The outcomes achieved, however, are significantly better. This approach requires that you plan thoroughly and continuously monitor the learners' progress Ð tasks that require a great deal of time. The communicative approach does not mean that you do not teach language structures. Rather, it means that language structures may not be taught in isolation Ð they must be taught in context and there must be a balance between teaching structures and functions. It is definitely better to be fluent than correct, but there must be a balance between the two.
One of the problems of the communicative approach is that learners progress to a point where they can understand each other, but still struggle to understand a home language speaker. A key task for you as teacher is to find creative and exciting ways to get the learners to communicate with home language speakers. It should not be a problem in South Africa to find home language speakers who are willing to speak to learners on a regular and informal basis (one a week or twice a month). You should try to convince the learners that one of the prerequisites for taking the language is that they have to find a friend or mentor who speaks the language as a home language speaker. Give the learners at least one task per month that requires them to spend time with the home language speaker. You could also encourage them to make pen friends with speakers of the additional language.

I hope that you now have a good idea of the various language teaching methods that have come and gone over time.

Now page back to the learning outcomes stated at the beginning of this study unit.
Have you achieved them? Test yourself by answering the following questions. Try to answer the questions without turning back to the notes. If you need to page back more than twice, I suggest that you work through the study unit again.

What is the difference between consciously learning a language and language acquisition? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What is your biggest criticism of the language teaching methods that are based on behaviourism? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Which approach advocates that physical movement and language development go hand-inhand? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What is meant by a functional approach? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What is the core of the communicative approach? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What should a teacher's approach be when learners make mistakes while speaking an additional language? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Even at its very best, communication in the classroom is a mere shadow of communication in the real world. Nevertheless, it prepares learners for the types of situations and circumstances that they may come across outside the classroom.
Because the communicative approach recognises the good points in other methods and uses them and is thus really a combination of other approaches, it offers teachers and learners infinite possibilities.



Listening and speaking instruction You do not have to play football to score a touchdown!
As learners prepare for school, it is often the extracurricular activities that they look forward to rather than the tuition. They sometimes dream of scoring a winning touchdown, winning a game or free throw, or even cheering the team to victory. Not everyone can be a star athlete, but everyone can be a star! It is thus your job as a teacher to teach the learners that they do not have to play football to score Ð all they have to do is dream!
Getting involved in class activities is an essential part of the game of life. You do not have to be the quarterback on the football team to be successful; but like the quarterback, you need to strive to reach your goal line. A quarterback knows what his goal looks like; he learns what is necessary to get there and practises with discipline so that he can do his best in the game. Get the learners to set goals and to work towards them with the same zest that a state champion quarterback would to achieve those goals.

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. apply different methods to develop the learners' listening and speaking skills
. purposefully teach learners listening and speaking skills for different purposes, audiences and situations
. teach learners how to verbalise their ideas effectively
. integrate the four main communication skills in a lesson

In the course of this study unit, I apply a number of different methods to help you to reach the outcomes for this study unit. I also expect that you will apply different methods during your practical teaching and while you are writing your journal to demonstrate that you have reached the outcomes.


Journal entry 5a
Before I say anything that might influence you, I want you to write brief notes in your journal about each of the following points. A short paragraph about your experiences of speaking and listening instruction will suffice.
Think back to the listening and speaking instruction you received at school for your home language and your first and/or second additional language. Do not just answer ``yes'' or
`'no'' Ð give reasons for your answers.

What kind of oral work did you do at school?
To what extent were you interested in the oral tasks you did at school?
Why did you enjoy doing oral work?
Why did you not enjoy doing oral work?
Did you participate in class or were you merely a passive listener?
Were you ever taught listening and oral skills?
Did the teacher start the oral period by saying that you could speak about anything you liked?
(8) Were you gradually prepared to speak about a specific topic?
(9) How were your listening and oral skills assessed?
(10) Were you equipped to the extent that you became a good listener and speaker as an adult? I am sure that many of your journal entries portray a negative attitude towards oral activities. They probably also show that you did not really listen to your class mates when they were ``doing'' their orals. I cannot remember being taught how to listen and speak correctly. Listening and speaking instruction should be done in such a way that the learners look forward to these classes.
In the sections that follow, I will explain how to present listening and speaking so that the learners have fun and enjoy the lessons. You need to prepare them for the listening and speaking situations they will experience as adults.
Although listening can be taught in isolation, it is impossible to separate speaking and listening. Your thought processes and your ability to speak intelligently are closely related. It is said that well-developed oral skills can improve a learner's emotional development and academic progress.

The article below was written by Hirose (1992) and was published by the following journal: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading English and Communication. It discusses some important matters relating to the teaching of speaking skills.
At the most basic level, oral language means communicating with other people. But when we talk about oral language development across the curriculum, we do not mean teaching children to speak as much as we mean improving their ability to talk or communicate more effectively. Speech is not usually simply basic communication Ð it involves thinking, knowledge, and skills. It also requires practice and training. How can we help our children to develop oral proficiency? What do we need to do as teachers to facilitate that development?


Before continuing, I want to remind you that language should be taught as an integrated whole. This means that although you can distinguish between the different sections of the learning area (listening, speaking, reading and writing), you should teach them in an integrated manner. You should thus try to create real-life situations in which the learners can use and develop their language skills optimally. Your most important task as a teacher is thus to create opportunities where the learners can interact and use the language. Listening instruction should thus be closely integrated with the teaching of speaking and writing (this was previously known as oral work and written composition in the home language), as well as reading instruction. A listening exercise may, for example, precede a reading lesson, or if you wish to teach the learners how to use the adjective, you could read a passage to the learners and then ask them to write down all the descriptive words from the passage.
You must ensure that listening and speaking instruction in the home language includes spelling and oral skills. The listening and speaking programme should thus make provision for these three skills.
Listening and speaking in the first and second additional languages should be aimed at everyday listening and speaking situations. Learners are expected to use the language to fulfil certain functions, such as making enquiries, congratulating someone, asking for and giving explanations, and taking messages. Speaking and listening must, therefore, prepare learners for everyday, real-life communication situation.


Journal entry 5b
Read the two scenarios below and then answer the following questions. Give reasons for your answers.

Scenario 1
Ms Mda enters the classroom and greets the learners. She tells the learners that the lesson that day will be an oral lesson and that they may speak about anything they want. The learners complain Ð they want to be given a topic and time to prepare. Ms Mda explains that impromptu speeches are far more creative. She starts with the first learner on her list and works down the class list alphabetically. She does not tell them how she will award marks for the speeches Ð learners must just speak.

Scenario 2
Mr Venter rearranges the desks in his classroom and then divides the class into groups. The learners were asked to bring information about the Cricket World Cup (or any major sporting event) with them to the lesson. The learners first listen to a tape recording or watch a video clip of a cricket match. While they are doing this, the learners must write down words which show that the commentator is excited, dismayed, satisfied or discontent. Each group chooses a country that they want to represent. They must then explain to the rest of the class why they have chosen that particular country. Mr Venter is worried that the groups may all choose the same country, so he writes the names of different countries on pieces of paper and then gets the groups to choose. The groups must then explain to each other where the country is (remember that they have brought information with them) and what is interesting

about the country. The groups can then pose questions to members from the other groups to determine whether they have listened or not. Group members could also act as imaginary members of a panel who are commenting on the game.

In which of the scenarios does the teacher stimulate the learners' attention?
Did the learners learn anything in the first scenario?
Why is the second scenario preferable to the first?
What skills did the learners develop in the first scenario?

5.2.1 Why is listening instruction necessary?
The average person listens more than he or she speaks. Audiences today are more interested in a visual than an audio culture. Our exposure to the different media means that we are losing our ability to listen. Although we still hear a lot, our communication has become more visually oriented. Pictures and action shots in newspapers and television advertisements ``say more'' then even the most ingenious radio advertisement. Think about the music teenagers listen to. Do they listen to the music or are they merely watching the music videos? Learners need to be taught how to listen more effectively.

5.2.2 What are the most common obstacles to listening?
We are all guilty of bad listening habits. Choose, from the list below, five obstacles that prevent you from listening effectively. Explain in detail how you could overcome each obstacle. (Do not just say, ``I won't do it anymore!'')

Talking rather than listening.
Thinking about what I am going to say rather than listening.
Arguing with the speaker in your mind.
Thinking about something else while the speaker is talking.
Becoming impatient with the speaker.
Giving in to a poor environment Ð too noisy, too hot, too hungry!
Dividing your attention Ð getting homework, writing a letter, staring at someone cute! . Not listening actively Ð taking notes, asking questions, et cetera.
. Not being motivated to listen. The subject is boring!!
. Being distracted by the speaker's mannerisms, voice or appearance.
The average adult spends approximately

40 to 50 percent of their communication time on listening
25 to 30 percent on speaking
11 to 16 percent on reading only 9 percent on writing

It is thus clear that listening is the skill that is used the most. But the fact that so many people spend so much time listening does not mean that they are effective listeners; rather, it shows that listening skills need to be taught and mastered at an young age. Winn (1988:144) comments as follows: ``Children do not need to listen more, they need to listen better.''
It is the language teacher who must ensure that learners learn to listen ``better''.

Prepare listeners for all types of listening tasks. Listening instruction requires Ð more than ever Ð a central place in the school curriculum. As adults and professionals, we are expected to have highly developed listening skills. We are also required to listen in different ways and for different purposes Ð it is for this reasons that learners need to be taught how to listen effectively at school.
Most teachers go to a lot of trouble to give remedial assistance to those learners with reading problems. We should be asking: should these learners also be learning how to use their listening skills optimally so that they can compensate for their poor reading skills? These learners could then Ð like the blind Ð depend more on oral texts to learn the learning content. The fact that the blind do depend so extensively on their hearing, emphasises the importance of listening skills.
There is a great temptation to move listening instruction to the back burner Ð the school day is already over-full and teachers have probably never received listening instruction themselves. It is likely that many teachers do not know how to teach listening skills. Teachers often feel that listening skills develop naturally, so they do not see they need to teach these skills. Listening skills do not develop naturally.
Research shows that listening skills can be improved. It has been determined, for example, that learners who know that they will be tested at the end of a listening exercise, fare better than those who do not know that they will be tested. Listening tasks should thus be designed according to a play-listen-confirm-react pattern. All listening tasks must have a clear purpose. Listening tasks are only effective when learners have a specific task that indicates whether they have understood or not. If learners know what the aim of the listening task is, they will be better able to focus and concentrate.

5.2.3 Using stories during listening instruction
It is a good idea to plan activities that are based on a story and that learners can do together. These activities should stimulate the learners' interest, so they should not be too difficult. Listening to a story, answering questions about the story and then completing a worksheet can be an exciting activity. You could, for example, read just a section of the story Ð this may stimulate the learners' interest so much that they want to read the book themselves.
Here is an activity that should help you to think about using stories in listening instruction. The following passage is an extract from Barry Hough's In full flight (1992). Read the story and then complete the activity.
There's a crisis at my house when Erika and I get there. Feathers and blood lie all over the stoep.
Nina is howling. One of the neighbour's chickens dangles from Matisse's jaws.
``Please help,'' Ma begs. ``Matisse runs away when I get close. And you know how the child feels about an animal dying. Even if it's just a chicken.''
Erika tries to comfort Nina.
I chase Matisse round the garden. He thinks it's a game. At last I catch him and get hold of the chicken. I'm disappointed to see it's a hen. He should've caught one of the cocks that crow outside my window so early in the morning.
``Get rid of the corpse,'' Ma says. ``I really don't feel like problems with the neighbours.''


We have a funeral for the hen. We bury her under the maple tree, resplendent in autumn colours.
Nina insists that I read from the Bible. I decide on Psalm 23. Nina, Ma and Erika sing: ``On mountains and in valleys ...''
I point out the coloured leaves to Nina and say: ``One of these days the chicken's grave will be covered by a red leafy blanket.'' Matisse sits at the side, looking on.
``Stay for something to eat.'' Ma invites Erika. ``I'll drop you off at your house later.''
``What's for supper, Ma?'' I ask.
``Not chicken, fortunately,'' she whispers.
Erika goes off to phone home. She comes back. ``My mother says I can stay for supper.''
Nina's quiet during the meal. She picks at her food. I can see she's still mourning.
Ma takes her along when she drops off Erika.
I close curtains and switch on lights. Walking past the bookshelf, I notice that set of encyclopaedias. I look up ``phoenix''.
PHOENIX. A mythical bird of which only one exists at any given time. It is usually portrayed with red and gold feathers and blue eyes. According to Greek mythology, the phoenix lived for five hundred years, at the end of which period he made a nest of frankincense twigs in the East. He then sang an exquisite elegy, flapped his wings to ignite the pile of twigs, and expired in the flames. From his ashes, the new phoenix arose.

Journal entry 5c
Use the story to plan a lesson in which the learners do the following activities:

listen to the story answer questions out loud about the story complete a worksheet about the story

Now complete the following in your journal:

Write down three questions that you would ask before reading the story; these questions should stimulate the learners' attention. Do not use questions that only require a ``yes'' or ``no'' answer.
Describe a visual aid that you could use to illustrate the story and retain the learners' interest. Indicate how you would use the aid.
Write down five questions that you would ask after you have read the story.
Compile a simple worksheet that learners must complete.

Choose a story that is appropriate for the specific grade. These activities can be used with any story.
The purpose of the story lesson is to show the learners that you know what your job entails and that you are so good at it that you are able to set activities that the learners can do together. The learners should find the activities interesting and they should enjoy doing them Ð they should also be easy enough that they do not require your assistance too often. Please note that the story also touched on some important life skills. In this lesson, the learners

. listened to the story
. answered questions out loud about the story
. completed a worksheet about the story
Let us look at each of these activities in more detail. Listening
Have you ever found that, despite having given learners very clear instructions, they do not follow your instructions? It is not easy to get learners to listen, to pay attention and to do exactly what you say they should do. Get their attention
It is essential that you get the learners to pay attention before you start telling them something. The question is, though, how to do this.
Before you read any further, write down some ideas in your journal. Here are some ideas that I like to use:
(1) Give signals to the class
By the word `'signal'', I mean a sign Ð either in words or an action Ð that causes the learners to pay attention. Some teachers just clap their hands, others simply say, ``Pay attention''. It is as easy as that and it is just a sign that tells the learners to listen more attentively. The sign may sometimes be more complicated. You may want to do something unusual so that the class pays greater attention to you; it is also a good idea to use different signals. If learners get used to one signal, they may stop paying attention to it. You must start with your lesson as soon as you have the learners' attention Ð do not become distracted and lose the learners' attention.
(2) Use aids
By an ``aid'', I mean something that will interest the learners. It might be a picture, an object, a model or a tape recording Ð they may be simple or complicated. Try using something that is linked to the story Ð the aids should encourage the learners to take an interest in the story itself. You could, for example, show the learners a picture of a phoenix. (3) Ask questions
The signals and the aids will encourage the learners to look at you and to listen to you. Questions should cause them to think about what you are saying. The first questions may be very simple and easy. You may show a picture of a phoenix and ask,
``What is this?'' You are not asking the question to find out whether they know or not; rather, you asking the question to make them pay attention and to start thinking. You should also ask questions to find out what the learners already know, such as ``What does mystical mean?'' You may ask questions starting with
``Why ...?'' so that the learners have to give reasons for their answers. These questions will make the learners think about the things in the story Ð remember, they are not about the story itself, only the things in the story. These questions should encourage the learners to find out more about the story. The learners should feel that the story will teach them new and exciting things. You could get the learners'

attention by giving signals, using aids and asking questions. Try to think of other methods and write them in your journal. This will help you to compile a list of useful ideas. (4) Keeping the learners' attention
It is not usually difficult to get the learners' attention. You could clap your hands and say, ``Put down your pens and look at me'' or you could hold up an interesting picture. Every learner will look and listen if you ask sensible questions. The difficulty is, however, retaining the learners' attention, especially if you have a long story to tell. If the story is well written, well read or well told, it will keep the learners' attention Ð even if it is a long story. We have all had teachers who were boring and those who were interesting and creative. Think about these teachers. What did they do to make their lessons boring or interesting? Have a look at some of the following ideas: . Boring teachers keep still all the time. Interesting teachers are active; they move around a lot and they act out the story they are telling.
. Boring teachers read at the same speed all the time. Interesting teachers vary the pace at which they speak to suit the story.
. Boring teachers use the same tone of voice all the time. Interesting teachers vary the tone they use: high and low, and loud and soft.
. Boring teachers tell you what is happening or what the story is about before you think about it yourself. Interesting teachers keep you guessing, and keep you in suspense right to the end.
. Boring teachers just tell you facts or they talk on and on about things that do not matter. Interesting teachers tell you things that have something to do with the subject, but are not in the textbook.
. Boring teachers use dull words. Interesting teachers use words that make the story come alive (because of their sound and rhythm).
. Boring teachers seem bored with what they are doing. Interesting teachers seem interested in what they are doing.
Once you have ascertained that the learners are paying attention, you need to ask more in-depth questions, that is, questions to see if they have listened attentively, to check that they have understood the story and questions that force them to respond to the story. I like to make use of the following types of questions:
. questions that check for listening (These questions ask the learners to re-tell important parts of the story in their own words.)
. questions that check for understanding (These questions ask the learners to give reasons why things happened or did not happen in the story.)
. questions that check for feelings (These questions ask learners to explain what a character in the story might have felt or what they felt when they listened to the story.) . questions for extension (These questions are not about the story itself, but about things that have links with the learners' lives. I use these questions to make the learners think, that is, to relate what they have been taught with what they know Ð their own lives!)

5.2.4 Listening instruction for first and second additional languages
If a learner's listening comprehension in his or her home language is about three on a scale of five, it will be very difficult Ð if not impossible Ð to better that level of

comprehension in an additional language. If a learner is not purposefully taught to listen with understanding in his or her home language, there is no foundation on which to build in an additional language.
Listening as a receptive skill in an additional language is an important way of acquiring an additional language. Byrne (1988:26) says the following:
... let us agree that listening is a very important classroom activity because students need to have a good receptive knowledge of the foreign language. That is, they need to understand much more than they can produce (as in the mother tongue). ... only by giving the students a broad and comfortable foundation in listening and reading can we give them the confidence they need in order to communicate.

A person's receptive skills (listening and reading) should Ð in real, everyday communication situations Ð be far more developed than the productive skills
(writing and speaking). Learners should thus be given sufficient exposure to home language speakers. (Remember that you can use radio and television recordings, particularly if you are not a home language speaker yourself!)
Poetry can be used very effectively to develop the learners' listening skills (and speaking skills). The rhyme and rhythm patterns stimulate the listening process (and the use of good articulation when speaking). As a language teacher, you could easily include listening and speaking exercises as part of your literature lesson. Aspects of listening
(a) The difference between listening and hearing
Listening is not the same as hearing. Learners may hear, but will not necessarily listen.
The hearing process simply means that the eardrums vibrate as a result of sound waves. Listening, in contrast, is an active cognitive process. Listening thus means receiving the sound waves, interpreting them mentally and assigning meaning to them. The message that is formed as a result of this process is then interpreted internally and related to information acquired during previous listening experiences.
A person generally reacts verbally or in written form to this information and the message is stored so that it can recalled later.
(b) Each listener is unique
Listening is an individual and creative action. Each listener brings his or her own experiences, personality and way of thinking to the listening situation. Each interpretation is a result of processes unique to a particular individual. A group of people might listen to the same presentation, yet all have totally different interpretations of the presentation. No two people will hear precisely the same thing or remember it in precisely the same way. This is why Barbe and Myers (1971:31) regard listening as ``... the process of reacting to, interpreting and relating the spoken language in terms of past experiences and future courses of action''.
(c) Kinds of listening
Listening is a purposeful activity. Because the listener is attuned to what the speaker is communicating, the listening process is determined largely by the speaker's intention.
A speaker may intend to convey information (to be informative), to persuade the listener, to seek sympathy or simply to give pleasure.

I am sure you are aware that there is a close relationship between good listening skills and the ability to remember. The ability to remember focuses on the following skills:
. an intention to remember (This has much to do with how good a listener you are.)
. selectivity (A good listener is able to determine which part of the conversation carries the main content of the message being conveyed.)
. meaningful organisation (During the listening process, the listener groups ideas into meaningful categories or groups.)
. mental visualisation (A good listener makes a mental picture of what a person is talking about. By teaching children to visualise what they hear, you teach them to use different parts of their brains simultaneously.)

Journal entry 5d

Think about those situations in the last week where you had to listen. Write down all these situations in your journal. Now indicate what was expected of you in each listening situation and the aim with which you listened. For example:
Listening situation

Purpose of listening action

listening to music listen to a friend with problems


pleasure listening to understand

Did you listen to all the speakers in exactly the same way?

If you reflect on your listening actions, you will realise that on different occasions you listen to analyse, to discover, to be critical or to follow instructions. You sometimes listen with sympathy and show understanding, while at other times you listen to remember. You must teach all the different types of listening, because the learners will encounter them at some or another time. This means that you must simulate all types of situations in the classroom so that the learners have the opportunity to practise their listening skills.

Journal entry 5e
Write down at least five situations that you could simulate that would make the learners enthusiastic about listening.

(d) Listening with different intentions
I am sure that you have listened to different speakers with different intentions.
Listening strategies vary according to the aim of the speaker, so it is essential to expose the learners to as wide a variety of listening experiences as possible. I will now discuss the different types of listening that should be practised:
. Listening for appreciation. Learners should be given the opportunity to listen for appreciation. This type of listening takes place when the speaker intends to provide

pleasure or enjoyment and the listener intends to experience enjoyment. Poetry, music and humourous stories can be used to practise this type of listening skill.
Get learners to listen to two different pieces of music Ð one restful and the other very heavy Ð and then ask them to write down what the music reminds them of and how the two pieces differ. Book readings or humorous stories can also be used to develop learners' appreciative listening skills. Take time to read an interesting story to the class.
. Listen for information Ð critical, analytical and discriminating listening. This type of listening can be described as evaluative listening. This takes place when the speaker wants to persuade or convince the listener about a specific point of view. This includes becoming a discriminating listening, that is, one where the listener listens critically to information and then analyses it. When learners listen for information, they are required to distinguish information that is important and useful and that which is not. A listener listens critically and analytically in order to determine the speaker's intention, to distinguish between facts and opinions, or to determine what part of the speaker's message can or cannot be used.
. Listening with empathy. When listening empathetically, the listener attempts to understand the speaker's point of view, his or her values, attitudes, emotions and feelings. These types of listening often occur when conversations are taking place and should thus be taught as such.
Learners should be helped to listen purposefully. The nature of listening tasks often varies Ð it is thus important that you, the teacher, determine the purpose of each listening task. The learners must be told what the purpose of the listening task is and the teacher must ensure that the learners understand exactly what is expected of them: listening for the main idea (e.g. ask the learners to summarise the story in two sentences), listening for cause and effect, listening for detail, distinguishing between facts and opinions, selecting descriptive words, et cetera. It is also important that you set realistic outcomes for your learners, because these will enable you to assess the listening process meaningfully at the end of the activity. If you do not tell the learners what they are expected to achieve by the end of an activity (outcome), they will have no way of knowing if they have achieved it. Learners must be taught how to determine for themselves what the speaker intends with his or her communication.
You could use the following questions to help the learners with this orientation:

To whom and I listening and for what reason?
Why is something being said?
What should I pay particular attention that will help me with the listening task?
Why should I listen?
What can I do with the information I obtain?

The last question shows that the listening task must be clear and realistic.
You should always make a conscious effort to create the right listening atmosphere and to prepare learners for active listening. The learners should know that they are expected to listen and that they will have to do something with that which they have heard at the end of the listening activity.

Journal entry 5f

Explain how you would create the correct listening atmosphere in your language class.

Learners should be encouraged to master the following techniques during listening experiences: . Predict the purpose of the piece.
. Predict what will happen next.
. Try to predict the speaker's following thought. It is often possible to predict what the main thought will be based on the information provided by the speaker.
. Learners should also be taught to make regular mental summaries of what speakers are saying or have said.
. Evaluation of information: information should be evaluated continuously. You could, for example, ask the following questions:
Ð Did I understand the speaker correctly?
Ð How does the speaker's comment relate to my own experience?
Ð Has the speaker based his or her ideas on fact or opinion? What value should I attach to it?
Ð What is the speaker's attitude? Is he or she perhaps biased?
(e) Listening etiquette
The listener's actions in a communication situation are very important. Effective communication will not really take place if the listener does not take an active role in the communication process.
. Listen attentively. Ask the speaker to explain immediately what he or she means if any part of the conversation is unclear. Do not allow your own opinions to cloud your judgement.
. When someone calls you, respond immediately so that he or she knows that you have heard him or her.
. Do not listen with indifference when someone speaks to you. This kind of attitude may hurt the speaker's feelings. Listen even more attentively when the speaker says something that is to your benefit or answers your questions.
. Respond verbally when someone gives you a task. Answer ``yes'' or `'no'', and so on. You may have no intention of doing the work, but by keeping quiet, you may give the impression that you have agreed to do the work.
. Rather keep quiet when someone gossips about another person. Leave the room if the situation becomes unbearable.
. If you do not understand something after having listened attentively to a conversation, lecture or speech, do not attribute it to the speaker. Rather, attribute this lack of understanding to your inability to understand or inattentiveness.
. Do not get up and leave while someone is talking to you. This is hurtful and shows that you do not value the conversation.
. Do not hold conversations while you are listening to a lecture. Pay attention to the discourse. Conducting another conversation during a lecture is disrespectful and shows that you do not value the discourse.
. Listen attentively when someone gives you a task. Inform this person once you have completed the task successfully. By doing so, you will avoid uncertainty and suspense.

. If you do not understood, say so! Do not pretend that you have understood. Do not use the expression ``Yes, yes'' all the time.

Journal entry 5g
Think of all the situations in your life where you have to listen and then complete the following five activities:

Compile a list of people you like to listen to as well as those you do not like to listen to. Now give reasons why you like to listen to some people, but not to others.
What do you do when you find it difficult to listen to someone (e.g. the church minister or the chairperson at a meeting)?
Which of the people on your list do you regard as good listeners?
What do good listeners do? Write down everything they do that make it easy and fun to talk to them.

(f) Interactive listening
It is usually fun to speak to someone who listens attentively to what you are saying and who indicates that he or she is listening. Learners must be taught to listen actively. Active listening is particularly useful when you are not sure that you understand what the other person means or when you want to confirm that you have heard correctly. Active listening means that the listener repeats or confirms what he or she has heard (Peace & Garner 1986:38; 39). Peace and Garner give the following example of active listening:

I will never find work again.


You are really frustrated (active listening).


Yes. I fill in an application form where I go and everyone tells me they will contact me. But I never hear anything.


So you feel that you are being kept dangling (active listening).

Body language that indicates that you are listening (e.g. nodding, eye contact, concentration on what the speaker is saying) is an important part of listening activities. Listeners should be shown how to show interest and to listen attentively.
(g) Follow-up activities
Follow-up activities are a critical part of the listening programme which contributes considerably to learning. Follow-up activities should be well planned and should be carried out directly after the listening activity Ð it should really be an extension of the listening process. Many learners learn more during the follow-up activities than during the listening process itself. The nature of the follow-up action is determined by the listening experience or the purpose of the listening activity. These activities may take the form of class discussions, questions, excursions or written assignments.
Meaningful follow-up activities give the learners a reason to listen carefully and Ð very importantly Ð that the information gained during the listening process is necessary and has utility value. This realisation forms the basis for the development of good permanent listening skills (Funk & Funk 1989:661).

I referred to the integrated teaching of listening in the introductory paragraph of this study unit. It is easy to teach an entire lesson on listening, but it is important that you also integrate listening with other activities.
(h) Listening tests do not imply memory tests
A point that cannot be over-emphasised, especially with regard to home language teaching, is that listening tests should not deteriorate into memory tests. It is not a good idea to ask too many follow-up questions that simply test the learner's ability to remember. Ask one or two memory questions, but concentrate on insight questions such as the following: ``How do you know that ...?'', ``From what could you deduce that ...?'', ``What do you understand by ...?'', ``Do you agree with ...?'', ``Did anything bother you ...?'', ``Which word indicates that ...?'', ``What shows the person's ...?'', ``Give two examples of ...?'', ``In what way ...?'', ``In your opinion, what was the reason for ...?'', ``What conclusions can you draw from ...?'', ``A lot of reasons have been cited. Which do you consider the most important ...?'' and ``Do you think that ...?''.
The most important aspect in a listening text is not what is said, but how it is said. It is also important to test the listener's understanding of the meaning conveyed by the tone, raising or lowering the voice (speaking louder or softer), speaking faster or slower, emphasis, sound effects, gestures, attitude and language. (Language is used differently in formal and informal situations, such as ``Howzit!'' when greeting a friend and ``Good morning, Sir'' when greeting a teacher.) In additional language teaching, learners should get the opportunity to listen to conversations in which these aspects are present.
(i) Listening material
It is not easy to select suitable listening material. Written material is not necessarily suitable for listening exercises. You cannot simply read aloud any passage from a newspaper or magazine! You will often need to write the text yourself or modify a text to include those elements that carry meaning. Listening passages should be recorded on tape beforehand. It is best to use a skilled reader who is able to interpret and convey the significant elements. If no such reader is available, ask someone with a good voice to read the text for you.
In first and second additional language teaching, where the teacher is not a home language speaker, it is particularly important that learners be given the opportunity to listen to home language speakers. Listening to home language speakers should be gradually introduced in the first and second additional language classroom; these speakers should speak with different accents, at different speeds and in different situations. Tape recordings play an important role, but the teacher should be aware that a recorded account is more difficult to listen to Ð learners are expected to listen to a speaker they cannot see. Learners are deprived of facial expressions, gestures and body language which they would generally use to interpret a message. A tape recording is very similar to listening to a radio, so the use of tape recorders is justified.
Listening texts should not be too long. Remember, learners have only one chance to listen: it is not like reading, where they can go back and reread something they have forgotten or failed to understand. (A recording may be played again in the first and second additional language classroom.) When listening texts are too long, learners depend on their memories and this defeats the purpose of a listening exercise.



The planned experience

during the experience
Once you have worked out the planned experience, decide on the following Ð
. Who is going to help during the experience Ð

teacher aides? parents? other teachers? any other adults?

. What are you taking with

camera? tape recorder? worksheets? art material? a bag for collecting things?

o you ay, d are a l! ew By th that you age mode know al langu r natu

All adults are language models. Research shows that caring adults automatically adjust their language to a level slightly wider than the ability of the new language learner, whether it be a child learning his or her home language, first and second additional language learner. (Krashen, SB.
Second Language Learning and Second
Language Acquisition. Oxford. Permagon
Press. 1981 pp 119±137.)


. Talk, talk and talk with the learners
(describe, compare, classify, laugh, ....).
. Respond to what the learners say, elaborating on their vocabulary where necessary. . Tape some of these conversations.
. Take photographs.
. Get the students to talk more.
. Draw something of interest.
. Sing songs.
. Imitate someone or something.
. Tape environmental sounds.
. Get your learners to talk even more.
. Complete worksheets.
. Have fun!
. Listen to the language your learners use.
. Be aware of the language they are not using or avoiding.

Err ... do I and other caretakers such as teacher aides and parents have to talk to the students all the time during every planned and spontaneous experience? Is it important to record the experience too?

No, talk to the learners when you can Ð when you think it is necessary. Do not be overbearing. Let the learners do most of the talking.
As for recording ... it is a good idea because then you can use those photographs, videos, sketches, sound tapes, et cetera, to relive the experience later in the important follow-up work.

The first thing to do after the planned or spontaneous experience is to have the learners recreate and talk about it in new and unusual ways. If you have recorded materials such as sound tapes, photographs, pictures or sketches, use them to help relive the experience Ð to help revive memories and encourage ``talk''. Consider dramatising the experience as well.
Encourage learners to comment on the experience, always praising them for their contributions and meaningful attempts to use the language acceptably (e.g. in interesting, more complex sentences, pronunciation, fluency, choice of words).
Here are some things you can do in your classroom Ð as a class, in groups, in pairs or individually. A F T E R WA R D S
. talk about it
. recall events, situations, facts, anything or interest
. encourage all the learners to contribute Ð anecdotes, reflections, thoughts
. role play some of the situations
. listen to and comment on the tape
. look at the photographs and talk about them
. record experiences onto a tape
. present a `'news broadcast'' using a mock TV screen
. interview other learners
. talk about something that happened that was strange, funny, sad or happy
. ask questions
. dramatise a situation nonverbally; the rest of the class have to guess what the situation is
. revise some of the input activities Ð songs, poems, stories, et cetera
. talk about the drawings the learners did on the excursion . talk about the objects collected


After the learners have talked about the various aspects of the experience, ask them to retell it in an acceptable, sequential order. You could record these experiences in the following ways: You may need to ask questions to induce comment or to maintain the order of the story. If they are ``stuck'' you can dramatise, hint, re-use your recorded materials or supply some of the language they need.
Read the sentences as they are being written. . a wall story

If the learners cannot give you the story in order or sequence, record what they have to say and edit it as a group later.

. a large chart

You can have some of the learners retell the story orally or in written form, in what they consider to be a logical order.

. captions on the blackboard

As you are writing, discuss grammar incidentally, talk a little about punctuation, script, legibility, et cetera.

. mounted photographs

. an overhead transparency
. the blackboard
. cardboard strips

. a large class experience book

. a TV roll

Source: Hajisava & Mansfield 1982:5±8

Precisely for this reason Ð because they hear the piece only once Ð it is sometimes desirable to let them have some of the questions (not necessarily all of them) in advance, or to set clear goals for the listening activity. Learners should take notes while they listen and can then use these to answer questions. They can also be expected to use the notes in order to summarise the passage.
In classrooms, learners are expected to listen throughout the day. Use every situation of this kind to improve the listening skills of your class. Teaching activities designed to develop learners' listening skills
(a) Listening activities suitable for home language teaching
Listening and reading are both receptive skills; the listening programme should, therefore, just as with reading, provide for the practising of listening skills.
To teach listening skills, you should carry out some of the following classroom activities. Please note that I will only discuss a few activities. There are many other possibilities Ð use your initiative and be creative.
. Let learners listen to a tape recording of a radio advertisement. While listening, get them to write down examples of words that indicate the speaker's feelings of alarm, happiness, satisfaction, et cetera. A telephone number or address are often given during advertisements. Get the learners to write a letter to the company whose advertisement they have just listened to enquire about something; the learners could role play a telephone conversation between themselves and

somebody from the company. (Can you see how listening is integrated with writing and speaking?)
. Use classified advertisements from a newspaper. Cut out some job advertisements for a listening exercise. The level of difficulty should be adapted according to the grade and the language group.
Ð Read the advertisement to the class. Then ask questions about the content. The learners must establish how much they can remember. Here is an example of a job advertisement.
Monitor room assistant
Requiring young person not older than 23. Must be computer literate, have a clear voice and can work well under pressure. Shift work. Salary R2 200/m + 13th cheque. Call 011 348

Journal entry 5h
Compile a mind map/spider diagram to summarise everything you have learnt about listening so far. (Turn to pages 80±113 and 114 for examples of how spider diagrams/mind maps should be done.)

. The learners can listen to a short conversation between two people (e.g. during a debate between class mates) and they must distinguish between facts and opinions.
They must also be able to give the main idea of each speaker's argument in one sentence. . Learners can work in pairs. Each learner gets the opportunity to conduct an interview with the other learner. They should take notes and then the notes should be used to write a magazine article (An exercise such as this can be integrated with reading. Let learners complete a reading exercise [e.g. scanning or skim reading] based on an article about a well-known person. The article should serve as an example of what the learners should write; it should also help them to be more focused in their interviews.)
. Listening can be integrated with the reading of literary texts by, for example, reading a poem without a title Ð learners should then suggest their own title for the poem.
. A news article is rearranged so that it has no logical order. You could then read this
``illogical'' news article or play a recording of it. Get the learner to rearrange the paragraphs in a logical order.
. Integrate listening with reading by providing learners with newspaper articles to read. Then get them to listen to a recording of a radio report about the same event.
Learners can then compare the two in terms of detail, language use, et cetera.
(b) Listening activities suitable for first and second additional language teaching Learners must be taught to listen to one another. Learners in class do not listen well to one another. Possible reasons are that they find one another boring or talking activities in the first and second additional classroom may be seen simply as exercises in speaking skills Ð not realising that a sympathetic audience is one of the conditions for

effective speaking action. Learners may believe that they cannot benefit from other
(imperfect/poor) first and second additional language speakers; they may also be so busy planning what they are going to say themselves that they do not bother to listen. Hadfield (1992:127) discusses this problem as follows:
All these things have one thing in common, that students are viewing language learning as a narrowly individual affair. They cannot look beyond their own personal goals to the fact that communication is always reciprocal in nature. People talk more confidently and fluently if their interlocutor is giving their full attention, and in turn will respond more directly and appropriately if they have been listened to, and are basing their reply on what their partner has said, and so on.

During listening instruction in the first and second additional language classroom, interactive situations must be created in which learners must listen attentively to one another. . Let learners work in pairs. Learner A in each group gets the opportunity to tell learner B about something. They then change partners, so that learner B can tell learner C what he or she has heard from learner A. Learner C must then tell the entire class what he or she has via learner B. The learner who told the original story has the right to object if the story is not repeated exactly as he or she told it.
This activity may be combined with reading; learner C reads a short piece and then tells learner B what he or she has read.
. Verbally describe a particular area of the school grounds and then ask the learners to identify the place. This exercise can be integrated with speaking if each learner gets the opportunity to describe a specific place which the other learners then have to identify.
. Learners are provided with a printed copy of the words of a song. Certain words have been left out. Learners must fill in the missing words while they listen to the song (integration of listening and reading).
. Learners listen to a tape recording of a radio advertisement and then write down synonyms for certain words from the advertisement (list three of four words or descriptions for which synonyms should be provided).
. Have the class listen to a weather report and then tell you where it will be the coldest and hottest. They should also notice what the weather conditions are expected to be like in their own town. (This exercise can be integrated with the teaching of degrees of comparison and descriptive words, for example, by indicating terms such as hot-hotter-hottest, cold-colder-coldest and moderate.)
. Play word bingo with the learners. Write down a list of 16 to 18 words, with their meanings, on the chalkboard. Ask the learners to copy any six of these words.
Then they listen carefully while you tell a story that contains these words, no matter in what sequence, and mark off their six words as they occur. The first player to mark off all six words calls out ``Bingo!'' and is the winner of the game.
. Use a simple road map (draw one if necessary). Let learners explain to each other how to get to a certain place. Encourage learners to use words such as ``first, after that, from there, carry on to, opposite''. You can also alternate this exercise by, for example, explaining a certain route to while learners follow the instructions on the map. . Role play telephone conversations. Learner A calls learner B and asks to speak to his or her mother. Learner B's mother is not at home, so learner B must take a message. Learner B must then relate this message to his or her ``mother''.
. Role play in different situations. Learners must ask their parents for permission to attend a camp. You are waiting for a bus, train or plane. A stranger sits down next to you and starts to talk to you. What do you talk about?
. Recognition exercises. To improve learners' ability to distinguish between sounds,

give them a list of 10 words, phrases or sentences that sound the same or nearly the same (e.g. tile and towel). You then read them a paragraph containing some of the words (not in the same sequence as on the list) and they have to circle the relevant words if they recongise them. In the higher grades, teachers should include more items that are similar sounding so that learners learn to identify the small nuances between sounds. This is particularly suitable for first and second additional language teaching.
. Listening comprehension tests. The teacher should read the text aloud (the text should not be too long). The teacher then asks questions about the text. The learners are given a number of possible written answers and, when a question is asked, learners circle the answer that best fits the questions. The questions may be alternated with statements to which learners must answer ``true'' or ``false''.
Learner must be given the correct answer at the end so that they can check their work. . In the lower grades, the teacher could describe a scene and then ask learners to sketch the scene. Those learners at a more advanced level could be given diagrams without captions. They should be able to complete the diagram after listening to the teacher describing it orally.
. Short dialogues, as they are used colloquially, can be recorded onto a tape and then played to the learners. Learners then listen to a recording of the same dialogue presented by home language speakers. Differences in pronunciation and grammar are then discussed. Integration with other skills
I have already indicated that language should be presented in an integrated way.
Isolated listening exercises may sometimes be presented in a lesson, but you should try integrate it with other language activities. How can you integrate listening with other skills (speaking, reading and writing)? Here are a few ideas:
(a) Home language teaching
. Integration with the reading of literary texts
Ð Read a section from a prescribed book and ask learners to identify the type of narrator (first person, third person or omnipresent narrator). Get learners to listen to a suitable part of a radio drama and indicate those factors that create tension. Ð Read a poem to the learners and ask them to indicate the mood of the poem and to write down Ð in a specific number of words Ð what helped to create the mood. Read a poem aloud without giving the name of the poem Ð ask the learners to provide an appropriate title for the poem.
. Integration with written work
Ð Read a paragraph to the learners and then ask them to write down Ð using no more than one sentence Ð the main idea of the paragraph.
Ð Read two (short) texts to the learners: the texts should deal with the same subject, but have different styles of writing or be written from two different perspectives. Learners must then evaluate the texts in terms of the different points of view, differences in the use of language and style, how the subject is explained, and so on.
Ð Read a text to the learner and then ask them to identify and write down some of the following aspects: assimilation, assonance, personification, et cetera.

. Integration with oral work
Ð Read the events of a story in the wrong order and then ask learners to arrange the events of the story in the correct order.
Ð In a group discussion, learners must be able to verbalise each other's points of view. (b) First and second additional language teaching
. Integration of listening and speaking
Ð Let learners listen to how people are introduced to each other and then get them to introduce their friends to you.
. Integration of listening and reading
Ð Give learners a list of words that sound or are spelled the same or nearly the same. Then read a paragraph out loud containing some of the words (not in the same sequence as on the list), and they have to circle the relevant words if they recognise them. (Your list should include words such as flower/flour, fete/fate, practice/practise.) The same exercise can be done where learners find synonyms for the words used in the paragraph.
Ð Divide the learners into groups. Get the learners to work in pairs. Give one group a set of illustrations and the other group the headings for the illustrations. One group reads the headings out loud, while the other group matches the correct illustration to the heading.
Learners are expected to evaluate their own listening activities. One should always expect of learners to assess their own listening activities. Learners should be aware that they need to always show good listening habits. The first and second additional language teacher must remember that a normal speaking tempo and tone of voice must be used for all listening activities; it is preferable to read the text a couple of times rather than to read it too slowly. Assessing listening
It is generally very easy to assess a learner's response to a listening tasks, because the learner usually circles or marks the correct answer. The learner can even mark oneword answers. When a longer response is required, it is important to only assess the response (whether it is appropriate or not) and not the language used and the spelling.
When assessing a learner's listening skills, it is very easy to compile a check list with all the necessary information. Here is an example of a check list for Listening. Tick each item as the learner masters the skill.
Does the learner do the following?

Listen attentively to others?
Listen to the entire presentation and not just parts thereof?
Shows that he or she understands what he or she has heard?
Remembers important detail?
Remembers important detail in the correct sequence?
Listens attentively for a long period of time?
Listens with respect?
Know how to listen?

It helps to give learners guidelines for particular listening situations, because learners do need to develop their listening standards. The following types of questions will enable a learner to determine if his or her listening experience was productive or not:



like the main idea of the presentation? wait until the entire presentation is finished before I judge it? try to understand how the presentation has been organised? keep in mind what I am listening for?

You can discuss these and other questions with the learners; include these questions on an evaluation sheet that you give to the learners. Each learner will then be able to assess his or her own listening experience. You might find that the learners need more than one evaluation form per term, because the assessment of learners' listening skills must take place on a regular basis.
Learners can also be asked to write a short report about what they listened to. Tape recordings can be made of the learner's response to his or her listening performance and written reports, together with the teacher's assessment of the response, can be included in the learner's portfolio.
Here is an example of a rubric that you can use to assess listening during first and second additional language teaching.
Table 5.1
Guidelines for assessment



Can the learners describe the steps in the appropriate sequence/order?
Do they make this clear by using words such as ``first'', ``next'', ``then'',
``so'', ``after that'' and ``before''?
Do they use words such as ``do'', ``go'',
``put'', ``you go next'' and ``you put''?
Do they use words such as ``nearby'',
``next to'', ``below'', ``to the left of'', ``left'' and ``right''?
When listing steps, do they use intonation to show that they have finished or have not yet finished?
Can the listener complete the task?
Teachers may use supplementary or alternative guidelines relevant to the nature of their task.
Source: Fullagar, Alfred, Mesiano & Browne 1987:4, 28±31


Journal entry 5i
Compile your own assessment rubric which you can use to assess the learners' listening skills. I will now discuss the development of oral skills.

5.3.1 Introduction
Deliberate communication means that speaking skills must be taught. Speaking instruction presupposes a very active learner, constructively engaged in activities such as word choice, sentence construction, formulation, narration, description and the like. The purpose is imply effective communication. Unfortunately, the ``instruction'' component of speaking instruction has been rather neglected in the past: the emphasis was on assessing learner ability to give a talk or speech in front of an audience. Week after week they stood in front of their classes giving talks on some subject or other and being assigned a mark for it. Such activities have a place in the speaking programme, but are certainly not the be-all and end-all of this line of teaching.
Speaking skills must be deliberately taught. Note that reading aloud also forms part of the speaking programme.

5.3.2 Speaking skills
Talks and speeches form an integral part of speaking instruction. As an adult, have you ever had to deliver a speech in front of an audience? Probably not, but let us look at how to plan a speech.

A speech
A speech is an important life skill which you will use Ð at some time or another Ð in your private or professional life. Most people are afraid of speaking in front of an audience, because the audience's attention is focused on the speaker.
When you are well prepared, there is no reason to be afraid. It is important to know how to plan, prepare and deliver a speech so that you can make a good impression. How should I plan a speech?
. Write the topic in the middle of a page and draw a circle around it. Then draw lines from the circle outwards.
. Decide on a few main points that you wish to discuss and write them down next to the lines.
. Draw shorter lines from the main ideas and write down supporting ideas.
. Write down the main points in sequence on the cards so that you know what to say. You may also write your entire speech on cards, but take care not to read your speech. You must make eye contact with your audience.
. Prepare well so that you know exactly what you want to say.

Driven within speed limit

Ensure that lights are in working order

2 Obey traffic rules

Do not pass other vehicles on barrier lines Drink coffee or cold drinks
Take a taxi 3 Do not drink and drive 1 Roadworthiness of vehicles

Sleep over if you have been drinking

Road accidents can be reduced

Tyers in good condition 4 No cellular phones

5 Do not drive if you are tired
Bad news can make you emotional Stop and rest Loss of attention Do relaxtion exercises Figure 5.1
A spider diagram

Plan a speech using your spider diagram as a guideline.
How should I present my speech?
You will be an immediate winner if you study and apply the following hints:
A seven point plan for speeches:

Speak enthusiastically, with self-confidence and conviction:


Speak directly to the audience:


make eye contact do not refer to your cards too often

Give your speech a structure:


with an attitude of ``I want to say something and I will say it'' be yourself

start with an introduction that will interest the audience give a short outline of your speech name the main ideas you will discuss expand on the main ideas end with a striking conclusion

Use an appropriate tone of voice:


Argue and weigh up matters against each other:


alternate sentences with exclamations, humour or direct quotations emphasise certain words and ideas make use of facial expressions do not use your hand too often

do not only mention facts, but expand on them use expressions such as ``Let us look at ...., for example'' give practical examples so that the audience can follow you give possible solution(s)

Give your own point of view:
Ð use expressions such as ``My understanding is ...'', ``I am convinced that ...''
Ð researched facts should only reinforce your opinion Ð facts based on your experiences are the most effective


Use the latest information:
Ð in the media
Ð in newspapers, on the radio, on TV and the Internet (Smit 2000:116±

. Individual oral activities may also take the form of a demonstration (e.g. how to operate an appliance, how to prepare a meal or how to repair an appliance). Before learners can present a demonstration, you should give them guidelines on how to present a demonstration. Learners should be taught during speaking instruction how to introduce a speaker to an audience (using a CV, how to conduct an interview or to make an oral report about a news event for radio or television). The interview process can be easily integrated with writing instruction. Learners compile questions for the interview in writing and then ``transcribe'' the interview after it has taken place.
. Group work is an important part of the speaking programme. Very few adults will ever have to present a speech in front of an audience, but most people will have to attend meetings (perhaps even to chair a meeting) and express their opinions at those meetings. Speaking instruction should thus aim to equip learners for these tasks. If you, for example, divide learners into groups and instruct them to hold a meeting, you will be able to integrate the skills they acquire here with some of the other skills they have learned (e.g. listening to other members of the group, writing minutes).

Imagine that you are a learner and then complete the following tasks. Learners could, for example, compile (write) an agenda for the meeting, invite (write) a guest speaker to the meeting, hold (speak) the meeting and write (write) the minutes of the meeting. Examples of minutes could be circulated among the learners for them to read (read) in advance, while terminology pertaining to meeting procedures, such as ``quorum'' and ``unanimous'' could be clarified. During the meeting, learners could practise various types of language functions. Different members of the meeting could, for example, be asked to thank the guest speaker, to invite the meeting to a social function, and so on.
. Parliamentary or television debates are also meaningful activities: one learner can

introduce the topic, two or more supportive speakers can give more detail about the topic, and one speaker can conclude the discussion. The speaking programme for a home language
The following three aspects should be taken into account during speaking instruction:
(1) Part of your job as a teacher is to teach the learners how to manage their tension.
The atmosphere you create in your class will determine, to a large extent, whether learners are relaxed or tense in your presence (think about what you could do to improve what your classroom looks like Ð use posters, pictures and other interesting illustrations). Learners should know that they are safe in your presence and that you respect them.
(2) Voice training is important, because it includes exercises in articulation, voice projection and pitch control and tries to eliminate voice-related problems. Speak to a choir conductor and I am sure that will be able to give you some valuable advice in this regard.
(3) The following should also be practised: the use of body language, eye contact, the development of self-confidence, role play, reading aloud, prepared and unprepared speeches, intercultural dialogue, negotiating skills, conflict management and the grading of oral assignments.

Journal entry 5j
Write a short report in your journal about your experience of learners' behaviour during oral lessons. (Do this only if you are already teaching.) The speaking programme for first and second additional languages
Speaking actions in the first and second additional language classroom should aim to develop effective oral communication. Group work is thus essential. If the class is divided into five groups and each group has a topic to discuss, then several learners will simultaneously get the chance to put their speaking skills to the test.
The teaching of pronunciation should form part of the speaking programme for first and second additional language learners, purely because these languages are not the learners' home language. Teachers should ensure that the following are incorporated systematically into the speaking programme: correct pronunciation, word order, intonation and linguistic purity. Drilling is often seen as the best way to sharpen these skills but, according to the communicative approach, these matters should be dealt with as they occur.
Du Plessis (1982:218) suggests the following method:
(1) Social formulas and dialogues. Acceptable social behaviour such as greeting people, saying goodbye, introducing and thanking people, apologising, complaining and offering congratulations are learned through short dialogues. These dialogues usually consist of four items. The class is divided into pairs and all pairs practice at the same time. A gradual shift is made from


formative dialogues which the learners memorise and practise to structured dialogues: learners complete and take part in an incomplete dialogue such as a telephone conversation

For example:
Ms Lea Modiba is interested in the sales position she saw advertised in the newspaper. She decides to call the company and to speak to the manager. Lea phones Mr John Manzini from Toyota Blackheath to organise an interview.
Divide the learners into groups of two. One learner reads Lea's words and the other Mr Manzini's words. Take note of the telephone conversation. Remember that it is spoken language, but it remains formal because the situation is formal.
Lift the handset.
John M:

4736890, John Manzini.

Lea M:

Good morning, Mr Manzini. My name is Lea Modiba. I saw the advertisement for a sales lady in the newspaper and I am interested in the position.

John M:

What did you say your name was?

Lea M:

Lea Modiba, Sir.

John M:

Is that Miss Modiba or Mrs Modiba?

Lea M:

Mrs Modiba.

John M:

Why are you interested in the position?

Lea M:

I like to work with people and I am interested in vehicles (Smith

How would you use the above telephone conversation to teach speaking?

Unstructured dialogues. The learners are given background about the situation and are asked to complete the dialogue, that is, the conversation that takes place between the two speakers.
(The last two types of dialogues can be regarded as role play activities.)

(2) Community orientated tasks. It is through tasks such as these that learners learn to communicate with home language speakers (or other speakers who speak the language fluently) outside the classroom. These tasks consist of the following: each pair of learners receives a list of questions that they have to use to get information from outsiders who speak the target language, such as information about a bank, a garage, a post office, building a house. After a certain period of time, learners report back in the form of role play (two learners repeat the discussion in the classroom).
(3) Problem-solving activities. The learners are divided into groups of four or five. A problem is presented to the entire class and a solution must be found. The following are examples of these types of activities:
The teacher presents the problem. ``Imagine that you want to go camping in the mountains. You have to carry everything on your back. You will be cut off from civilisation for four days and thus need to take whatever equipment you will need

to survive. You should also provide for emergencies. Here is a list of possible items you could take with you.'' (Read out a list of possible items.) ``It is impossible to take all the items on the list as you will not be able to carry it all. Each group must now decide which items to take along and which items to leave behind.''
The teacher then gives the learners a list of the items and the weight of each item.
There are items that have been included on the list that are totally unsuitable, necessary and arbitrary. Learners should choose from these items. Groups read their choices out loud and the groups compare their lists.
Another type of problem-solving activity is to confront the learners with a people-related problem (e.g. Agony Aunties in magazines Ð these ``counsellors'' give the readers advice). The problems are discussed in class and solutions (in the form of ``advice'') are suggested.
Using a theme such as ``street children'' as a guideline, you could also discuss real-life problems. Different situations can be created.
Situation 1: You are a homeless child seeking shelter at Mes-Action's home in
Hillbrow. You go to speak to the manager. You tell him how difficult your life is and that you are not well. Learner 1 is the street child and learner 2 the manager of Mes-Action.
Situation 2: You would like to help homeless children. You see a neglected child sitting in the park and you start talking to him or her. Ask about him or her about his or her life, where he or she sleeps, what he or she eats, who his or her friends are and whether he or she would like to study. Tell him or her where he or she can get help. Learner 1 is the social worker and learner 2 the street child.
Situation 3: You lead a group who collects bedding for street children. You have received many mattresses, blankets and pillows. Call Allison at The
Star (011 633 2564). Tell her about your project and find out whether they could make use of your donation. It is important that she knows that you do not have transport Ð she will have to make arrangements to collect the items from you. Learner 1 is the project leader and learner 2 is Allison (Smit 2000:24±26).

You are going to deliver a talk on a name of a place in our country. It could be the name of your own town or city or any other place you find interesting.
Do some research if you do not know where the place name originated. This can be very interesting in view of all the name changes in the country.
Get information from a travel bureau.
Make your talk more interesting by using pictures or posters.

(4) Tape recorders. Tape recorders are encouraged when teaching speaking skills. The ideal situation would be that every learner has a tape recorder at home to record their weekly talks, speeches or readings.
The teacher then collects the tapes (like scripts) to assess them, makes a few comments (emphasising positive remarks rather than just negative criticism) about pronunciation, content, phraseology, et cetera. She then returns the tape to the learner. This exercise is valuable, because learners hear themselves speaking. (5) Role play and role cards. The use of role play and role cards is an effective way to bring about oral communication. You could, for example, present one learner in the group with the following role card:


Learner 1:
You name is James Smith. You are 26 years old.
You are married and have three children. You are an engineer, et cetera. You want to emigrate.
Explain why you want to leave the country.

Learner 2:
Your name is Sipho Selepe. Tell the prospective emigrant why he should not leave the country. The other groups should then try to elicit more information from them. The first group to elicit all the necessary information wins the game.
A variation of this exercise is to get learners to work in pairs by making use of role cards. For example:

Learner A:
You meet a friend.
(1) Greet him or her enthusiastically.
(3) Comment on his or her reaction and ask why he or her reacted that way.
(5) Apologise or explain your reactions.

Learner B:
You meet a friend who did something recently that you are not happy about.
(2) React rather distantly.
(4) Explain why you are unhappy.
(6) Accept or reject the explanation and apology. More examples of such exercises:

Learner A:

Learner B:

You are talking to a friend.

A friend asks you a favour.

(1) Ask him or her a favour.
(3) Ask him or her why he or she needs the favour. (2) Refuse.
(4) Give reasons for your answer.

Learner A:
Phone a friend. Try to convince him or her to do something for or with you.

Learner B:
A friend will call you and try to convince you to do something. You must
(1) ask for more information
(2) object
(3) apologise

When you eventually agree, you must ask him or her to do something in return.
The teacher can design role cards that cover all possible language functions as described in the assessment standards of the National Curriculum Statement. If you design one good set of role cards, these may be used year after year. Remember to teach learners the necessary vocabulary (sorry, thank you, with pleasure, excuse me) in formative and structured dialogues and to give them sufficient examples of language functions (present an apology, convince, congratulate, et cetera).
The activities discussed above are not only for use in first and second additional language teaching. Some of the activities (especially those regarding problem solving and the tape recorder/video) can be adapted for use in the home language classroom. 90

5.3.3 Assessing speaking
Every province or school is likely to have its own assessment form which it uses during the assessment of speaking. The following is a very common assessment form which can be used for the assessment of oral work:
Table 5.2
Assessment form for speaking


1 Content (30 marks)

Introduction: Is the introduction fitting and striking?


(a) Are the presentation and arguments suitable?
(b) Does the development original and are the speaker's view objective?
(c) Do the ideas flow logically?
What is the relationship between personal experience and research?
Conclusion: Does the conclusion provide an effective summary, is it decisive and striking?



2 Presentation (30 marks)
(a) stage appearance: posture and appearance
(b) eye contact with the audience, facial expressions and gestures
(c) self-confidence and enthusiasm
(d) use of voice: projection and volume, pausing and phrasing (10)
3 Language use (20 marks)
(a) suitable, effective and selective language usage
(b) vocabulary and use of idioms


4 Handling the audience (10 marks)
(a) assessment of audience and ability to convince
(b) contact with the audience is established and maintained (5)
5 General effectiveness (10 marks)
Impact of speech: does the speaker reach his or her goal with the speech?


Source: Meij, Kuhn & Snyman 1985:150

Since the communicative approach implies that evaluation should focus on effective language use rather than on memorised knowledge of language, listening and speaking should be assessed while learners are busy with their everyday activities and not during formal oral assessment.
More guidelines with regard to assessment of speaking may include the following:
91 Self-assessment by learners
Tape recordings can be used successfully. Learners can analyse their progress by listening to recordings of their own presentations. A learner's willingness to take part in self-assessment is mainly determined by his or her own progress. Check lists, evaluations, audio and video recordings should be collected throughout the year and kept in the learner's portfolio. By using this method, learners can eliminate their own shortcomings, analyse their progress and also plan their own progress. Assessment by the teacher
The latest trend is to keep a portfolio indicating learners' progress. Teachers are encouraged to design a form for continuous assessment which can be used for an entire term or even a year. Decide on criteria and symbols, mark allocation and grading of all aspects of speaking. Keep the above examples in mind. Assessment should be done regularly, but not necessarily conspicuously. Examples of criteria are: regular participation, fluency, reservedness, stuttering, enthusiasm, self-confidence, clarity, creativity, humour, drama, level of abstract ideas, a learner's favourite subject.
Here is another example of a form which can be used to assess speaking.
Table 5.3
Assessment of speaking
LANGUAGE (e.g. home language) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
LEARNER: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Determine the learner's language ability according to the following criteria and allocate a mark for each category. Here is a table that can help you to allocate marks.









Very poor

Complete the following table by allocating a mark according to the above key:


1 Pronunciation
2 Articulation
3 Clarity
4 Audibility
5 Language use and grammatical construction
6 Fluency
7 Vocabulary
8 Explanatory skills
9 Logical reasoning
10 Communicative skills
TEACHER: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Journal entry 5k
Compile your own form which you can use to assess learners' oral abilities.
Page back to the outcomes set at the beginning of this study unit and determine whether you have reached them. Do your learners now know how to listen attentively and do they enjoy oral work?

I hope that you now have the knowledge you need to apply different methods to develop learners' listening and speaking skills. You must now be able to purposefully teach learners' listening and speaking skills for different purposes, audiences and situations. 5.5 CONCLUSION
Talking and listening activities do not require expensive resources. The creative teacher will use recources from the environment or make simple materials. What is vital, however, is that the classroom atmosphere should be sympathetic and encouraging so that learners will be able to express themselves freely.
Listening and speaking are central to learning and are important to the individual in all areas of life. Mastering the complex art of communication in a second language opens up further opportunities for personal growth. As the maxim says: ``The limits of language are the limits of my world.'' Providing learners with opportunities to listen and to speak in their second language will not only help them grow in creative expression but also to think more deeply and communicate more effectively.



Reading and viewing instruction

The aim of this study unit is to lead you systematically through certain reading instruction activities. Although you may be aware of these activities or are already applying them in your teaching, I still want to bring them to your attention.

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to

differentiate between literary and nonliterary texts define reading and the reading process explain what metacognition and metalearning are apply the teaching strategies for speed reading, scanning and skimming in the classroom show an understanding of the different reading activities that can be carried out in the classroom use reading for understanding in the language classroom explain a number of literary concepts present a model for the teaching of literary texts

Most of the exercises and ideas in this study unit can be used in the classroom.
Although reading is not taught in the higher grades, learners need special reading techniques to be successful at tertiary level.

Journal entry 6a
I would like you to answer the following questions in your journal before you read any further.
Think back to the reading instruction you received at school and then answer the questions.


Did you read any texts other than the prescribed texts?
What other types of texts did you read?
Did you enjoy reading these texts? Give a reason for your answer.
Did you enjoy reading the prescribed texts? Give a reason for your answer.
What other types of activities formed part of the reading lesson (e.g. debates about the topic or skits that the learners wrote and directed themselves)?
Were you taught how to read, that is, did you receive reading instruction? Or did you merely work through the prescribed books and a few comprehension tests and then answer questions about them?
Did your teachers combine reading, writing, listening and speaking or was it purely a reading lesson?
What type of ``homework'' were you given (previously worked out questions)?
How was your reading assessed?

I am sure that most of you only did the prescribed work and the comprehension tests during reading lessons. You answered mainly previously worked out questions and you had very few opportunities to work out questions yourself or to think of other activities. You were not encouraged to show any form of initiative. You were given memorandums (answers) to the questions. You marked your work strictly according to these answers as they were read out in class, or the teacher marked them according to a rigid marking plan (memorandum).
This kind of reading instruction smothered the learners' love of reading. It is essential that we begin to approach our learners differently, because a love of reading forms the foundation for language teaching.

Reading instruction should teach learners the purpose of reading. It should also teach them to enjoy reading Ð the fun associated with reading Ð and then to think about what they have read. Part of reading instruction is also to expose them to a variety of oral and writing activities that are based on the reading tasks (Honig 1996).
Although the National Curriculum Statement still bases reading instruction on the reading of literary and nonliterary texts, it is essential that the learners practise their reading skills (silent reading, reading for comprehension, etc.) irrespective of whether they are reading literary or nonliterary texts.
Language instruction is educational instruction. It ought to prepare and equip learners for their adult lives. Modern life is characterised by phenomenal development and progress. We often hear talk of an information explosion and, actually, this is a very apt description if we consider that the entire volume of information in the world doubles every five years; that, within our lifetime, there has been greater technological progress than in all the previous centuries together; that more than 90 percent of all scientific inventions have been made in the past two decades; and that approximately a thousand books are published every day Ð not to mention the mass of reading material in the form of newspapers, magazines, brochures, and so on, produced every day.
To have a meaningful life, to keep abreast of the latest information, to be well informed, to behave in a mobile and controlled way (to be able to survive) people today need to read proficiently and quickly. Ordinary people do relatively little writing in their lives and are unlikely to appreciate literature, but reading and listening skills
(the receptive skills) are indispensable to them if they want to live meaningful and responsible lives.
Reading is a very important activity because it exposes people to new ideas and concepts and enables them to broaden their knowledge base.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Before you read any further in this study unit, please read the section on reading instruction in the National Curriculum Statement. It is important that you read this section carefully and that you determine what the goals of reading instruction are.



Journal entry 6b
Read the following two scenarios and then answer the questions:

Scenario 1
Ms van Tonder enters the classroom and greets the learners. She instructs them to sit down and to take out their books. She hands out a photocopied comprehension test and says that they have 10 minutes to read through it silently. She then gives them 10 set questions that deal primarily with grammar and the content. She says that they have 20 minutes to complete the test. They are instructed to work in complete silence so that each learner can remember what he or she has read and can find the answers in the passage. Fortunately, though, most of the answers are clearly spelled out in the passage and the learners only need to think about how they will phrase their answers. As soon as everyone is finished, the learners swop books. Ms van Tonder reads the answers or uses the overhead projector to indicate the correct answers. Each learner marks another learner's work. Each answer counts two marks and the test has a total of twenty marks. Ms van Tonder collects the books at the end of the lesson to initial them and to check that the tests have been marked correctly.

Scenario 2
Mr Mashile enters the classroom. He greets the learners and divides them into groups of six.
He gives each group a magazine article Ð there are two articles with opposing viewpoints
(e.g. about war or Aids). Each learner silently reads the article and writes down the main points. The groups then discuss their articles and decide if they agree or disagree with the viewpoint raised in their particular article. The group leaders then give a summary of the group's view. The matter is then opened for discussion. Each learner must write down his or her personal view and motivate why he or she feels that way. This writing exercise will be assessed. (1)

What do you think the learners learned in the first scenario?
Why would you choose the second scenario over the first?
Which language skills are included in the second scenario?
On what reading instruction principles are Mr Mashile's lesson based?

The comprehensive aim of reading instruction is to teach the learners techniques that will develop their general reading skills to the extent that they are able to read for enjoyment and appreciation and/or with a view to gaining insight, understanding and precise judgement. Unfortunately, over the years, the reading period at schools degenerated into the reading of a piece followed by the answering of questions on the piece. Teachers seldom compiled these comprehension texts themselves Ð they usually used existing tests from old examination papers. According to Nothling
(1988:1), the basic problem with these traditional comprehension tests is that the activities learners engage in, do not correspond to what ``good'' readers do. They have the following shortcomings:
. When answering questions based on a set reading, learners are passive Ð they are reading in order to answer someone else's questions, instead of their own. This means that their thinking activities are restricted.

. Many of the answers to questions can be found by quoting a few phrases or words from the text, without understanding the set reading as a whole.
. The reader is in a test situation and the aim is to find the right answers to questions from the piece Ð now the reading action is less important.

According to Zimmerman (1989), reading is very similar to comprehension Ð reading looks for the meaning behind the written word. It is a two-way process: the reader understands the message on the page and develops a meaningful relationship with it. A text will be meaningless if the reader fails to understand the theme.
There are many definitions of reading. These definitions differ according to the purpose with which the reader reads.
The mechanical part of reading is often emphasised, that is, reading is seen as a skill that is needed to unlock the meaning behind the written word. It is thus a series of visual pictures that are rapidly and consecutively carried to the brain for interpretation (meaning). According to this approach, reading is a fixationobservation-interpretation process (Swart 1980:8). If you think carefully about reading, you will realise that reading is not just a mechanical process. Let us look at a few other definitions.
Dillner and Olson (1982:17) focus on comprehension (understanding) and study reading in their definition of reading. For them, reading is a complex process which comprises different facets. They believe that reading is taught most effectively when it is divided into three integrated skills: vocabulary skills which allow the reader to pronounce words and to give them meaning; comprehension skills which enable the reader to understand and to apply the written material; and study skills which help the reader to use his or her vocabulary and comprehension skills effectively.
Hayes (1991) compares reading to comprehension Ð reading reconstructs the author's message and constructs own meaning by using the printed text.
Comprehension in reading must thus be supported by other communication processes such as listening, speaking, writing and thinking.
Alexander and Heathington (1988:16) believe that it is very difficult to formulate a definition for reading, because we have so little explicit information about what happens in our brains when we read. A definition of reading should thus focus on meaning Ð the meaning that the reader takes to the text and the meaning that he or she derives from it. Reading is thus an interactive, affective and cognitive process between the reader and the text. It differs from individual to individual, from level of development to level of development and from reading task to reading task (reading for comprehension, speed reading, reading for relaxation, etc.).
Du Toit, Heese and Orr (1995:4) do not believe that reading is a passive activity. You become involved in the text as you read, you make predictions, you identify main ideas, you deduce certain information, you agree or disagree with ideas, you construct meaning, et cetera. ``You bring to the act of reading your general as well as subject-specific knowledge; your reading, educational and life experiences; your cultural background, beliefs and values; your interests and your feelings. All of these things help you to construct meaning of what you read''.

Journal entry 6c
Read the following paragraph and then state briefly what you think it is about.
It is important, when playing, to hold your arms and hands correctly, so that you can control your movements. Then, you need to practise every day if you wish to achieve excellence. Warm up with simple exercises to begin with, progressing to more demanding tasks. Strings can snap unexpectedly and you will have to learn not to become upset if this happens. A calm temperament is a very great asset.
I think this paragraph is about . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What did you fill in? The first couple of sentences sound as if they refer to some kind of sport. You may have predicted the following: ``This is going to be about golf.'' Then you read the sentence about strings snapping. ``Aha!'' you think. ``Now I know! It's about tennis!''
If you were to show this paragraph to a group of music students, though, they might interpret it quite differently. The word ``playing'' would not make them think of sport, but rather of a musical instrument. Such a reader might predict: ``This is going to be about playing the piano.'' Then, after reading the sentence about strings snapping, the music students thinks: ``Aha! It's about learning to play the violin!''

Well, which is it? You cannot know for certain unless you have more information. A heading would help: ``Learn to play tennis'' or ``Learn to play the violin''. Or, if you knew the source, you could identify the topic (a book entitled Becoming a good sportsman or A basic book for beginner musicians).
This exercise demonstrates how reading can involve making predictions, drawing conclusions and identifying the need to find more information. It also shows that the first statement above is not true.

You may also have concluded that the statement ``Good readers understand what they read the first time they read it'' is also not always true; there may not be enough information or, possibly, the writer may have used words that are strange to you.
Good readers do understand what they read, but often not at first; some effort may be required to achieve understanding. If you feel that you have not grasped the meaning of something, you first need to acknowledge the problem: ``I don't understand what this means.'' Then, you need to find a way to ``fix'' your lack of understanding. This is an important ability which good readers usually develop. (Perhaps I need to look up some terms in a dictionary, or perhaps I should try to restate what I have read in my own words, or perhaps I need more information Ð perhaps I should look back to check something, such as a definition.)
The last probability (to refer back to material previously read) indicates two things: not only do good readers not necessarily understand everything they read the first time, but looking back Ð carried out purposefully to check something Ð may promote understanding.
You may find, when you have completed the reading section, that you have changed your mind about some of your own beliefs about reading, and you should be convinced that the statements do represent misconceptions. If these statements are not true, though, what can truthfully be said about good readers and reading tasks?
What is a competent (good) reader?
Good readers should be able to
. understand what they read (not necessarily immediately)
. remember important information correctly
. read efficiently (i.e. complete a reading task successfully without wasting time and effort, by selecting and applying suitable reading techniques)
. undertake reading tasks with confidence
. evaluate (judge) what they read
. do independent reading for research
. read widely for relaxation and enjoyment
Source: Du Toit et al 1995:5

The way Ms van Tonder presents reading in her class is most certainly not the only form of reading instruction. Reading can be used in different ways and for different purposes Ð even in the classroom.
When planning a reading programme, you should remember that a text may be read in four ways (Van Tonder 1994:96-97):
(1) Reading for relaxation. When you read for relaxation and enjoyment, you read quickly and without much attention to detail.
(2) Reading for comparison. When you read for comparison, you find links between the text and something else by comparing and contrasting the information.
(3) Reading for interpretation. When you read interpretatively, you read slowly, you may page back to previous parts of the text, you may think about the text or

even mark certain things in the text. Reading for interpretation means that you look for the value in the text, that is, what it means to you; you also try to understand and internalise the text.
(4) Reading for appreciation. This type of reading means that you evaluate the text.
You find reasons for why the text is or is not beautiful, striking or good.

Journal entry 6d
Think about everything you have read in the last two weeks. Now decide when you applied each of the reading methods mentioned above. Did you use different methods? Did you sometimes sit back in a comfortable chair to read or did you sometimes take notes?

Each way of reading a text has specific consequences for a reader's reading strategy. A reading strategy can be explained as the thought processes a reader must carry out during the reading process in order to master a particular method of reading.

It is generally accepted that reading is a key skill for most learners of an additional language. It is an important way for learners to build on their receptive knowledge of the language. Reading can be used in the classroom to stimulate speaking and writing exercises. The way a learner reads in his or her additional language depends, to a large extent, on how he or she reads in his or her home language.
It is important to motivate additional language learners to read in the additional language, that is, to convince them that reading can be pleasurable and beneficial
(they might learn more about different subjects by reading in the additional language). The first part of an additional language reading programme must focus primarily on getting the learners to read a variety of short reading passages Ð letters, stories, news reports, et cetera. At this stage of a reading programme, the learners may complete short follow-up activities, but the primary goal must be to develop reading habits in the learners.
In the next phase, the learners should complete activities that will improve their reading effectiveness. Byrne (1988:48) explains this as follows:
For example, we can give the students exercises which draw their attention to the way sentences are linked together; which make them guess the meaning of a new word and which ask them to draw conclusions. Text should be more varied in length, and we must certainly ask the students to read flexibly: Sometimes only skimming or scanning a text; at other times reading it for detail.

The learners should then start to do activities which force them to read with understanding: to find reasons for statements, to decide if a text answers certain questions, to look for the main idea of a paragraph, to look for words or phrases that explain other items, et cetera. Vocabulary extension is an important part of additional language reading and should thus be done on a regular basis. Learners must realise that they do not need to look up the meaning of each word in a dictionary, but rather should try to deduce the meaning from the text.
You must always ensure that the learners are enjoying the reading action. This is

possibly easier said than done. One way of doing this is to choose reading passages that the learners will enjoy (and this might mean that you will have to choose passages that you do not like).

The following should be remembered when selecting texts for the classroom:

6.6.1 Learners' interests
Learners and the level at which they are, will determine the selection of texts. Good reading habits can be established only when the readings are selected carefully to fit in with the learners' interest and their emotional and cognitive levels, and when the teacher is personally enthusiastic about reading. You should, therefore, choose short texts on topics that interest the learners. (It is a good idea, at the beginning of the year, to let the learners compile a list of topics in which they are interested.) You should also let them choose interesting texts of their own. Discuss the source of the text, the author's intentions, its importance to the reader, general characteristics of the specific genre (e.g. advertisement, review, report). Talk to the learners about the things they find easy, difficult, simple or boring to read. Stimulate them to ask questions about things they do not understand and when they want to know more about the content of the text.

6.6.2 Use authentic reading matter
Texts or set reading should be handled in the classroom just as they occur in real life.
Think for a moment about your own reading activities. I, for instance, have done the following during the past week: compiled a list of items I want in response to an advertisement, given a verbal account of a letter to someone, used a recipe book to draw up a menu for a week's meals, looked up a telephone number in a telephone directory and ascertained when a specific television programme would be broadcast.
These types of reading activities belong in the classroom as well.

6.6.3 Variety is important
Registers = recognition of the fact that the way the language is used varies according to the circumstances Ð formal, semi-formal or informal. Classmates might greet one another with ``Hi'' or ``Hello, there'', but this would be inappropriate when greeting the mayor of a town.
It is essential to use a wide variety of texts when teaching reading. This includes texts from encyclopedias, recipe books, reference books, the Internet as well as other learning areas. It should also include narrative, descriptive, expository, logical and persuasive texts, as well as summaries, reports, timetables, brochures, advertisements and the like. The readings that are included, should be from a variety of registers.

6.6.4 The text should form a meaningful whole
Teachers are advised to use an entire text rather than a section of a text. This is essential because the context contributes to understanding the text, and an excerpt does not always depict the context adequately.

6.6.5 The text must relate to the theme
The reading passage must then be linked to the theme being dealt with, such as music, sport or recreation.
Before teachers can teach, they must understand what the reading process entails, which skills learners should acquire while reading, and which reading strategies there are. The next discussion may help you with this.

Research into reading over the past 25 years has concentrated largely on the processes that feature in the avid reading of a text with comprehension. ``What does a good reader do to ensure that he or she reads with comprehension?'' is a question that is constantly asked. The results of this research has certain implications for the teaching of reading.
You ought to be informed about a few approaches to reading which have emerged over the past few years as a result of research into reading. These approaches have all had a great influence on the teaching of reading at schools (see Hendrix & Hulshof

6.7.1 The psycholinguistic approach
According to this approach, which is rooted in psychology, readers do not read a text letter by letter or word by word but, to a large extent, rely and draw on existing knowledge of the language and/or reality. When we read, we rely a great deal on information stored in our brains in the form of schemata (the plural of schema).
Bartlett (1932:201) defines schema as ``an active organisation of past reactions, or of past experiences''. Formal schemata include readers' knowledge of books and the rules underpinning spoken and written language. Content schemata constitute understanding of the world around us, such as knowledge and understanding of work and play, the importance of conserving the environment, architecture, health and other aspects of life. Each of us has countless such schemata obtained on the basis of experience or acquisition of knowledge, and all new information is interpreted and added to existing schemata. The greater the extent of these schemata, the better readers understand what they are reading because they are able to draw on rich resources of knowledge. According to this, the result of the reading process in the class will not be a single, shared understanding of the text: there are just as many
``understandings'' as there are readers.

6.7.2 The functional-communicative approach
Depending on the demands set by the daily practice of reading texts, readers read with a specific aim in mind. This means that, before they start reading, readers should set themselves specific reading objectives and then obtain specific information by reading the text. The premise of this approach is that good readers know the characteristics of different types of texts (e.g. argumentative, informative or recreational) in order to extract specific information rapidly and effectively from a text and to judge whether it is relevant and reliable.

6.7.3 The broad communicative approach
This approach to reading skill is broader than the functional: not only is the reading aim which the reader sets for himself or herself important, but also the entire communicative situation of which the text forms a part. The main point is the thinking reader who notices all the different factors that determine and influence written communications: tone, persuasive power, style, purpose, target group, expertise, background, sources consulted, responses and so on.

The approaches mentioned above should be kept in mind when we teach reading, because there are certain reading techniques and strategies which learners can learn to ensure that they cultivate good reading habits. We shall pause for a moment to consider the top-down-bottom-up reading processes, because these processes have specific implications for the teaching of reading as well.
A text may be approached in two ways:
From the bottom up (actually from the inside out)
A bottom-up model of reading suggests that reading is basically a process of translating graphic symbols into speech during oral reading or inner speech during silent reading. The reader then uses previously acquired listening comprehension skills. A bottom-up model suggests that written language is subservient to oral language and that the only activity unique to reading is that of breaking the written code (Hayes 1991:5).

This means starting from the tiniest meaningful parts in the text itself. This bottomup approach entails the recognition of letters and how they sound, words, sentences and punctuation marks and the way these are decoded. Criticism of this approach is that the mere knowledge of a set of words does not imply comprehension. Words often need to be seen and interpreted in different contexts.
From the bottom down (actually from the outside in)
In top-down models the reader's prior knowledge and cognitive and linguistic abilities are important factors in constructing meaning from the printed page. Top-down theorists suggest that before or shortly after any graphic input the reader develops predictions about the meaning of the printed page ... The reader relies on graphic clues only as needed. As the information is processed, the reader confirms, rejects, or refines predictions made about meaning ... [T]he reader plays an active role and supplies more information regarding meaning than the printed page does (Hayes

This implies that a text is best understood and analysed if we start with the title and use that as the basis for anticipating what the text will be about. The format in which the text appears is also taken into account in advance and a number of predictions are made about the text before it is read. This is followed by a detailed perusal of the text.
This process entails understanding and interpretation. Understanding depends on the schemata which the learners bring to the text and their ability to relate the information in the text to their schemata. In terms of this, reading is a continuous interaction between the schemata and the text. Then, depending on their schemata, readers will interpret the text in a particular way. This will often differ from what the author intended, because much of the meaning lies in the reader's thoughts and is determined by the knowledge of the world which the reader already has.

It is clear from the preceding discussion that reading is an interactive process based on the learners' own knowledge (of the subject, culture, language, specific text) and interest. Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997:165) maintain that the readers' reading performance depends on the following:
. their background knowledge of the content and the culture of the text
. their knowledge of the discourse structure (essay, letter, poem, lecture, political argument) and the socially acceptable conventions and functions
. their individual competence in the language
. how interesting they find the content
. personal motivation
. degree of complexity of the text (at the semantic [meaning] and grammatical levels) 6.9 METACOGNITION
6.9.1 What is metacognition?
The word ``cognition'' is used to indicate thought processes and the content of these thoughts. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1988:233), the word
``cognition'' means ``action or faculty of knowing, perceiving, conceiving, as opposed to emotion and volition''. Plug, Louw, Gouws and Meyer (1997) believe that cognition are those ``processes through which an organism acquires knowledge of an object or matter, or becomes aware of his or her environment through observing, recognising, imagining, reasoning, evaluating, remembering, learning and thinking''
(own translation).
The prefix ``meta'' denotes a higher order processing of the concept it is linked to.
Think, for example, of metaphysics Ð it is not a study of physics itself, but rather a study of the theory of physics. In the same way, metacognition implies a higher order of cognitive awareness, that is, of thought-content and thinking processes. Spring
(1985:291) describes metacognition as ``... the ability of learners to know how they know and to regulate the learning process constantly''. Metacognition thus refers to the cognitive activities you use when you think about and regulate your own thinking. The difference between cognition and metacognition is the degree of selfawareness and control evident in metacognition which is lacking in cognition.
Cognitive processes are automatic and unconscious, while metacognitive processes, in contast, require conscious monitoring and control. The term ``metacognition'' thus refers to the way you think about your own thinking or to a learner's (reader) ability to think about and be aware of his or her own learning and reading activities.
Remember, there is a close link between reading and learning. You could even, as it were, replace the word ``learning'' with ``reading'', since learning and studying take place, to a large extent, through reading.
Metacognition is associated quite clearly with deep, expansive thinkers, that is, with effective learners (readers). The concept ``metalearning'' developed because of the link between metacognition and effective learning. Metalearning takes place when the learner is consciously (intentionally) aware of his or her learning processes and plans them, carries them out, monitors and evaluates them (Slabbert 1988:104±105). Successful learners have a series of learning strategies at their disposal from which they can choose one or a combination of strategies to meet the requirements of a specific learning situation. This can only be done if they are aware of their own learning style
(learning strategy) and what they are doing. Furthermore, they must be able to

monitor their own learning (e.g. by asking themselves questions) so that they can change the learning strategy if the original choice was ineffective. Successful learners are thus those learners who are aware of the complexity of their learning style and learning approach (learning strategy), who recognise the requirements of a specific learning task and who have developed a series of successful strategies for use during learning tasks. These strategies will vary according to the nature of the learning task.
Honig (1996:105) gives the following examples of strategies:
. summarisation (includes activities such as substituting categories for lists of items, integrating a series of events with a descriptive action term, and selecting or inventing a topic sentence so that a learner can explain in his or her own words what happened or the structure of an argument)
. constructing mental imagery of what is being read
. constructing questions, answering questions and look-backs
. learning story grammar
. activating prior knowledge
. the strategic use of a set of these tools
To have metacognitive skills thus mean that you are able to ask questions, you can summarise, emphasise meaning, make predictions, integrate new learning with prior learning, explain to others and to write about the new knowledge (Honig 1996).
If learners are to become proficient metalearners, you will Ð during guided learning
(teaching) Ð have to make them very aware of a higher-order structure that they
(the learners) should use to plan, carry out, monitor and evaluate the learning task.
Each learner should internalise his or her own higher-order structure. This will enable learners, in follow-up opportunities, to consciously plan, carry out, monitor and evaluate their own learning; the goal is that the learners will be able to carry out their own learning tasks in an independent and autonomous way.
Planning means that the learning task is analysed beforehand in terms of the content, its appearance (symbolic, verbal, diagrammatic, etc.), the skills or knowledge required and the outcomes that must be achieved by the learning task.
Each learning style and learning approach must be taken into consideration.
Carrying out (execution) means that the learners use the learning strategies they developed during the planning stage.
Monitoring plays an important role, because it is an indication of the control a learner has over his or her learning task. This means that the learner is able to control the quality of his or her learning by, for example, monitoring his or her achievement of the outcomes, questioning himself or herself, making predictions and then determining if the predictions were correct, making deductions and then finding arguments to verify them.
Evaluation means that we need to ask the following questions after a learning task has been completed: What is the quality of my learning task outcomes? Have I complied with the task requirements? How do my learning task outcomes differ from those of others? When will I need to carry out a similar learning task again? What have I learned or what does this newly found knowledge mean to me? How can I use this newly acquired knowledge (Slabbert 1988:133±146)?

6.9.2 The value of metacognition for reading instruction
What is the relationship between metacognition and effective reading? I will now try to answer this question. When you read something, you are Ð to a greater or lesser extent Ð able to judge what you do or do not know. You are also aware of the demands the reading task makes on you; you are also, in all likelihood, able to predict how well you will perform. This knowledge and awareness of yourself as a reader is indicative of metacognition. Metacognition can be described in terms of two dimensions, namely self-evaluation and self-control.
Self-evaluation in respect of reading has to do with the abilities you have to appraise yourself and the strategies you follow when reading. You know, for example, that you sometimes need to read faster or slower and that the very purpose for which you are reading may require you to reread a passage. You also know what to do when you do not understand properly, what strategies you should follow to remember what you have read and that you can deduce the meaning of an unfamiliar word from the context. In addition, you are also able to say why and when certain reading strategies work better than others.
Metacognition as self-control has to do with the ability you have to plan your reading according to a predetermined goal. It involves your ability to constantly evaluate how well you have understood and what you do while you are reading. It also includes your ability to regulate and monitor your reading activities and to make the necessary changes when you fail to understand (Van der Westhuizen & Buys 1989:12).
This information about metacognition and metalearning can be utilised successfully during reading instruction, mainly because metacognition can be learned and practised. Because metacognition is the conscious awareness of the cognitive aspects of thinking, it is easy to give verbal feedback on it. Learners thus need to know about metacognition Ð they need to be actively taught to use metacognition during reading and, more importantly, for study purposes.
Recent research shows that metacognition during the reading process consists of the following group of skills: planning, monitoring (regulating), evaluating, summarising, questioning, explaining and predicting. Although these skills have long been known as reading skills, they are only now being consciously used by learners to exercise control over their understanding or lack thereof of a reading text. When these skills are taught, they need to be taught as metacognitive skills.
If questioning, for example, is being learned as a metacognitive skill, there are a great number of strategies that can be taught. Anticipation is a useful strategy, because it allows the reader of a passage to predict what questions might be asked. When learners read a passage with the knowledge that they will have to answer an unknown question afterwards, they would do well to formulate possible questions, that is, to anticipate while they are reading. In this way, they will ensure that they understand what they are reading, they will be able to evaluate the sections that they have read and they will be able to consider the various potential questions. Another strategy is simply that learners should set their own questions while they are reading.
This takes them to a deeper level of understanding than they would have achieved had they only read the passage once. Learners must, however, be shown how to generate questions. The teacher is in a perfect position to generate questions; he or she could suggest possible questions and give reasons why some questions are accepted and others are rejected. Otherwise, the teacher could give the learners corrective feedback.

Another possibility is reverse teaching. After the learners have been given the opportunity to practise their metacognitive strategies, one learner or a group of learners takes/take on the role of the teacher. This learner or group of learners must then teach metacognitive strategies and apply them to a section that has been read. In this way, learners are forced to take responsibility for their understanding of a section that has been read.

When learners' reading and comprehension skills develop in the classroom, all the preceding information about ways of reading, choice of texts, reading approaches, the top-down-bottom-up processes and the role played by comprehension should be remembered. In order to develop reading and understanding skills, appropriate activities are necessary. Activities may be divided into three main categories:
(1) Before reading (pre-reading) activities stimulate learners' interest and curiosity, help them to anticipate the text and encourage them to put into words their own experiences, views and feelings about the theme of the reading passage. These activities may be viewed as a first orientation to the text.
(2) During reading activities guide and check understanding and are based on a series of suitable comprehension strategies. In other words, the content of the text is thoroughly explored.
(3) After reading activities allow learners to respond to the text, to evaluate the content and to relate these to their own experiences. At this stage, learners are reflecting on the text.
Since these activities form the crux of the reading process, I shall discuss each of them in detail.

6.10.1 Before reading activities (pre-reading)
First of all, readers should orientate themselves to the text.

Ask yourself the following questions:
(1) What types of texts do you read most often (newspapers, fiction, advertisements, reports)?
(2) Where can these texts be obtained?
(3) What is the purpose of this type of text (relaxation, studies, work)?
Good readers do not start out by reading word for word; they first use a number of orientation strategies, activating their prior knowledge to help them understand the text. Because set readings (texts) at school are often presented in isolation from their source (we tend to use a newspaper report, not the entire newspaper when we wish to discuss newspaper reports), extra attention should be given to orientating learners to the text. This includes the following:
. a close look at the title, author, year of publication, source, arrangement of content, and a quick scanning of certain sections (scanning is discussed later in this study unit)
. the type of paper used and the number and nature of illustrations (photographs, sketches), the layout, headings and subheadings. These immediately supply a good deal of information, indicate how the text should be read and also create considerable expectations about the text.

In every case, the learners should be guided to ask themselves some prior questions:

What type of text is it (letter, newspaper report, advertisement)?
Where are such texts usually found?
What is the purpose of this type of text? Where does this one come from?
Why does one read a text such as this (relaxation, study)?

To teach this strategy, you need to plan a broad orientation with regard to the various types of texts. Let learners find their own examples of texts: a recipe book, instruction leaflet, magazine, poster, television timetable, children's book, Bible, dictionary, a school textbook for one of their learning areas or an encyclopaedia.
The texts are then assessed in terms of outward appearance (describe what they see), reader's purpose (Why do we read texts like this?), origin (Where does the text come from?) and the writer's purpose (Who wrote this text and why did he or she write it?). If you can, show the class a Chinese cookery book, French dictionary or a German children's story and let them discuss what kind of information each book's appearance gives about the type of book that it is. Learners can also be asked to categorise various kinds of texts (recipes, reports or instructions for use).
Learners should realise that different types of texts could deal with the same topic
(instructions for making coffee, a newspaper report on the caffeine content of various types of coffee, an advertisement for new coffee filters, etc). Learners could also determine the purpose with which the different authors wrote about the topic.
Another way learners can be helped to orientate themselves to the text is to set them a series of questions (What type of weather can we expect tomorrow? When does the first bus leave for Skukuza? What does a computer with a built-in modem cost?) and a series of different types of texts (weather report, bus timetable, advertisement). Then their task is to determine which texts to use with which questions.
To remind learners that it is always necessary to orientate themselves to a text, the orientation questions could be posted up in a specific place in the classroom.

6.10.2 During reading activities
Besides exploring the content of the reading matter, experienced and good readers orientate themselves to the content of the reading passage. For instance, they would start by glancing at and skimming chapter titles, subheadings, tables of content of illustrations. This would help them to recall specific prior knowledge relating to the text and, consequently, they would already have certain expectations regarding the text. This is crucial to the understanding of a text. After all, we gain insight when we relate new information to existing knowledge and judge it accordingly. Learners should, therefore, read headings and subheadings and look carefully at illustrations and captions and, for longer texts, skim the table of contents.

Read a text and then, to orientate yourself to the context and content, ask yourself the following questions: (1)


is the text about? do I already know about the subject? would I like to know more about? do I expect from the text?

Do you read with more purpose when you keep these questions in mind, or vice versa? Because the learners now have an overall impression of the content of the text, they can set about reading it more purposefully, with specific questions in mind and with extra attention.
Learners will initially need assistance with this step. The teacher should go through the questions with them and make them read them aloud or even write them down.
The learners could also work in pairs and question each other about the text.
. What do you already know about the text?
. What more would you like to know?
Let each of the learners write down a question that he or she thinks the text would answer. When they have read the text, they should say whether the text actually met their expectations. Skimming and scanning exercises could also be integrated to facilitate the exploration of the content. Skimming and scanning are discussed later in this study unit. Understanding words, expressions and abbreviations
The meaning of a single, unfamiliar word can be looked up in the dictionary, but if there are too many, it becomes time-consuming to look them up. Teach your learners that they should not automatically look up every word but rather read on, since the meaning of a word often becomes clear as you proceed. The precise meaning might also be unnecessary for an understanding of the text. When a word occurs frequently and its meaning appears essential in order to understand the main thrust of the text, or if the text suggests two meanings for the word and the reader is not sure which is correct, a dictionary may be used (Nothling 1988:6±7). This means that learners
must learn to ask themselves whether

the meaning of a word is a prerequisite for understanding the text the word is clarified in the text they possibly know one part of the word the preceding and subsequent words or sentences (the context) give one an indication of the word's meaning
. they can give a description of the word that is appropriate to the sentence and the text The preceding ideas apply to expressions and abbreviations as well. It is important to discuss idiomatic expressions and abbreviations as these occur in texts, instead of getting learners to memorise long lists of idiomatic expressions or abbreviations out of context. The cloze technique
A good reader always tries to deduce the meaning of an unfamiliar word from the context of the piece or sentence in which the word appears. Learners should, therefore, be given opportunities to practice this technique. A useful technique is the cloze technique. This entails the deliberate omission of certain words or phrases from a reading passage. The learners have the task of trying to deduce from the context of the

reading which words ought to be placed in the gaps. This ``guessing process'' is actually one of the key techniques of a good reader. Good readers are prepared to use the clues and cues in the meaning and context of the text they have read to guess the meaning of several words and parts of words. And, by doing this, because good readers do not need to ``see'' everything in order to understand, they focus more fleetingly on words, thus improving not only their reading rate but also their comprehension. Good readers may be given a more difficult cloze technique than weaker readers. For example, every sixth word might be omitted; in the case of less proficient readers, only every ninth word. (Remember that a mark of 40% or less for a cloze exercise indicates that it was too difficult for the group or learner.) The cloze technique may also be integrated with practice-oriented language instruction by, for example, leaving out all pronouns. Teachers should not just mark a word incorrect simply because the learner has not given the identical word found in the original text.
If the word makes sense, it should be taken as correct. Deduce the meaning of words from the context
Learners should be told to start by trying to deduce the meaning of a word from the set piece before they look it up in a dictionary. As readers, they should be taught to exploit the context for themselves. Nothling (1988:6) recommends teaching learners,
while they are reading, to be on the look-out for textual cues such as the following:

a formal definition explanations in brackets or in parenthesis (between dashes or commas) elucidation by way of an example, description or comparison an explanation later in the paragraph a synonym or antonym a contrasting description the tone, mood or way of composing a sentence or paragraph

Read the following three extracts and use the textual cues to deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words. Then compare your guesses with the dictionary meaning.
(1) According to the South African Medical Journal, recent findings show a relationship between malignant melanoma (a wart-like growth) and severe sunburn during childhood.
(2) Sipho is one of a few people in the country who suffers from an extremely rare hereditary disease called sclerosteosis, or hardening of the skeleton, which has deformed his appearance with the passing of time.
(3) The thin black tube worms it way securely down the throat, through the oesophagus, deep into the stomach. It inflates the stomach with air. The wormlike device, which is able to move its head about and explore, gives the doctor an excellent view. It enables him to diagnose a stomach ulcer.
The stomach ulcer is rendered visible by means of two narrow beams of light, closely resembling two eyes at the tip of the tube. The apparatus which the doctor used is a new breakthrough in medical science Ð an endoscope. The process is gastroscopy, literally ``looking into the stomach'' with a glass fibre telescope that can reach stomach ulcers where neither the naked eye nor a scalpel can reach.



Possible meaning

Textual cues provided

melanoma sclerosteosis endoscope gastroscopy If readers do not succeed in deducing meaning with the aid of the textual cues given above, they could try to analyse unfamiliar words morphologically in order to infer the meaning. If, for instance, a learner knows that hydrophobia means a fear of water, and he or she knows that arachnida is the scientific name for the spider family, he or she will be able to deduce that arachnophobia means a fear of spiders. Flexing of words so that they form new meanings can also help to explain their meanings.
Read the following paragraph and then try to deduce its meaning from the italicised words. Then look up the words in a dictionary to see whether your guesses are correct. Have you ever heard of a woman who is more frightened of a grasshopper than a lion? It is rare but true; she suffers from entomophobia.
While most of us feel uncomfortable in the company of something small and crawling and would not just touch a spider, individuals who suffer from entomophobia are panic-stricken if they find themselves in the same room with anything that can fly or crawl.


Deduced/inferred meaning Dictionary meaning

My own idea of the word entomophobia just After reading a passage, you could ask the learners to complete a table such as the following: Word

Morphological indicators

Deduced/ inferred meaning

Dictionary meaning My own idea of the word

deformed uncomfortable Recognising text structure
Learners should learn to recognise the characteristics of the specific type of text
(instructions, newspaper article, advertisement). After this, they should learn to recognise the introduction, body and conclusion, plus the functions of each of these parts of the text. They should know how to determine the central theme or the main topic of a particular piece. Next, they need to know and explore several paragraphs.
They should realise that each of the paragraphs in turn has its own chief topic or

main idea, which forms part of the main idea of the text as a whole. They should be able to see the relationships between the paragraphs. Last of all, they should be able to indicate the relationships within and between sentences. Structure of a text
Reading with real comprehension requires an understanding of the organisation of the text. While reading, readers should, as it were, be able to form a mental scheme of what they are reading. They should form a pattern which shows the relationship between main and supporting notions. Nothling (1988:8) explains that ``structure''
encompasses the following:
. Each paragraph represents a new idea.
. Paragraphs form units of meaning Ð they consist of a series of sentences conveying one idea Ð hence the fact that each has one main idea that is directly stated or that is implied.
. Sentences form parts of a larger whole Ð the paragraph. And, depending on the position a sentence has, every sentence has its own characteristics. Sentences might be introductory, summative or simply transitional sentences. Some sentences contain main ideas while other contain supplementary details.
. In addition, structural patterns of paragraphs are different. For instance, the information in a paragraph could be presented chronologically or points could be compared or contrasted with similar points. In an argumentative paragraph, there could be an initial statement, followed by an argument to substantiate it; in paragraphs, information may be arranged from the general to the particular or from the particular to the general, and so on.
To familiarise learners with structure, the variety of paragraphs and the role played by these within the overall text, you should give them regular practice in analysing paragraphs. Do structural exercises like the following:

Identify the theme of a sentence.
Identify the theme of a paragraph.
Identify the theme sentence in a paragraph.
Identify the main idea of a paragraph.
Indicate the connection between the main idea and the related paragraphs.
Formulate the main idea if it is only implied and not stated directly.
Rewrite the main idea in your own words.
Establish how the author arranged the paragraph.
Give the paragraph a suitable title.

For this purpose, the role of examples cannot be overestimated. Teachers should have examples of every possible type of structuring in their classrooms. Structure can be understood only if it is explained with the aid of good examples. Good, usable examples are, however, very scarce. It would be a good idea for you to start by purchasing a file in which you collect examples. Teachers often find it necessary to write their own good examples or to adapt an existing paragraph or piece of reading text to illustrate certain examples. Reading for detail
When learners have mastered the tracing of main ideas and key sentences in reading

passages, they may be taught to read for details. Reading for detail requires learners not only to be able to identify the main ideas, but also to be aware of the use of textual cues. Textual cues are indicators that are used in the text to focus learners' attention on what is to follow. Textual cues include

words such as firstly, secondly, in conclusion, finally, and so on numbering of paragraphs place indicators (in front, on, behind) time (before, simultaneously, first, next, afterwards, while, then, after) summary (first of all, also, still, furthermore) modality (perhaps, almost, even, for the rest) comparison (like/such as, just as, the same as, different from) means and aim (with which, with the aid of) cause and result (therefore, in that, because, as a result of) contrast (but, on the other hand, nevertheless) condition (if, provided, unless) argument and conclusion (thus, hence, yet, namely) general communication and example (e.g., so) main point and side issue (in the first place, similarly) summary (in short, in other words, in conclusion) references to realities outside the text or to other elements in the text (he, his, there, on that)

Exercises such as the following could alert learners to be constantly on the lookout for textual cues while they are reading:
In the following list of words, there are several words which, when used, indicate that the content will be taking a new turn. You should write a ``t'' next to each of these words. also more furthermore so but although regardless as well as again I repeat therefore in conclusion however but consequently besides please note linking up with

to summarise nevertheless in spite of rather notwithstanding whatever the case may be in closing important to return to

Now read the list again and mark with an ``e'' all the words that indicate that the author wishes to expand on an argument or idea or to give additional information.
In the list there are also a few words which indicate that the author wishes to make a synthesis or is busy rounding off his or her piece of writing. You should mark such words with an ``s''.
The list of words also contains a few words with indicate that the author wishes to emphasise an important point or is urgently trying to draw the reader's attention.
You could mark all those words with an ``a''.
. When dealing with each type of text, you should draw the learners' attention to the structure of the text. Teach them to use their knowledge of such characteristic structure when exploring the content of new texts of the same type.

. Get the learners to indicate the introduction, body and conclusion of a text. Then distribute texts that have been divided into chunks and get them to classify these into an introduction-body-conclusion sequence.
. Give learners a piece of text from which the introduction or conclusion has been omitted and ask them to write their own introduction or conclusion.
. Have the learners describe in their own words the relationship between paragraphs. . Let learners underline sentences or paragraphs that they do not understand, despite the fact that they understand all the words. Discuss this problem. Recognising subjective use of language
Subjective language use is biased and emotional, instead of being neutral and objective. Writers make implicit use of this type of language to voice their opinions on a subject, mostly (but not always) with the intention of getting the readers to air their views in return. Learners should be able to recognise at least the following forms of subjective language use:
. words with a positive or negative emotional tone (``mad'' instead of ``mentally disturbed'') . figurative language
. cliches
. irony Distinctions between facts and opinions and allegations
Learners should be able to recognise a distinction that is closely related to the subjective use of language, namely, the distinction between facts and opinions.
Writers (of, say, advertisements) often present opinions as if they are facts, thereby giving a false impression that the writer is neutral and objective towards the topic.
A fact is a statement or piece of information that is true and that may be proved to be true. It is a statement such as the following: ``Perfect facial cream has not been tested on animals Ð the truth of this can be tested and proved.'' An opinion simply expresses a feeling about a certain matter; it is not necessarily true. Compare this, for example, with the following: ``Perfect face cream is the best face cream in the whole world.'' Learners need to be able to relate the difference between facts and opinions and, in general, the difference between objective and subjective use of language to the intention of the writer of the piece. If the writer's aim is simply to furnish information, he or she should use objective, factual language. If, however, the author's intention is to exhort or persuade, then he or she will resort to opinion and subjective language use. Critical reading
Critical reading is associated with recognising subjective language use and distinguishing between facts and opinions. To be able to read critically does not mean that we find fault, but simply that we should refuse to agree with something

until we have thought about it. Learners should, therefore, be taught to measure what they read against their own background, experience, information and knowledge. One of the requirements of being able to read critically is being conversant with the different ways in which language can be used Ð such as to manipulate or to inform.
Critical readers are those who are able to
. understand what the writer is saying, why he or she wishes to say it and what his or her attitude is towards the subject, as well as his or her prejudices and partiality to a specific point of view
. judge whether the reading comes from a reliable source and find out about the author's background, outlook on life, reliability and so on (think, for example, of some sports reporters who are prejudiced in their writing about certain teams)
. distinguish between facts and opinions
. recognise the denotations and connotations of words
. discern between emotional and objective use of language
. know what their own prejudices are and how these could prevent them from reading critically and thus summarily accepting or rejecting what they read
. postpone a personal judgement until they have read the author's argument in full
It is essential, therefore, for readers to continually ask themselves the following questions: . Is the author's reasoning based on correct facts (research, experts' opinions, statistics, etc.)?
. Are his or her arguments logical? (Does the author, for example, make unsubstantiated generalisations; does he or she use emotionally charged words or express opinions instead of facts?)
. Are the author's motives honourable? (Could the author possibly have concealed motives?) . Are the deductions made by the author correct?
In order to be able to read critically, readers need to read more slowly than usual, that is, sentence by sentence and thought by thought. This implies that they will make notes while they are reading or that they will underline or circle certain sections
(provided, of course, that it is their own book). Argument (reasoning)
Critical reading presupposes the ability to follow arguments or reasoning and to be able to recognise false arguments. This means that learners should know that arguments usually proceed as follows:
. A position is assumed for or against a particular matter.
. Evidence is given to support or substantiate the standpoint (it is important for learners to be able to judge whether evidence is valid or not).
. At this stage, deductions are made.
. A logical conclusion which must support or underpin the standpoint, is made.
However, this process of argument is disturbed, and learners have to be taught to be

on the lookout for such disturbances Ð in both written and spoken use of language.
A false argument which tends to be fairly common, is the making of hasty generalisations. Hasty generalisations occur when someone comes to a conclusion on the basis of insufficient evidence, such as the following:
Men are better drivers than women. Both my sisters have been involved in motor car accidents, whereas my father and I have never had accidents.

The person definitely does not have sufficient evidence for his assertion. He is making a generalisation about all women on the basis of four individuals. It was also not necessarily his sisters who caused the accidents.
Another false argument is that of incorrectly ascribing the consequences of a certain event to a particular cause. Consider the example of the following argument which is frequently heard:
It rains each time I spray my roses with insecticide and all the insecticide washes off. In future, I shall spray my roses only when I want it to rain.

It is quite illogical to argue that spraying the roses causes rain. Yet, advertisements use this technique extensively (often with great success). For instance, advertisers suggest that a woman will receive flowers from a strange man if she uses a certain deodorant, or that using a certain lipstick will make a woman beautiful. Many advertisers depend on the fact that people do not really think critically about advertising.
People tend to fall into the trap of stereotyping. Pronouncements which lump everyone together in one group and which generalise about them, may be described as stereotyping. For example:
. Italian men are all warm-blooded.
. Men are lazy and untidy and will always choose to watch sport on television rather than pay attention to their families.
. All Afrikaners are racists.
Learners should be alerted to the fact that words such as all, always, everyone, never, must and so on which entail complete exclusion or inclusion, should be finely evaluated. Denotation and connotation
Readers should be alerted to denotation (= the meaning of a word as it occurs in a dictionary) and connotations (= the associations attached to a word). Both the denotation and connotation of words depends on the context in which they are used.
Words could have positive or negative connotations. The word ``aroma'' could, for example, have a positive connotation, while ``smell'' is neutral and ``stink'' has negative connotations. Different cultures could naturally also attach different connotations to words. In some culture, ``being fat'' is considered to be a compliment, because it implies that the person is healthy; in other cultures, however, people feel insulted if they are described as ``fat'' (Goedhals, Levey & Van Zyl 1990:200).
116 Silent reading
All silent reading exercises and teaching should take place with a view to developing reading comprehension.
Writers write with different objectives and with different target groups in mind. The aim and target group determine the tendency and tone of a reading passage. After reading a text for the first time, learners should try to ascertain the aim and the target group of the reading passage.
The tendency is what the writer intends with his or her words. During the reading period, learners should be introduced to reading passages with the following possible tendencies (they are often integrated in one reading passage):
. Factual: the writer simply provides facts; no opinion, conviction or judgement is expressed. . Didactic: the writer wishes to teach the readers.
. Moralising: the reading contains a moral lesson.
. Entertaining: the writer writes to give the reader pleasure and enjoyment.
. Interpretative: the meaning/implications of a matter (possibly also the historical background) is/are discussed and compared with similar situations and predictions for the future are ventured.
. Speculative: all possibilities, consequences, influences of a matter are judged, and different scenarios are sketched.
. Promotional: the author tries to persuade.
. Propagandistic: there is an attempt to gain support for a particular matter, while opposing issues are denigrated.
It is important for learners to determine the tendency of a reading passage, because this determines how a text can be interpreted.
The tone of a reading passage conveys the writer's attitude towards his or her subject and target group (audience). In written language, there is no possibility of vocal intonation Ð authors have to convey their emotions and attitudes through their choice of words. It is only when learners have succeeded in identifying the tone of a reading, that they will be able to identify the tone and deduce how to evaluate the author's arguments. The following two paragraphs say approximately the same thing, but each in a different tone:
(1) One of the greatest problems facing the world at present is overpopulation. It is a problem that no responsible young South African can ignore when considering starting a family.
(2) Babies, babies, babies. Far too many darned babies! All over the place; all the time.
Think about it. Now! Especially now that you have reached the age to have babies. Are you going to be part of the problem or part of the solution?
The first paragraph is formal, serious and objective; the use of words is measured and conventional. The second paragraph is informal and urgent, almost aggressive. The writer gives the impression that he is speaking directly to the reader, trying to shock the reader into a response (Goedhals, Levy & Van Zyl 1990:222).
117 Notes, summaries, mindmaps
According to Nothling (1988:10±11), notes and summaries are two consecutive
phases of the same thought activity. Since the making of notes is a central rather than a coincidental part of study activities, it should be given plenty of attention when teaching a language. While reading a text, learners can make notes by
. underlining the main ideas (learners usually tend to underline too much Ð they must be given exercises on a regular basis where they are expected to underline only the most important points)
. drawing lines in the margin next to the main ideas
. making asterisks in the margin to indicate central points
. numbering the main ideas and details
. circling key words, phases or clauses
. writing notes (key words) in the margin
. tabulating information
. highlighting
To make a summary, learners should start by doing an exploratory reading of the reading passage in order to form a general impression, followed by a careful reading combined with making notes (as indicated above).
The notes that are made, may then be arranged and processed into a summary.


Life-like situations

Listen and speak Write ate tegr



p d ap




an al ing xt rn e
Lea cont in h


l tiona Func ge use ua lang

tea ation chi al ng the om to

sro e clas
Take th d worl life


Bring the life world into the classroom


ag e langu unicativ Comm g teachin


icat mun Com ciency i prof

Communicative approach ge ngua ns the la io sing nd funct
Ð u sa a Ð ide





are ples Exam rtant o imp

Newspapers, magazines,
TV, etc.

Figure 6.1
Using notes to make a summary
When making a summary, arrange your notes and then process them into a summary. 118

Mindmapping helps readers to gain a better understanding of what they read or have read, a better retention of the content, and a greater revising competence if the need arises to study the material at a later stage for a test or examination. A mindmap should be done on a clean piece of paper. The key idea of the text is placed and circled in the middle of the page. Related matters are then dotted around the page, also circled and linked with one another.
A mindmap is more useful if you are able to indicate Ð using connecting lines Ð the relationship between the subelements and the main idea. (On a road map, it is like a note indicating this is the way to the central business district or this is the way to the post office.) If this is too difficult, try to determine which questions are answered by each group of elements. For example:



Wat he l does like? ook

How e h does lead? Wha t to h is imp orta im? nt JACK


Wh f ype o n is t o pers he?


Figure 6.2
A mindmap
Now one adds detail to each of the categories:






















Figure 6.3
An extended mindmap
119 Interpretation of visual reading matter
Learners should be given the opportunity to interpret visual reading matter such as maps, graphs, signs, icons, diagrams and nonverbal language. There should be ample provision for study material in their other learning areas. Graphs may be presented in various ways and learners ought to know how to interpret these and make deductions from them. A taxonomy of reading comprehension
If we take all the previously mentioned information into account, and consult the
National Curriculum Statement, we notice immediately that there is not single level of reading comprehension. Certain comprehension activities demand more complex thinking skills than others. In the light of this, we can see a similarity with Bloom's taxonomy. Table 6.1
A taxonomy of reading
Act of thinking

Act of illustrating (words that usually initiate the specific act of thinking)


describe, explain, mention, name, list, give


explain, define, clarify, illustrate, interpret, depict, deduce, describe in own words, compare


calculate, estimate, prove, process, determine, demonstrate, show how


differentiate, distinguish, discriminate, pick out, compare


design, plan, draw up a treatment plan, create, develop, produce, compile, indicate relationship


pronounce, indicate choice, assume, decide, criticise, gauge, appreciate and account for or substantiate, formulate own opinion
When setting questions on a reading task, teachers should make sure they ask questions that require the use of various cognitive skills. Questions that test knowledge would expect learners simply to find answers directly from the text. This type of question should form just a small part of the reading test.
Comprehension questions require learners to explain the meaning of a word, sentence or fixed expression in their own words, to elucidate the function of certain punctuation marks in the text, or identify the chief idea of a paragraph.
Application questions are aimed at applying the content in other situations. Learners could be asked to use a word from the reading in sentences where the meaning is not the same as in the text; they could be asked to make a list of causes and results; or they could be given the task of rearranging the data in the text under different headings.
When learners are asked to underline or write down the key questions of every paragraph, to identify or give a step-by-step explanation of motives, reasons, causes and results, they are analysing. When they are making summaries, forming relationships between matters, arranging things or events in a new, original way, they are synthesising.


Evaluation demands considerable knowledge of a subject. If learners are expected to offer an opinion on the successful choice of words, or to weigh up alternative possibilities against one another and then offer (and substantiate) their own opinion, they are evaluating. It is also important for individual learners to be able to form (and substantiate) their own opinions after they have read the text, or to draw alternative conclusions to those in the text. Other types of texts
The National Curriculum Statement states clearly that alternative texts such as the following must be included in the reading programme: maps, graphic representations, road signs and advertisements. Learners must also be taught how to make deductions and to draw conclusions from graphics, and how to judge advertisements objectively.
When learners are presented with a graphic such as the following, they can first be asked to make deductions and to come to conclusions. You could then ask them questions to help them to make further deductions.

500 000

50 000

400 000

40 000

300 000

30 000

200 000

20 000

100 000


10 000





Figure 6.4
Income vs expenditure for the last four years
The following five questions may facilitate greater understanding:
(1) What can you deduce from the income and expenditure over the last four years?
(2) What can the declining income during 1995/6 possibly be ascribed to?
(3) In the 1995/6 financial year, income decreased but expenditure increased. What factors could possibly have caused this trend?
(4) Write down all the possible consequences of the increased expenditure and lower income that you can think of.
(5) Predict the income and expenditure for the 1996/7 financial year.

Journal entry 6e
Summarise the section on During reading activities in one page. (You may make a mind map if you want.)


6.10.3 After reading activities
It is crucial for both the first and second additional language reader to read with comprehension. To do this, that is, to really understand what one is reading often means going beyond the limits of the text in question. Understanding often depends on interpretation, assessment and a critical approach. To comprehend what one is reading requires us to attribute meaning to the words and sentences of the text and recognise and grasp relationships in the text. Comprehension and vocabulary go hand-in-hand, so it is necessary to expand on the learners' vocabulary to improve their reading comprehension. This also includes understanding expressions and abbreviations. It is during these activities that learners think about (consider) what they have read. Reflection on reading
Reflection on reading is an after reading activity.
When they have read a text, learners should pause and consider what they have read, to determine what they have learned from the reading passage and how they feel about it. They should ask themselves the following questions about the value of the information and for the reading aim:
. What is the text about? What is the main topic and the chief thought?
. Have the questions I had beforehand been answered by the text? What do I know now that I did not know before?
. Do I have any more questions about the text? Are there things that I do not yet understand? . Do I agree with the author's view or do I have a different opinion? Do I still have the same view as I had before I read the text?
. Do I understand the purpose of this particular type of text?
. Do I understand the author's intention?
. Is the author reliable, an expert and serious about the subject?
. Have I read sufficiently and how can I improve on my reading next time I have to read? 6.11 DEVELOPING READING SKILLS
6.11.1 Speed reading
The desire for speed in our modern world has also had an effect on reading instruction. At one stage, the Americans used speed reading skill as a way of choosing a suitable career for a person; it was also a measure for determining good citizenship.
President Kennedy is alleged to have been able to read 1 200 words per minute and this was the stimulus for many of the speed reading programmes of the time. Some people claimed that they were able to read at the phenomenal speed of 10 000 words per minute, that is, that they were able to read a 500-page book in 17 minutes. (The average reader's reading speed is between 250 and 500 words per minute.)
Speed reading is a ``fast way of reading without skipping anything, and without stopping to worry about words or explanations that you don't understand. Some people call it extensive reading'' (Du Toit et al 1995:11).

Reading speed is a contentious issue. Researchers do agree, however, that it is possible to improve your reading speed. They also believe that the following three factors may contribute to this process:
(1) word discrimination
(2) understanding the meaning of words
(3) visual span and eye movement (although these factors only contribute a mere five percent to reading speed)
Home language teaching requires learners to be able to adjust their reading speed according to the purpose of the reading passage. Nothling (1988:3) believes that
learners will gradually learn to choose from the different techniques they have learned and that their decisions will be made according to the purpose of the reading text. Poor reading speed can probably be attributed to faulty word recognition or poor understanding. If learners have access to a meaningful reading programme that tackles this matter, they will gradually learn how to read more quickly. You must remember (and convey it to the learners), however, that it is not possible to increase your reading speed within a day or week. It requires regular practice.
Not all reading tasks require deep concentration. Learners must realise that it is often better to speed read certain items, such as news reports, recreational books and background reading for a particular topic that you have to study urgently.
Learners should be given time limits within which they have to read particular passages, as this will force them to concentrate more effectively. Learners should also be given one or two speed reading exercises so that they can see how their reading speed has improved. They should also be encouraged to work on their reading speed on their own. Get them to set goals: `` I want to double my reading speed'' or ``I want to improve my reading speech by 25 percent''.
Speed reading exercises can be done as follows:
(1) Collect everything you need before starting the exercise. You will need

a pen or pencil a watch with a second hand or a stopwatch a reading passage that the learners have never seen before (preferably dealing with a general topic or a biography; try not to use a story) paper to write on (number the lines from one to twenty)

(2) Get the learners to read at a normal pace for three minutes.
(3) The learners should indicate where they stop reading.
(4) The learners must write down everything they can remember without referring to the text again; each fact should be written next to a number. (A total of six minutes is allowed.) Alternatively, you could get the learners to write a set test which will test their knowledge of the content.
(5) The learners must count the exact number of words they have read. They should then divide the total by three to determine the number of words per minute.
(6) The learners must record the number of words per minute as well as the number of facts remembered. Learners should try to improve their reading speed in each consecutive speed reading test.

Use a clean piece of paper. Hold the bottom edge of the piece of paper above the line that you are reading. Start by moving the piece of paper downwards at a comfortable speed Ð gradually increase the speed until you are moving the piece of paper faster than you are reading. Move your eyes downwards and do not try to read with insight. Reduce your reading speed after a while so that you are once again able to read with understanding. If you do this every day, you should be able to increase your reading speed (Du Toit et al 1995).
Move your finger under the words to help you. Start with your finger on the second word and then follow your finger to the end of the line. Once you reach the end of a line, quickly jump to the next line. Increase the speed at which you do this exercise, even if you read without understanding Ð try to read about two pages per minute.
Do this exercise for about three minutes and then reduce your speed so that you can read with understanding (Du Toit et al 1995).

6.11.2 Skimming
You are able to read faster when you skim read than when you speed read, because you deliberately leave out sections (Du Toit et al 1995).
I have already mentioned that teaching language to learners at secondary level should prepare them for their future life in the adult world. To be meaningful, topical and to the point, reading instruction ought to equip learners with those reading skills they will be needing as adults Ð especially in their occupational lives. One of the demands that our rushed, modern life makes on readers is that they should be able to extract the essence (= what is most important) from a text. It happens, for instance, in the life of a director, journalist, doctor, member of parliament, consultant, teacher, minister of religion, scientist, engineer Ð to mention just a few examples Ð that these individuals have to grasp the gist (essence) of a report, memorandum, article or newspaper report quickly, and within a set time limit (usually far too short). Lack of time forces people to skim.
Skimming is a highly specialised reading skill which entails far more than mere rapid reading. Skimming is no lazy reader's technique. On the contrary, it is the preeminant characteristic of a good reader. It is a technique during which we do not read every word, but our eyes glid fleetingly across the text, stopping only to read certain indicators such as headings, subheadings, introductory and summarising paragraphs and key concepts. We skim far better if we have formulated certain questions for ourselves in advance. Skimming is usually done with the aim of gaining a preview of an overview and of revising.
Whereas in the case of normal reading, the vertical span (= number of lines the eyes is able to take in) is approximately six lines, skimmers are usually able to use the full vertical width of their visual span. They allow their eyes to pass fleetingly over a page in as few as five or six seconds.
Skimming exercises (also appropriate for additional language teaching) may be done as follows: . Distribute copies of a text to the class. The text should be both long enough and

suited to the specific purpose (e.g. a preview or overview or revision) and should be at the comprehension level of the class.
. I recommend the following guidance:
Ð Explain what skimming is and when we need to skim (e.g. the table of contents or a book to ascertain whether the book contains the information one is seeking). Ð Give appropriate hints such as the following:





When skimming to gain a preview, first read the title and the subheadings, explore the first and last paragraphs, focus on the introductory sentences of paragraphs, and so on.
When skimming to gain an overview, you should skim the table of contents, foreword or introduction, read the first sentences of paragraphs, or the first and last paragraph or chapters, read the headings and subheadings, read across examples and illustrations, and pay attention to everything that stands out Ð such as sentence written in upper case or in italics or bold fonts.
When skimming to revise, you should take note of the headings, subheadings, definitions, things that stand out by virtue of being underlined, printed in bold or italics, or indented.
Give the learners a clear instruction, such as that they must begin at a given sign, that the time will be recorded (tell them how much time will be allowed Ð this is determined by the class's development level and skimming proficiency) and that, afterwards, they will have to write down what they have skimmed or answer questions on the piece.
If, after the skimming exercise, the learners have to make a summary, you should provide them with a memorandum whereby they can evaluate their skimming. Remember that you are welcome to use the study material from the learners' other learning areas during the reading lessons.

6.11.3 Scanning
``This is the fastest kind of reading you can do. When you scan, you pay no attention to anything other than a particular item you are looking for. You run your eyes quickly over the text, only stopping when you find what you want. You then pay careful attention to that item'' (Du Toit et al 1995:12).
Skimming entails the rapid ascertaining of the main ideas in a set reading. Scanning, on the other hand, is the technique used to find specific facts and details related to the preconceived aim. Individual readers usually know precisely what they are searching for and let their eyes pass swiftly over all the other items without really looking at them, until they find what they are looking for. People use this technique when, for example, they are looking for a telephone number in the telephone directory or items in classified advertisements. When we wish to find something particular in a bulky report (e.g. a reader of an article about the presidents of the USA is interested in the dates during which each president was in office), we would also make use of scanning to obtain the necessary information.
Scanning exercises (also appropriate for additional language teaching) may be tackled as follows:

. From a particular reading exercise, you could choose certain information for the learners to look for, such as names of particular people, dates mentioned, figures given, a specific statement made, and so on.
. Explain to them that when scanning, readers must constantly keep in mind the shape of what they are looking for. For example, is it a figure, one word, a price, a word beginning with a capital letter, a date, an unfamiliar word, a long word or a sentence.
. Scanning exercises may be practised regularly in class by, say, using classified advertisements and letting the learners look for the prices of goods or telephone numbers. Telephone guides and dictionaries should also be used regularly.

6.11.4 Reading aloud
When teaching learners to read aloud, teachers should remember that there are a wide variety of types of text, language and style which readers need to interpret and adapt to in various ways. For instance, readers should be guided to realise that a seriously logical text ought not to be read in the same way as an emotionally loaded text or story.
It is necessary to remember that the degree of comprehension associated with reading aloud forms a vital part of reading aloud. Reading aloud is not just about reading a text ``beautifully''; the listener's understanding of what is being read to them is important. The main questions revolving around reading aloud are: Is the reader communicating successfully with his or her audience? Is he or she able to impart information while reading? Are the listeners engrossed and persuaded to cooperate? In other words, can individual readers communicate information while, at the same time, captivating and coopting their listeners? Are they able to communicate a written message in such a way that listeners understand it, while they (the readers themselves) grasp it? Are these individual readers capable of communicating the written message and the style and vein of the material with all its nuances of emotion, meaning and atmosphere as they read and portray it to their listeners?
The reader's understanding of what he or she is reading aloud is also important, otherwise it could easily degenerate into a mechanical exericse. To offset this, both the reader and listeners should be questioned when the reading is concluded.
In order to read a text aloud communicatively so that the message is effectively conveyed, individual readers should remember and apply the following aspects of communication in their reading:

eye contact and facial expressions phrasing effective pause pitch clarity, pace and pace variation audibility emphasis natural speech tone of voice due regard for punctuation voice modulation intonation attitude correct articulation and pronunciation interpretation All these devices help to portray emotions, create atmosphere, achieve dramatic effects and, in various ways, to convey, support and manipulate the message of the text
(South Africa 1993:6±7). Good examples of dramatised readings are essential. From time to time, teachers could record the reading of books broadcast on the radio to play back to the learners. Such readings could then be discussed in order to decide how the reader succeeded in creating atmosphere or tension.
There is not always enough time in the classroom to give every learner an opportunity to read aloud. This makes group work extremely important. Learners may be divided into groups of between five and seven and each group member could then have the opportunity to read aloud to the rest of the group. Another easy way of overcoming the time problem with reading aloud is to let each of the learners record his or her reading aloud of a piece of text and then submit the tape recording to you. (Most learners have access to tape recorders Ð even if they belong to neighbours or friends.) This is a very good exercise because it gives learners some opportunity of listening to themselves. I can assure you that the learners actually get a good deal of practice reading aloud, because they usually read the piece over and over until they are satisfied with their own rendering.
When assessing reading aloud, teachers should be attuned to the basic reading mistakes most readers tend to make. These include errors such as the following: hesitation owing to immediate identification, insertion or omission of words or phrases, poor pausing (or none at all), replacement of sounds or words (with others), switching of words within a sentence, repetition of sounds or words, an unduly slow tempo, guesswords, word-for-word reading, and so on.
The following scheme may be used when judging reading aloud:
Table 6.2
Scheme for judging reading aloud

Possible marks 10

Does the reader understand what he or she has read?
Is the listener able to perceive changes in meaning?
Clarity and quality of voice
Articulation acuity


Skills such as intonation, accent (words), tempo variation, phrasing, sentence rhythm, sentence accent, gestures, facial expression used to convey meaning


(according to the demands of the text)
Fluency of stream of reading (correct eye span), word fluency, word recognition, phrasing, pauses


Abiding by the text (inserting or omitting words; repetition, stumbling over unfamiliar word)




6.12.1 Introduction
Reading instruction should not be left for the reading period, because it forms an integral part of language teaching; for that reason, reading should be taught every time something is read in the language class (regardless of whether this takes place during the teaching of literature, grammar or composition).
Literature teaching is essentially reading instruction, thus the teaching of literature logically follows reading. All that has been said about the teaching of reading should be kept in mind while one is teaching literature.

Journal entry 6f
Answer the following questions in your journal before you read further.

What atmosphere prevailed during your literature lessons at school (serious, academic, relaxed)?
Were you given background information about the author and the story?
Did you read reviews?
Did you only answer set questions after you had read a section or did you critically discuss the work and compile questions of your own?
Did you incorporate other activities, such as debates, presentations and skits?

Scenario 1
Ms van Tonder enters the classroom and greets the learners. She instructs them to take out their prescribed material. She sits down at her desk and begins to read. The learners sit in silence and follow in their books. At the end of the lesson, Ms van
Tonder hands out questions and asks that the learners complete the questions for chapters one and two for the following week. The teacher will read out the answers and the learners will mark their own work. Ms van Tonder will then give them prepared notes which will help them to prepare for the examination.

Scenario 2
Mr Mashile enters the classroom. He divides the class into groups and hands out a prescribed text. He asks the groups to look at the title, the dust cover, the layout, and so on. He gives some general information about the characters, such as Lana = mother who works at the town library; Peter = Lana's friend who is jealous of her. Each group must predict what will happen in the book. They then begin to read the story aloud.
Different learners read the different characters' words.

Which of the two scenarios above would you use in the presentation of a literature lesson? Why?
Think of some other interesting ways to present literature lessons.
How could you inspire your learners to read?

Very few learners and even adults have good reading habits. Unfortunately, in the past, the teaching of literature at school contributed largely towards ``putting''

learners ``off '' reading. Instead of cultivating a love of reading and trying to make learners lifelong readers, the teaching of literature at school was often presented as preparation for a tertiary study of literature. Learners viewed literary works of art as no more than objects of study which had to be taken apart; they also felt obliged to study other people's opinions. Most teaching of literature consisted of answering questions about a book or a poem. (It is only at school that a learner is expected to read a book or a poem with a view to answering questions.) Because this type of approach to literature does not cultivate a love for literary works, the current approach to teaching literature at school is totally different.

6.12.2 A few general guidelines for teaching literature
Before going into any detail about the teaching of literature, I shall give you a few general guidelines on literature teaching.
. Literature teaching is actually teaching of reading. It is reading with a particular aim in mind. This aim includes acquiring insight into and developing a love for reading. The latter aim is very important Ð especially because years of monotonous, text-oriented literature teaching (questions and answers on a specific narrative or poem or the rote learning of long questions worked out by teachers) has killed most learners' love of reading. Individual learners must be actively involved in their own reading experiences Ð they must have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the literary work and to express their responses to and feelings about it. In addition, learners should be informed about how other people such as reviewers, literary experts and academic experience and interpret the narrative, then compare these accounts with their own. In other words, experiencing the text should precede studying the text. Simply answering questions on a literary work and studying literary concepts certainly does not cultivate a love of reading.
. Studying literature expands learners' knowledge of people; they learn to appreciate and understand the views and behaviour of others and to evaluate their own behaviour in relation to that of the characters in the book. The prerequisite for this is that learners should become involved in the literary work. In other words, it is necessary to find a balance between a text-centred approach (where the texts is studied for its own sake) and a reader-directed approach (where the reader's experience and what the text means to him or her personally is taken into account). Thus the reader and his or her experience of the text becomes the main component. Instead of pursing one ``correct'' interpretation of a literary work, we should place the emphasis on the interaction between an author and a specific reader. Interpretation might differ from reader to reader, because readers bring all sorts of things from their personal knowledge and experience to bear on the text.
The primary reason for studying literature should be to provide the opportunity for dialogue between work and learner, learner and teacher and learner and learner.
This means that group work is indispensable. As I have already said, of course learners should take note of reviews and the views and interpretations of literary experts on a literary work, but only after they have given their own views. And learners should compare their views with those of ``experts'', because this will guide them as they gradually become proficient at making their own good interpretations. . Stories may no longer be studied in such great depth that this could be compared with work done at university level. Because ``in-depth study'' is no longer encouraged, the implication is that as many literary arts works as possible should be dealt with as this expands and builds a learner's reading experience. In the first

place, the literary work need not be experienced as something that will be examined. When this happens, learners have far less freedom to proffer their own experiences. The eventual target should be to bring the learners' opinions into line with the ``acceptable'' or literary view, without invariably accepting one opinion or answer as the only correct one.
. Teachers could discuss various works simultaneously in class. The best is to allow learners to work in groups and to get each group to do a different book or short story. Then give a set of general questions to be answered in the group (or by each individual group member). The questions should be of a general sort, such as identifying the main character in the story and explaining why this is the main character, giving the reasons as well as the consequences of the conflict that has occurred, explaining which type of narrator narrates the story and why, and so on. . It is preferable to use open questions on literary works. An open question is one requesting an opinion and to which there is no necessarily correct answer.
Nonetheless, the answer should be substantiated with very meticulous reference to the text. Learners may be motivated to read independently in the following ways:
. Set aside time regularly to read aloud to the class in an interpretive or dramatic way. . You could sometimes read an interesting section from a book or volume of short stories and stop at a point where the tension is running fairly high: this should make the learners feel like borrowing the book to finish reading the story for themselves. . Display attractive dust covers of good books for young people for the learners to look at.
. Make a point of regularly reading book reviews to the learners.
. You could use book catalogues to introduce or recommend interesting books to learners. . Let the learners read through such catalogues and then say which books they would like you to discuss in class (giving their reasons) and which books they would like to own.
. Make sure that the school library contains books that interest and attract the learners. . Contact publishers to enquire about new books that have been published.
. Ask for donations of books and magazines from learners, parents and the community and form a class library.
. Compile a list of books that you know the learners will enjoy and make it compulsory for each of them to read at least four books on the list.

Think for a moment about the following questions: What literature have you read recently? Did you read it with the aim of assessing its literary value or for pleasure?
You should note that no learner will develop a love of reading because he or she has mastered the theory of literature. Please do not think for a moment that learners do not need to gain insight into the ``operation'' of literary works. These things are prescribed by the National Curriculum Statement and must be taught Ð it's just the way in which they are taught that counts. The meaning of a text dare not depend on the significance the teacher or critic attaches to it; it should depend on the meaning the

learner attributes to it. As long as individual learners are able to justify their opinion with reference to the text, their opinions must be appreciated and acknowledged, even if they are different from those of others. There should be time and opportunity for learners to compare their own allocation of meaning with those of experts (e.g. reviewers and academics).
Van Tonder (1994:59±60) states that the following should be pursued:
. Learners ought to be able to respond with experience and empathy to all forms of literature so that they can develop their own opinion and taste and discern real quality. . Learners should be able to identify with the characters and events and, in so doing, prepare themselves for adult life.
. Learners should acquire knowledge of the basic structure of literary forms.
. Learners should have a basic metalanguage (terminology) in order to be able to express their opinions on literary works.
. Learners' skill at using language, their emotional experience, thoughts and experience of the normative aspect of life should be fostered.

6.12.3 Learner involvement
Active involvement is a prerequisite for effective teaching of literary texts. This fact cannot be sufficiently emphasised. If learners are not given the opportunity to respond personally and express their own reactions, their thinking activities will be restricted.
Someone who just has to answer a bunch of questions, is usually too preoccupied with focusing on the answers to the questions to be able to read creatively and feel involved in the reading experience. We will only succeed in cultivating a love of reading in our learners if we do not lose sight of this condition. The learners should feel involved in what they are reading. This involvement is only possible if individual learners experience the reading activity as something personal and if they have an opportunity to express what they feel about what they read.
The fact that learners must become actively involved in what they read, but should also gain insight into literary works, has important implications for the teaching of literary works, that is, experience of the text should precede the study of the text.

6.12.4 An approach that fosters an experience and study of the text
An approach that promotes the experiencing of texts acknowledges the important role of the reader. This emphasis is on the interaction between a specific text and a specific reader. It is obvious that individual readers bring all sorts of things from the personal life to bear upon the text and that, precisely because each reader is uniquely different, interpretations of the text will be different.
A study of the text focuses on the content-directed procedures and is complementary
(= supplementary; that which completes, adapts to) to experience of the text.
Kuhn (1989:89±92) explains the aims of a text experience approach as follows:
. The emotional component should be developed. Learners' affective (=emotional life) development is enhanced by the fact that they enter into or transfer themselves to the situations, feelings, thoughts or actions of the characters in the text.
. Learners should be able to verbalise their response to and their stance (=attitude to,

preference for or rejection of) towards the text. As readers, the learners' feelings are important Ð they are free to like or dislike a text, to attach their own interpretation to it. As readers, they are drawn into the discussion of the text.
. It is necessary to expand learners' experiential world. They should be guided to notice relationships between the text and their life world, or between the text and other books to which they have recently been introduced.
. Fostering a positive attitude is an important aim in this approach. Learners should eventually be able to read independently and to absorb, process and judge information from any text on their own.
The aims of an approach that promotes a study of a text (= text-analytical approach) are as follows:
. Acquiring essential study material. Learners should be guided towards mastering the necessary factual knowledge and essential study material related to the literature.
. Broadening learners' expectational horizons. This helps to initiate learners into the nature of literature so that the application of literary terminology and the level at which they are able to interpret displays a steadily ascending line.
. Applying acquired insights. The learners are enabled to apply the insights they have acquired during the literature instruction in new situations such as composition activities. . Broadening learners' literary taste and aesthetic appreciation.

6.12.5 Literary genres, narrative elements and techniques, and how to teach them Learners need to become conversant with literary genres such as those to be discussed next. The short story, essay, play, short novel and novella are all different forms of prose.
When teaching prose, teachers should have a sound knowledge of literature and literary concepts because, if teachers themselves do not have any insight into narrative elements and techniques, they will not be able to teach these to their learners. The narrator's point of view, the events and action (conflict, motivation and intrigue), character depiction, time and space, subject and theme, climax and denouement (final
outcome), motivation and conclusion, and certain figures of style such as contrast, are concepts to which learners must be introduced. Please note that literary concepts should be dealt with only in so far as they contribute to the understanding and enjoyment of a literary work and as they occur in class discussions. I shall discuss these literary concepts before I explain how literature should be presented in class. Narrator's point of view
Every story is presented by a narrator who should not be confused with the author of the story. Viljoen (1996:18) explains the difference between a narrator and an author as follows:
Imagine that I have written a science-fiction short story. The story takes place in South Africa in the year 2080, when the earth as we know it now has been totally transformed so that South Africa is


an underground ice desert ruled by an invisible group of magicians. The story is told by a purpleskinned, nine-foot tall, walking, talking light-pole, ZZZort. The narrator (narrator) of the story is purple-skinned ZZZort, but I, Christine Marshall, an ordinary person living in 1995, am the author.

You might also use the example above to explain to the learners the difference between the narrator and author.
. When a first-person narrator is speaking, one of the characters themselves is telling the story. This is also known as the ``I-narrator''.
. A third-person narrator is in action when the story is told from the point of view of one of the characters, but this character is not, as in the case of the first-person narrator, actually speaking. Our access to the narrative is, therefore, restricted to where this character goes and we can only get to know the other characters as they come into contact with (are seen through the eyes of) this character.
. The omnipresent narrator (= omniscient narrator) is really omnipresent and omniscient (present everywhere and knowing everything). He or she can tell what two characters are doing at the same time in different places as well as being able to tell what different characters are thinking. Structure and intrigue
The logical question that is usually asked in relation to a literary work is, ``What happens in the story?'' After all, that is what fiction (= representation of something imaginary that has happened, as in narratives and stories) is about, namely recounting imaginary events. However, it is not so easy to answer this question, because authors do not always relate a story from beginning to end in chronological order (= as it takes place in time sequence).
The important thing here is how the cohesion of events influences the characters in the story. For instance, the events can usually be ascribed to a specific cause and this could lead to a certain consequence or possibly to conflict.
The intrigue may be determined by letting the learners set up a timeline. A timeline might have the following appearance:
Beginning ................................................................................ End
The intrigue of a story tells us why certain events occur, what has caused the event and how these events, in turn, give rise to other events. A table depicting the events, causes and results could be drawn up and this would help learners to understand the intrigue, for example:




You could supply some of the information in a table like this, and then the learners to complete the table.
Another way in which you could teach the intrigue is to read the story up to a point and then ask the learners to predict how the story will continue. Characterisation
Stories are about people Ð how they behave under different conditions, how they interact with other people and what types of personalities they have. This means that we need to get to know the characters in a story well. Anybody is interested in what other people do, how they behave and why they act the way they do. We are usually also interested in the way the characters in a story behave and in the motives for their behaviour. We generally get to know individual characters in a book in the following ways:
. what the narrator says about them (e.g. intelligent, attractive, outward appearance) . what other characters say and think of them
. what the characters themselves say, how they treat others, how other people behave towards them, and how they cope with conflict situations
. the characters' external appearance, the way they dress, their educational background, their position in society, and so on
Many teachers distribute duplicated notes with character sketches of characters to their learners! This is the poorest way of teaching. A good teacher never gives information to learners if they are capable of working it out for themselves. One way of dealing with characterisation in class would be to use mindmaps. A mindmap begins with a circle in the centre of the page, in which the name of the main character is written. Then the names of the other characters are written (in circles) all around that of the main character, and lines are drawn to link them. The type of relationship
(e.g. mother, girlfriend, colleague) between the characters is indicated (in writing) on the straight lines.
By means of tables like the following, learners may also be helped to compile a complete character sketch of a character:
How do we get to know him?
What the narrator says about him or her
What he himself or herself says
What he or she does
What others say about him or her
Behaviour towards and conflict with others
Et cetera

Quotation and page reference What do we deduce from this

Learners could be asked to draw a character or to cut out of a magazine a picture of someone who makes them think of a specific character. It is important for learners to form a ``picture'' of a specific character.
When the learners have a good grasp of the character traits of a character, the teacher could possibly let them hold a class discussion to determine how a certain character might act in different circumstances. Time and space (milieu)
The narrative events are very closely related to the handling and course of time in the story. Sometimes the fact that a story is not chronological is not without intention.
The reader has to ascertain why the chronology has been broken. Two techniques to be noted are flashbacks and ``flashforwards'' or anticipation. According to Meij, Kuhn
and Snyman (1985:112), flashbacks and anticipation fulfil specific functions.
Flashbacks provide background information to give the reader insight into the progression of the story and they accentuate important issues affecting the narrative events. ``Flashforwards'' evoke tension and expectation.
The passage of time in a story can also be established by means of a timeline. Let the learners draw a timeline, above which the events are written as they are related in the book. Below the timeline, the events are recounted as chronologically depicted, that is, those that occur at the very beginning are written down first, while the subsequent events are placed in successive order.
``Space'' refers to the place where the narrative is enacted. Space is often an important factor in the story (think of a story in which drought influences the characters' lives).
Space creates atmosphere in the story.
One could teach time and space in a narrative by asking learners to draw the place where the story takes place or to look for pictures of places which remind them of the space in the story. Theme
Life serves as a theme for the literary narrative; life in all its variegated variety, life with its problems, ideas and events. Life's events and all that goes with them often leave a deep impression on us, for example: the fragmentation of families, marital problems, striving to conserve nature, and so on. Artists often feel these things more intensely and this compels them to express their feelings in their art. This is how a work of art gets a theme.
Viljoen (1996:24) explains a theme by using the example of a patchwork quilt: the quilt is often made by repeating variations of a small pattern to make a larger pattern.
Theme, then, is a repeated pattern within a work made up of parts, such as a piece of music or a patchwork quilt. In fiction ``theme'' refers to an idea or pattern of ideas that is repeated throughout the story. An idea cannot be seen or touched; it is not a person, an event or an object. Rather, theme is usually expressed by means of an abstract noun (the name of something that cannot be perceived with the senses).


Examples of such abstract nouns are love, failure, guilt, gradual progress, nonacceptance or denial or something, and so on.
When one is searching for the theme of a word, it is advisable to start by looking for an abstract noun which could possibly describe the story and then to use one or more of the following ways of ascertaining whether it is appropriate:
. The theme often stems from events, cause and result, so you should compile a table and see whether the theme emerges from that.
. See whether the theme may be generalised. Let the learners remove the characters' names and then replace them with ``he'' or ``she''. Is the theme still valid in general human circumstances?
When discussing the theme with the learners, you should remember the following:
. A story sometimes has more than one theme.
. There is no ``right'' or ``wrong'' answer to the question of what the theme of the story is. Learners may differ in their views of what the theme is Ð as long as they are able to substantiate it.
. The theme of the story is not necessarily a miniature lesson the writer wishes to teach the learner about how to live. Viljoen (1996:121) explains this point:
``Although theme is an aspect of fiction that is universal (= that applies to everyone), that is not the same as saying that fiction teaches us how to live. The novel does not contain lessons for the reader to learn from. By reading fiction we can increase our understanding of life, but only because we have been stimulated to think more about certain themes and topics, not because the novel or short story makes moral points or instructs us.''
. A theme does not announce itself Ð we have to discover the theme of a story for ourselves. I have now given you a brief overview of a few important literary concepts. But the big question is how we should tackle a literary work in the classroom.
Determine the learners' expectational horizon. It is advisable to determine the learners' preferences, expectations and attitudes at the beginning of the year. A teacher could do this by, say, giving the learners a list of questions like the following:

How many books have you read in the past year?
What were the books about?
Why do you prefer that type of books?
Which author do you most like?
Which types of books do you not like at all?
Why don't you like those books?
Which television programmes do you most like watching?

By analysing the answers to the questions above, a teacher can form an idea of the learners' preferences. One of the requirements of a learner-centred approach is that these preferences should be taken into account during teaching. In the senior classes, literary works are usually prescribed, but in the junior class, teachers are free to decide what they wish to discuss with the learners. So, when selecting suitable works, teachers should remember the preferences listed above. The age group of the learners and their cultural background will also be decisive in the teacher's selection.

6.12.6 Teaching literary works
Please reread the paragraph on the contrast between the approach that favours the experiencing of texts and the approach that promotes the studying of texts. When teaching literary works, teachers should make provision for interaction between text and reader, not just at a cognitive level (text-studying level) but also at affective (textexperiencing) level. ``The literary experience does not consist of only an emotional response or only an intellectual response: every literary text activates an emotional and an intellectual response in the reader. It involves the heart and brain of the learner'' (Combrink 1992:9). Thus we can refer to an integrating approach to the teaching of literature Ð integration not only of the cognitive, affective and psychomotor components, but Ð as you will see in the discussion to follow Ð of the four language skills listening, reading, speaking and writing.
Just as in the case of the reading of any text or set reading, it is essential that learners orientate themselves first in the text and then apply themselves to exploring its contents (in the course of reading literary works, they will analyse the characterisation, and then consider the intrigue, conflict, milieu, theme, narrator and so on more closely). They will conclude their reading activity by reflecting on what they have read and what they have learned from the book. The following model, developed by
Combrink, satisfies the requirement of orientation to the text, exploration of the content and reflection on what has been learned. According to Combrink, the teacher should take the learner through different phases in the course of literature instruction.
These phases fit in very well with an outcomes-based teaching approach. Combrink's model
Phase 1: Preparing to read a text
At this stage, the learners have not yet seen the text!
This phase is the affective (=emotional) phase, which entails an attempt to prepare learners to become emotionally involved in the text. During this phase, unfamiliar vocabulary is explained if necessary, and there is an attempt to find a point of contact with the learners' prior knowledge.
Activities which the teacher engages in during this phase are the following:
. Prediction. Research has shown that if learners are encouraged to predict what will happen in the story, it raises their interest in the story. For instance, you should write the title of a poem, play or short story on the chalkboard and let groups of learners predict what might happen in a story with a title like that. One of the group members could recount the group's ideas to the rest of the class. If the book has a striking dust cover, you could show it to the learners and ask them to predict the story the dust cover conjures up to them. Learners could also read the first page of the story and then speculate about the possible course of the story.
. Making up their own story. Divide the class into groups. Provide them with basic information about the story and then ask each group to make up their own story around this information, for example:
Ð character:
Ð situation:
Ð intrigue:

a bachelor a party on a farm two guys are courting one girl

After reading the story, learners could make comparisons.
. Class discussion or debate. For this you could choose a topic associated with the theme of intrigue in the story and then require the learners to discuss or debate it.
. Collecting background information necessary to understand the story. If may be necessary to obtain some background information in order to understand the story. If, for instance, a story is enacted in an unfamiliar place, you will have to start by explaining something about it to the learners. You could do this by giving them tasks to go and research independently in the library or, if there is no library available, you will have to collect the information yourself and convey it to the learners in an entertaining way. You could make a collage (= a large picture composed of a number of different pictures that combine to depict a story) that will help you to illustrate the background information. Of course, if learners do have the necessary support systems at their disposal, you would expect them to look for the information themselves.
Phase 2: The first reading of the text
This is a very important phase because it is the reader's first introduction to the text.
It occurs in various ways. For instance, it could be an exercise in reading aloud or silent reading. It is not a good idea to say, ``Go and read it at home.'' This sounds too much like an order. There can never be too much reading aloud in class Ð it kindles the learners' interest. But try to vary it; get different readers to read aloud. And, letting learners read one after another in rows is not a good idea Ð it becomes very boring. Assign the roles of specific characters and let each character read his or her
``own dialogue''. An additional learner could read the part of the narrator. When you are using silent reading, you should remember that some readers read more quickly than others, so be prepared with a task for those learners who complete the reading ahead of the rest.
For about ten minutes, you could read aloud while the learners close their books and simply concentrate on listening. Before starting, you could give them tasks such as
``See whether you notice when the main character (mention his or her name) changes his or her views'' or ``Listen carefully while I am reading and then give me an outline of where the story is set'' or ``Listen while I am reading and see whether you can outline a few of the main character's character traits'' or you could describe a certain character and ask the learners to identify which character you are describing as you read. If it is a long novel that has to be read, you could read sections during class sessions and let the learners read sections of it at home as well. But it often pays to devote two or three lessons to the reading of the most important parts because (generally speaking) learners do not read at home. If you know in advance that the learners are not going to read at home, you should do ample reading in class Ð the reading of the story is just as vital as the literary study.
If there are too many learners in your class, you would do well to divide the learners into groups, and give everyone in the group an opportunity to read part of the text. In this way, different readers read simultaneously and everyone gets a chance to read. It is not always necessary for learners to be able to read their own version of the text; it depends on the type of story, the learner group and your own preference.

Phase 3: Opportunity for individual response
When the reading of the text has been completed, the learners give an individual, written account of how they compare the events with those of their own lives.
Readers should realise that this first insight or experience of the text might possibly change in due course. This phase tends to be a rather emotional phase, and learners should be given the assurance that their responses will be treated confidentially if they prefer this. You may provide guidelines. For instance, let the learners write down everything they do not understand or that they have difficulties with. You could also set guiding questions or tasks.
If you are reading a long narrative in class, you could pause just before the end of the lesson and ask the learners to predict what will happen next or to give you their impressions of the story thus far. For instance: ``Has it roused their curiosity?'', ``Do they want to read on?'', ``Does the story meet their expectations?'', and so on. Let them write down their first impressions of the characters, or let them write down what they have found most striking thus far. But make sure that, after the learners have read the entire story, they get ample time to write down their response to the story as a whole.
Phase 4: Opportunity to share responses with others
During this phase, learners are divided into groups so that they may discuss their responses or problems with one another. This will enable them to realise that responses to literature are not uniform or identical. Individual readers determine and justify their own views. (If learners do not like a story, they have the right to say so!)
You could direct the discussion in advance by way of one of two structured questions to ``set the cat among the pigeons''. You could even ask the learners to depict a section of the book by ``posing'' for a photograph.
Learners should also have the opportunity to discuss problem areas with one another and to decide jointly which important aspects of the story merit more detailed discussion. Phase 5: Developing and structuring responses
During this phase, the narrative is discussed in more detail. This would include characterisation, narrator's point of view (focalisations), tension and so on. Group work is of the utmost importance in this phase. It is usually a very protracted phase.
Do not, however, over-analyse a story. Pulling a story to pieces in order to discuss every possible aspect and setting the learners a series of long contextual questions to answer it quite unacceptable. This does not mean that you may never do this; learners definitely need to write essays and work out long questions. All I am saying is that this is not all they should be doing (as in the past). Take a look at some other activities that you could consider.
Activities relating to characterisation
. The learners compile questions that they would like to put to the characters.
. Each of the learners is assigned a role to portray. Some of the other learners play the parts of reporters who are required to conduct interviews with the characters.
. They record journal entries which the characters would have made.
. The learners write letters to the characters, questioning their motives and behaviour. 139

. In their groups, learners introduce the characters and put questions to one another.
. The learners represent the characters in conflict situations.
. One or more of the learners play(s) the part of one or two characters. The learners conduct a phone-in programme in which the characters are questioned.
. The teacher compiles a questionnaire for the learners to answer from the point of view of a specific character.
Activities relating to intrigue
. The teacher mentions incidents and asks questions stemming from these.
. Learners give headings for chapters.
. Learners compile event-cause-result tables to determine the intrigue of the narrative. . Learners are required to indicate how internal action gives rise to external action, or how external actions gives rise to internal action.
. In their groups, learners are required to try and find reasons (motives) for characters' behaviour.
. In column A, the teacher writes a list of all conflict events. Then, in column B, learners are required to discuss the consequences of the conflict.
Activities relating to time and space (milieu)
. Learners are to draw the scene where the story is enacted.
. Learners are to compile a table in which they show the similarities and differences between the physical space in which they live and that which is depicted in the narrative. . Let the learners extract everything that is typical of a particular space such as
Africa, Western society, South African people, townships, feminism, military life and so on.
Activities relating to a theme
. Brainstorm with a view to determining the theme of a story. Brainstorming entails giving the learners a certain period of time Ð not too long Ð to identify all possible themes. Everything is written down Ð whether or not it is realistic. Then the themes are discussed, confirmation sought in the story and decisions taken
(with substantiating reasons) as to which were applicable and which were not.
Phase 6: Comprehensive recapitulating activity
During this phase Humpty Dumpty has to be put together again! Everything that was taken apart during the previous phase has to be reassembled. This is not always easy. Possible activities during this phase include the following:
. Learners speculate about the possible course of subsequent events.
. Learners work together in pairs. One learner is the librarian whose task is to persuade the other learner to borrow the book.
. Learners write a dust cover for the book.
. Learners write a review of the book.
. Suppose the book is listed in Exclusive Books' catalogue. Let the learners write the section to appear in the catalogue.
. Imagine that the book has to be dramatised on a 45-minute cassette for the blind.
Have the learners decide how this could be done.

. They consider how the book could be filmed: its visual possibilities, dialogue possibilities, who will portray the parts, and so on.
. Let the learners recount the story from the point of view of one of the other characters. . The teacher plays the part of the author. The learners put questions to him or her.
Phase 7: Evaluating individual responses
Let the learners make their responses again, as in phase 2, and compare these with the previous responses. Have they changed or not?
Phase 8: Appreciating and evaluating text
This is a very difficult phase. There are very few people who are capable of evaluating a text independently Ð they usually echo ``recognised'' reviewers. Learners should at least be able to appreciate the text.
I can assure you that this model has been put to the test over and over again and that it is really effective. Moreover, it is in line with the way literature is presented in countries overseas. Learners enjoy literature if we set about it in this way because it gives them the opportunity to express their own opinions, because it allows them the right to say that they do not like a story and because it shows them that their opinions are valued. In this way, we can cultivate a love of reading Ð and a love of reading is the greatest aim of teaching literature at school!

6.13.1 Introduction
Poetry is a play of mental images and as such determines the characteristic structure of poetry. Structural elements can, for example, be compared with play. Metre and rhyme have a close relationship with dance and a metaphor can, as it were, be seen as role play. Onomatopoeia also has to do with imitation. The fact that poetry can be compared with play means that learners should enjoy poetry Ð the degree to which they enjoy it naturally depends on how the teacher presents it!

Journal entry 6g
Answer the following questions before you read any further:

Did you enjoy the poetry lessons at school? Give a reason for your answer.
How were these lessons presented? Did the teachers merely read the poem and then give you questions to answer, or did they follow another approach?
Do you enjoy reading poetry or do you avoid it as far as possible?

Scenario 1
Ms van Tonder enters the classroom, greets the learners and then hands out copies of a poem. She reads the poem and explains an odd word or sentence. She then gives the learners 10 set questions which they must answer. Ms van Tonder collects the work at the end of the lesson and marks it; she returns the work to them during the next lesson. 141

Scenario 2
Mr Mashile enters the classroom, greets the learners and divides the class into groups. He hands out a poem without a title and asks each group to read the poem and to decide on a title based on the content of the poem. He then gives the learners some background information about the poet and the poem, as well as the correct title. He also reads the poem with the necessary intonation. The groups compile their own questions which convey what they think the theme of the poem is. For homework, the learners are asked to write a poem about a similar theme.

Which scenario would you follow if you had to present a poetry lesson?
Do you think, generally speaking, that learners enjoy poetry lessons? Give a reason for your answer.
Give a few other interesting ideas that you could use during poetry lessons.

Poetry is characterised by many levels of meaning. Meaning in a poem often works on three levels, namely, the concrete, symbolic and universal levels. An everyday, concrete event can, for example, be used to explain a universal truth. But please do not look for a universal truth in every poem. Poets often use the commonplace, the everyday to illustrate the ordinariness and commonness of life, so do not look for symbolism where it does not exist. A student once commented quite correctly: ``In the postmodern period, poets often made a point of ignoring elitist, universal themes in favour of commonplace, one-dimensional themes. Seeking a universal theme in every poem often leads to ridiculous deductions ...'' (own translation).
A further structural characteristic of poetry is the harmony between structure and content. Poetry is not just about content; there is a second characteristic structure, namely content-structural entwinement. This means that the structure of the poem
(word, sound, metre, image) must be in harmony with the content of the poem. The content is given a specific structure which must supplement, substantiate or support the content. There should thus be a balance between the content and the structure, so that together they form a whole.
The harmonious relationship between content and structure has implications for teaching poetry and for setting questions about a poem. Structure cannot and may not be taught as a separate entity; it may only be taught if it reinforces the meaning of the poem. The focus must be on the functional use of the structural elements. You should thus not ask the learners to identify enjambement or to indicate alliteration or assonance without also asking them to find a link between the structural elements and the content of the poem. The structure of a poem should not be over-emphasised.
When presenting a poem, your main purpose should be to get the learners to a point where they understand the content of the poem; content and structure complement each other and should thus not be taught as separate structural elements.

6.13.2 Ways to stimulate learners' interest and to present poetry in an interesting manner
Study Combrink's model thoroughly, because it must also be implemented during poetry instruction. Once you understand this model and have tested it in the classroom, you will find that you (and your learners) will really enjoy teaching literature. I have included the following supplementary guidelines for use during poetry instruction.

. Try to make the poem as true to life as possible for the learners. Show them that poetry deals with everyday things, not just elevated or grand things (e.g. a skateboard rider, policemen).
. Cut up the poem and then get the learners to arrange the stanzas in the correct order. . Replace some of the words in the poem with ``incorrect words''. The learners must identify these words and give alternatives.
. Delete some words from the poem and then get the learners to guess what words are missing.
. Get the learners to make a collage of the poem.
. Delete the title of the poem and get the learners to provide a title.
. Allow the learners to write their own poetry. You could, for example, discuss the poem ``Klara Majola'' which was written as a result of a newspaper report. Ask the learners to find the newspaper report and to write a poem about it.
. Be original in your presentation!
. Get the learners to portray the poem visually (i.e. by drawing a picture).
. Get the learners to compile a list of poems they would take with them to a deserted island. Ask them to give reasons for their choices.

6.13.3 The purpose and value of poetry in the additional language teaching programme Poetry is written to be enjoyed, so allow the learners' enjoyment of the poem to be your primary goal. Learners should be able to see the beauty in the poem, and should also be able to comprehend, understand and enjoy the nature of poetry. Poetry heightens the learners' awareness of the beauty of the additional language, develops their imagination and enriches them intellectually and spiritually. It also cultivates an elementary taste for literature.

6.13.4 Steps in the teaching process
I now want to look at the different phases of Combrink's model. Please note that all the other skills, namely, listening, speaking and writing must also be integrated in a poetry lesson.
Phase 1: Preparing to read the text
At this stage, the learners have not yet seen the text.
This phase is the affective (= emotional) phase, which entails an attempt to prepare the learners to become emotionally involved in the text. During this phase, unfamiliar vocabulary is explained, if necessary, and there is an attempt to find a point of contact with the learners' prior knowledge.
Phase 2: The first reading of the text
Before reading the poem, you could, for example, write the title of the poem on the chalkboard and let the learners predict what the poem might be about.
Read the poem to the learners before they see the text. Remember, poetry is a performance of sounds. Rhyme, alliteration and assonance can only take their rightful

place when the poem is heard. You might even need to reread the poem to the learners or you may wish to divide the learners into pairs so that each learner gets the opportunity to read the poem aloud to his or her partner.
Phase 3: Opportunity for individual response
The learners now get the opportunity to respond individually. Each learner should write down whether he or she likes the poem, what the poem reminds him or her of, what he or she did not understand in the poem, and so on.
Phase 4: Opportunity to share responses with others
Once each learner has written down his or her impressions, divide the class into groups so that each learner is able to discuss and compare his or her response with a class mate. If the learners' responses differ, the teacher could deal with it in the following way: ``We now have different interpretations. Who is right? Is everyone perhaps right? Or are we all wrong? Let us take a closer look at the poem and come to some conclusions that are well motivated and that we agree on or that will satisfy us.''
Phase 5: Developing and structuring responses
It is important to use media (e.g. extracts from newspapers, sporting equipment, photographs or pictures) and to incorporate the correct methods during this phase.
Guard against always using the question-answer method Ð learners will eventually start to think that poetry appreciation is merely someone asking them questions which they are able to respond to. These learners will soon develop an aversion to reading poetry. Teach learners how to appreciate a poem on their own. Allow them to form their own conclusions and to share them with you before you give them your insights. Always acknowledge a well-motivated answer. I am very much in favour of group work during poetry. The learners could, for example, change a poem into a newspaper article and then establish what was lost in the process. Or you could change a poem into a newspaper article yourself and then ask the learners to write a poem based on the newspaper report. You might wish to give them the original poem to read and then use it as a basis to discuss their poems. Try to find original ways to present your lessons Ð each poem should be presented differently and the activities should interest the learners. If for one poem, they are required to create a collage, you might want them to write a report for the second poem. You could even get them to design a transparency for the third poem.
During this phase, the learners need to develop and structure their responses. The purpose of this phase is that learners should understand the meaning (content) of the poem Ð they should not have to identify all sorts of literary concepts. It is pointless for learners to indicate the rhyme scheme and to find examples of alliteration or assonance if they are not required to indicate the function. Do not teach the poem ``to death'' Ð choose only the most important aspects. Encourage the learners to share their insights and opinions with the class.
The learners must take note of others people's interpretations of the poem (e.g. the teacher, reviewers and literary experts). By doing so, they will be able to evaluate their own reactions within a broader literary context. You need to ask leading questions, and to explain and summarise these interpretations. You may even need to give the learners a written discussion about the poem. Be aware, however, that if you spend

too much time dissecting the literary text (poetry or prose), you run the risk of spoiling the pleasure associated with reading. Remember, your analysis of the text should flow naturally from the learners' responses to the text.
Phases 6 and 7: Comprehensive activities and a re-evaluation of initial response
You must now carry out a comprehensive recapitulating activity. Reassemble everything that was taken apart in the previous phase. Reread the poem to the learners or allow the learners to reread the poem themselves. The learners will now have new insights about the poem and may even change their initial opinions of the poem. This is why they must be allowed to re-evaluate their individual responses. At the end of the lesson, get the learners to respond to the poem again and to compare it with the first response. Phase 8: Evaluation
During this phase, you could give the learners a written task to ensure that their insights are firmly established in their minds. Remember, you do not necessarily need to give them questions and answers about the poem.
Allow the learners to explain, in their own words, whether or not they like the poem.
A learner is entitled to say if he or she did not enjoy the poem.

Activities that integrate technology and the language arts curriculum expand the boundaries of the traditional classroom. The Internet, which includes electronic mail (e-mail) together with the World
Wide Web, has become a global system for communication and information exchange. By using the Internet in the classroom, learners are able to exchange ideas and communicate with schools from different geographical locations. By communicating with learners from backgrounds that are different from their own, children have the opportunity to understand a different culture and to become actively involved in a global community. When compared with traditional classroom methods, the Internet offers learners the most immediate opportunity to broaden their perspectives on global issues (US Congress 1995). The Internet also allows learners to collaborate on writing and research projects with learners, teachers and field specialists from around the world.
Teachers and learners who were once limited to the resources of their local school or library have abundantly more information available to them through the Internet. Because a seemingly unlimited amount of information is available on the Internet, the language arts classroom provides learners with the structure they need to help them learn to discriminate between the useful and irrelevant sources that can be found on the Internet. Activities that involve research and the
Internet encourage learners to collect and analyse source materials at a relatively rapid pace and thereby increase their research and analytical capabilities. As a result, learners who learn to conduct research on the Internet are better prepared to adapt to the changing technologies that will continue to be part of their future (Leu 1997).
Activities that involve the process of writing and publishing on the Internet provide learners with more meaningful writing experiences because they encourage feedback from a distant audience and lead to more revision of learners' work. Studies show that when learners write for a distant audience of their peers, they are more motivated to write and to share their knowledge and experiences (Cohen & Riel 1989).
As the information superhighway meets the classroom, language teachers confront the challenge of keeping up with constantly changing technologies. In the process, they must also guide their learners ``to become more knowledgeable in their roles as guides and facilitators of learning''


(Kinder & Leu 1987:134). In all likelihood, technology's role in the classroom will continue to increase. The number of K±12 (secondary school) classrooms connected to the Internet in the
United States has been tripling every year (US Congress 1995). If this rate continues, every classroom will have an Internet connection within a few years, a widely publicised goal of the
Clinton administration (Leu 1997). Teachers, such as McGarvey (1997) believe strongly in the powers of the Internet to enrich the classroom. Hilts (1997) also maintains that computer technology and the Internet will have a tremendous influence in the future.
Is it to the teacher's advantage to explore the abundance of opportunities that are available when integrating technology into the language classroom. This chapter contains a large number of activities that were designed to build on learners' knowledge and appreciation of computer technology in the language classroom.
Source: Norton & Norton 1999

Literature teaching is actually reading teaching. It is reading with a particular aim in mind. This aim includes acquiring insight into and developing a love for reading. This latter aim is very important Ð especially because years of monotonous, text-oriented literature teaching (questions and answers on a specific narrative or poem) has killed most learners' love of reading. Individual learners must be actively involved in their own reading experiences Ð they must have the opportunity to gain first-hand experiences of the literary work and to express their responses to and feelings about it.
In addition, learners should be informed about how other people experience and interpret the narrative, and then compare these accounts with their own. In other words, experiencing a text should precede studying the text. Simply answering questions on a literary work and studying literary concepts certainly does not cultivate a love of reading.
The fact that ``in-depth study'' is no longer encouraged does not mean that we cannot discuss narratives of a ``high literary standard''. Light reading material (e.g. magazine stories) can be used just as easily to teach literary concepts, to encourage the learners to experience the world of the story and to foster a love of reading. (Remember, very few people read for the purpose of evaluating a narrative or poem according to literary standards Ð they read for enjoyment. Teach the learners that it is fun to read and you will help to foster lifelong learners.) You could, for example, ask the learners to look for magazine stories that have different types of narrators (the first person, third person and omnipresent narrators) and then to paste the stories in their books
(Van Tonder 1994:63).

The comprehensive aim of reading instruction is to develop independent, lifelong readers by teaching the learners techniques and strategies that will develop their general reading skills to the extent that they are able to read for enjoyment and appreciation and/or with a view to gaining insight, understanding and precise judgment Ð regardless of wether it is in their first or an additional language.


Writing instruction

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. understand the importance of effective writing instruction
. explain and practically apply a wide variety of activities that can be used during writing instruction
In the course of this study unit, I will introduce you to different methods so that you are able to achieve these learning outcomes. Please note that there are always new and alternative methods being developed which can be used very successfully and that you have a responsibility to be creative when you teach these very important skills.

Journal entry 7a
Before I discuss my ideas of how to teach learners to write effectively, I would like you to make short notes in your journal about the following questions. (You do not need to answer each question separately Ð a short paragraph about your experiences of writing instruction will suffice.)
Think back to the writing instruction you received at school in your home language and your first and/or second additional language.
(1) Did you enjoy writing paragraphs, essays, letters and other writing tasks? Give a reason for your answer.
(2) Who read what you wrote?
(3) Did your teachers ever teach writing skills or did they merely write a few topics on the board and then instruct you to write an essay/letter/review/report?
(4) Did your teachers give you sufficient examples of good (and poor) writing so that you were able to ascertain what a good piece of writing looked like?
(5) Was writing taught as a separate ``subject'' or was it integrated with other skills such as reading or listening?
(6) How was your writing assessed?
(7) Did the writing activities you did in class prepare you adequately for the writing activities you have had to do in your adult and professional life?
It is very likely that your journal entries indicate the following: writing was a difficult activity; your essays, letters and other writing tasks were read primarily by the teacher; and you received a topic and had to start writing immediately without really being taught ``how'' to write. In the ``old days'', teachers seldom gave learners good examples of writing; writing was dealt with as a separate activity or skill. I am sure that very

few of you were required, for example, to read a letter in a newspaper or magazine, to discuss it and then to respond by writing a letter to the newspaper or magazine.
Did your writing tasks (particularly in the case of first and second additional languages) look a bit like a bloodbath when you got them back? Teachers seemed to think that they had to correct every error with a red pen to prevent you from making the same mistakes again.
If you stated that you were sufficiently prepared for all the writing tasks you have had to complete in your adult life (e.g. memorandums, minutes, reports, business letters), you are one of a small but privileged group. In the past, writing consisted of writing narrative, descriptive or argumentative essays and one or two official letters Ð all of which only marginally prepared learners for writing tasks in real life.
The writing instruction I described above was most certainly unstimulating and boring Ð I am sure you would not want to subject your learners to the same process.
In the section that follows, I will explain how to teach writing so that it is interesting for you and your learners and so that it prepares the learners for those writing activities that they will have to carry out one day in their adult lives.

To achieve the learning outcomes set at the beginning of this study unit, you will need a thorough knowledge of the structure of different types of texts; the purpose, target group and context of written texts; text construction; and the assessment of written texts. This is why I have chosen to spend a lot of time on it. I hope that as you work through this study unit you will realise that a teacher needs to show patience, empathy and understanding for the learners' writing problems and writing anxiety if he or she wants to succeed in making writing instruction a successful and enjoyable experience.
Of all the language skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing and thinking), writing is probably the most difficult. Most learners struggle to write and some have even developed an aversion to it. By speaking to the learners about their experiences of texts and about the relationship between the writer and reader, you will be able to show them why writing is such an important component of language instruction.
Remember, writing Ð particularly in the case of additional languages Ð plays a very important role in the process of language acquisition, because writing strengthens the learners' existing knowledge of grammatical structures, spelling, expressions and vocabulary and gives them the opportunity to apply their knowledge. It is your task as a teacher to provide the additional language learners with the linguistic tools they need (vocabulary, language structures, etc.) to complete a writing task.


Journal entry 7b
Read the two scenarios below and then answer the questions that follow in your journal.

Scenario 1
Mr Smith enters the classroom. He greets the learners and instructs them to sit down and to take out their books. He places a transparency on the overhead projector on which he has set out the format for a friendly letter. He spends a lot of time on the address, salutation and

ending and explains to the learners that a friendly letter always follows this format. The learners copy down the format in their books. He moves through the class and ensures that each learner has copied it down correctly. For homework, the learners are instructed to write a letter to a friend in which they tell him or her about a class tour they are planning for later in the year. Mr Smith marks the letters the following day. He indicates all the errors in red and awards a mark out of 20.

Scenario 2
Mrs Mojela has re-arranged the tables and chairs so that the learners can work in groups of four. Before the learners enter the classroom, she gives each group a map and a few brochures about attractions in a particular province. After she greets the learners, she explains that the class will be going on a tour later in the year and that they have to decide where they would like to go. She asks each group to use the map and brochures to compile a travel itinerary. The learners start working diligently and enthusiastically in their groups. Mrs
Mojela circulates between the groups and gives advice where necessary.
After each group has written down their itinerary, Mrs Mojela gives each learner a photocopied example of a letter format. She briefly explains that a friendly letter should be written according to this format. She also reads three good examples of friendly letters that learners wrote the previous year. She puts one of these letters on the overhead projector and, using the question and answer method, discusses the construction of the text, interesting word choice, informal language and the type of text. She then asks each learner to identify a learner from another group and to write a letter to that person in he or she tells the other person about the tour that their group has planned. Learners first get the chance to consider, in their groups, the type of text that must be written, what the text should look like and what should be achieved by the text. Mrs Mojela visits each group and gives advice where necessary. The learners must first write a rough draft of the letter. The learners work in their groups again the following day. The group members read each others' letters and give advice and suggestions about how to improve them (e.g. spelling errors, sentence construction, paragraphing, use of punctuation marks). The letters are rewritten neatly and given to the addressee (in the other group) to read. Mrs Mojela only indicates punctuation errors when she assesses the letters. She photocopies a few of the best letters and pins them to the notice board in her classroom.
Draw two columns in your journal and complete the following table by marking the appropriate column. You do not need to rewrite the entire left-hand column in your journal Ð write only the number.
Complete the following table in your journal.


(1) This lesson is based on communicative principles.
(2) The teacher uses real-life situations.
(3) The teacher does most of the speaking Ð the learners only answer questions.
(4) Learners help each other to learn new language structures.
(5) Learners know exactly what they are expected to do Ð they are given good examples.
(6) Learners are given the chance to speak to their classmates about their writing tasks.

(7) List all the language skills the learners developed in the second scenario.
(8) Classify Mrs Mojela's lesson under the following headings: pre-writing activities, writing activities and after-writing activities.
(9) What important writing instruction principles can you deduce from Mrs Mojela's lesson?
(10) How do you think Mrs Mojela followed up this lesson?

The days when a teacher walked into the classroom and gave the learners creative writing topics for essays and letters, are gone forever. Learners have to be actively taught how to write Ð as Mrs Mojela did. The communicative approach to language teaching has had a huge influence on how writing skills are taught. Using Bosman
(1994:31±55) and Mr Smith and Mrs Mojela's lessons as a guide, I will now discuss a few important guidelines for writing instruction. You will see that this discussion will tie up very closely with the language teaching principles I discussed in study unit 3.

7.2.1 Integrated teaching
Writing instruction cannot be taught as an isolated component (as Mr Smith did). It must be integrated with other skills (speaking, reading and listening), as Mrs Mojela did. Mrs Mojela first gave the learners some brochures about attractions in the province that they had to read. The learners then discussed (speaking) some of the areas of interest (and as a result, also listened to each other) before they wrote (writing) their letters. It is important, particularly with factual pieces, that you phrase the topics in such a way that the learners have to do a lot of reading before they can complete the writing task.
It is a good idea to use brainstorming (or a class discussion) before starting with a writing task, so that all the learners can give ideas about how a specific topic could be dealt with. This is particularly valid for the teaching of home languages and first additional languages Ð it is not always possible in the teaching of a second additional language. It is essential to give the learners the necessary ``tools'' (e.g. vocabulary, expressions and sentence structures) so that they are able to meet their objective, namely the writing task. If Mrs Mojela's learners were studying a second additional language, it would have been preferable to concentrate, for example, on the vocabulary in the brochures and to explain the use of future tense (language structure) before asking the learners to write their letters. Language structures must, therefore, first be developed before they can be applied in writing.
Integrated teaching is at its best when the teacher follows a thematic approach. When using a theme such as Music, for example, you could use a number of reading passages about music during reading instruction or during speaking instruction, you could get learners to play a piece of their favourite music (singer, group, orchestra, composer) and then to talk a little about it. During writing instruction, you could expect the learners to do research about the different music styles and instruments and then to submit a multi-media project comprising visual, written and audio material. 7.2.2 The communicative function of writing
Mr Smith's learners realised that they were not really writing to a friend; rather, they

were actually writing for Mr Smith so that he could read their letters and Ð even worse Ð so that he could indicate their mistakes. They consequently did not experience the communication function of writing. Writing instruction is basically about developing writing skills and is thus, by nature, directed at developing communication skills. Writing is not just about writing action, it is about communicating with other people. Whether you are writing a report, letter or short story, you write so that someone else will read what you have written. To write without a target group in mind is a bit like ``talking'' to someone over the phone without first dialling a number. In the same way, writing so that the teacher can read your text and indicate errors is very demoralising and intimidating.
Writing a letter just for the sake of ``letter writing'' is a meaningless exercise. Writing activities should be based on real-life and authentic writing tasks Ð don't ever forget the communicative function of writing. Learners should be taught, right from the beginning, that writing always has a purpose (to give information, to describe something, to request information, to write something down so that you do not forget it), an audience (who is going to read it) and a structure (a list, notes, a story).
Mrs Mojela realises this Ð this is why she asked the learners to write a letter to a specific classmate and why she ensured that the classmate read the letter. The target group and audience will determine the stylistic nature of the text. Depending on the type of communication, the language and style may be informal, emotional, grim or sober. Mrs Mojela brought this to the learners' attention.
By getting the learners to fill in forms, to make birthday cards for their friends (after they have studied a couple of examples), to compile lists of things that they must remember (shopping lists, to do lists) or to write messages for an answering machine teaches the learners that the purpose of writing is to communicate.

7.2.3 The influence of assessment on the writing task
Traditionally, the teacher read what the learners wrote Ð by rights, they did not really read it, but rather ``marked'' it. Teachers generally indicate mistakes, rewrite sentences or make meaningless comments such as ``good work'', ``can do better'' or
``Is this your best?''. As a result, the learners often think that what they say is less important than how they say it (spelling correctly and following the language rules) Ð they fail to see the writing process as part of the communication process.
Learners must read each others' work on a regular basis and even correct each others' mistakes Ð this can be done before the teacher reads the work. By concentrating on a certain type of mistake (e.g. punctuation or sentence structure), the teacher is able to make assessment more meaningful.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Positive criticism is essential, even if a text is full of errors. Try to concentrate on what is good in a text. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Learners often write lackadaisical texts because they feel that they have nothing to say. The opposite is also true: it is exactly when a learner has something to say and really wants to say it, that he or she is exposed and more sensitive to criticism.
Teachers should be very aware of learners' fears (Soven 1999:3).

7.2.4 Functional writing exercises
I am sure you will agree that although creative writing has a place and is aimed at giving the learners' their creative wings, the communicative approach to creative writing must also be functional. Functional writing includes: filling in forms; compiling CVs; giving instructions; and making notes, writing minutes, reports and formal letters. The skills that you teach the learners must also be applicable in their adult lives. The National Curriculum Statement gives clear guidelines about the type of writing that must be taught. This does not mean that creative writing may not be taught, but rather that there should be an emphasis on the writing that will be useful to the learners in their adult lives.

7.2.5 Writing in the classroom
It is important when teaching writing skills that you focus on the direct use of the language in the classroom. This means that the learner must immediately write down his or her feelings, opinions, views or ideas. It is not acceptable for a teacher to spend an entire lesson speaking and then to expect the learner to write an essay, letter or advertisement for homework. The writing activities must be actively started in the classroom, by

getting the learners to brainstorm in a group talking about the topic reading about the topic compiling a schema together

A great deal of the planning in Mrs Mojela's class was already done during the lesson.
Please note that I am not saying that learners should not do any writing at home, but rather that learners should also be given the opportunity to write in the classroom.
The fact of the matter is that writing must be actively taught. The teacher must write with the learners, he or she must give clear instructions, he or she must support the learners and always have sufficient examples to show the learners what must (can) be done. The basic premise is that learners may use all available resources when learning to write effectively Ð dictionaries, examples, an experienced writer who reviews and improves the text Ð even this must be learned.
It is essential that the learners start to formulate their main message in the class and that they realise that a successful piece of writing has a dominant idea that is built upon. 7.2.6 Using examples
I cannot over-emphasise the use of good examples. If, for example, you want the learners to write a friendly letter, you should give them good examples of letters to read Ð as Mrs Mojela did.
If you would like them to write structured paragraphs based on one main idea, I suggest you read the following suggestions:
. Give the learners examples of good paragraphs.
. Analyse these paragraphs with them so that they can see what a good, wellstructured paragraph is.
. Give the learners written material from newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, et cetera which you can use as examples in the class.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Many learners Ð particularly those in rural areas or in the case of a second additional language Ð have very little access to written language. For many of these learners, their school textbooks are the only source of written material that they ever see. These learners (and there are many of them) have no examples of texts or written resources in their homes and thus do not know what a review, advertisement, report, comic strip or dialogue are. They must, therefore, be given the opportunity in the classroom to study these types of texts before they are expected to write similar texts themselves.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------These guidelines (sec 7.2.1±7.2.4) should be used far more prominently during home language and additional language teaching. I will discuss writing instruction for second additional language learners in more detail later in this study unit.

7.2.7 Writing anxiety
There are some learners who have a natural ability to write beautifully without any type of formal writing instruction, but they are the exception rather than the rule! While there are some learners with a natural ability to write, there are others who suffer enormously from writing anxiety. They are afraid to write Ð they are worried about making mistakes and concerned that they will not know what to write about.
(For many writing anxiety stems from a bad handwriting Ð how many learners are reprimanded time and time again for their illegible handwriting.) These learners need concrete guidelines and the teachers need lots of patience and empathy if they are to help the learners to overcome their anxiety. A systematic approach to writing may help in this regard. It is essential that learners also get the opportunity to use typewriters or computers so that they are able to see that with the help of the right resources, they are able to produce a legible product.
One way to overcome writing anxiety is to show the learners that a text is held together by logic. Many learners believe that a text is held together by creativity and few of them see themselves as creative.

7.2.8 Process versus product
Mr Smith approached writing as a product. Very little teaching took place Ð learners had to write the letter and submit it for marking. The focus was the end product Ð the completed letter. Mrs Mojela approached writing as a process. The learners were given the opportunity to first think and speak about the writing task, to write a draft copy, to discuss it again and to revise it before writing the end product. Mrs Mojela was involved in each step of the process. The most important part of the process approach is that learners learn to read their own texts and thus learn to reflect on their own work.


Table 7.1
The contrast between the traditional and process approaches to writing instruction
The traditional approach
A specific creative writing assignment is made by the teacher.
Teachers provide little or no instruction.
Learners are expected to write as best they can.
The focus is on the finished product.

Topic selection


The process approach
Learners choose their own topics, or topics are drawn from content-area study.
Teachers teach learners about the writing process and about writing forms.


Learners write for the teacher and feel little ownership of their writing.
The teacher is the primary audience.


There is little or no collaboration.


Learners write single-draft compositions in which they must focus on content and mechanics at the same time.
Learners are required to produce errorfree compositions.

Mechanical errors

Teacher's role

The teacher assigns the composition and grades it after it is completed.


Learners complete most compositions in less than an hour.
The teacher assesses the quality of the composition after it is completed.


The focus is on the process that learners use when they write.
Learners assume ownership of their writing. Learners write for genuine audiences.
Learners write collaboratively and share writing in groups.
Learners write rough drafts to pour out ideas and then revise and edit these drafts before making final copies.
Learners correct as many errors as possible during editing but a greater emphasis is on content than on mechanics.
The teacher teaches about writing and provides feedback during revising and editing. Learners may spend one, two, or three weeks working on a composition.
The teacher provides feedback while students are writing so they can use it to improve their writing.
Assessment focuses on the process that writers use and the finished product.

These principles (sec 7.2.1-7.2.8) form the ``foundation'' of writing instruction. By using this foundation as the basis for your planning, you will find that are able to teaching the basic writing skills to any grade.

Journal entry 7c

Complete the following two tables:
Facts that I have already learned about writing instruction:


What my teacher did in the class when I was still at school:

(2) Keep those thoughts in mind while you read the following scenarios. Indicate in your journal if it is a desirable or undesirable activity and give reasons for your answer.

. Situation A
The learners read a newspaper report about the Minister of Health's unwillingness to provide medicine to Aids sufferers. They then divide into groups and write a letter to the newspaper in which they give their views about the matter. Each class chooses the best letter and sends it to the newspaper.

. Situation B
Learners read each others' work in a group context and give suggestions on how to improve the work. The learners correct each others' work before the teacher assesses it.

. Situation C
The learners get the first 15 minutes of a double lesson to discuss the topic in their groups. They then spend the rest of the lesson (50 minutes) writing an essay. They submit their essays at the end of the lesson. The teacher marks the essays and gives them marks. Now answer the following questions in your journal:
(3) What problems might arise in the first two situations?
(4) What problem may arise in the third situation?

At the beginning of this study unit, I referred to the problems that some learners experience when they write; I also mentioned that some learners find it very difficult to write. Let us now do a practical exercise to see how we can structure the writing process for learners.

The head of department: languages at the local high school has asked you to deliver a speech to grade 12 learners about some ways to solve the problem of poverty in your area. She would like a written copy of your speech so that she can refer to it at a later stage. Now write a speech of between 400 and 500 words.
Write your essay by hand on a loose piece of paper Ð do not use a computer. Use a pen and scratch out what you wish to leave out rather than using an eraser; in this way, you will still have all the changes you made. You may start on a new piece of paper as often as you like. Be aware of your thought process and what you do Ð write this down while you are working or as soon as you have finished.
If you are working in a group, compare your notes with those of the other students.
What were the similarities and differences? If you are working alone, reflect on the writing process. Use the following questions to guide you:

Did you plan your writing? If so, did you write down a few key words, develop a broad outline/


schema, discuss it with others or brainstorm, or did you start writing after just a few minutes thought? Did you first do a bit of research or reading? Did you take the target group (the grade 12 learners) into consideration right from the beginning?

The writing process:
How far did you get before you had to scratch out, add or change something? How many times did you rewrite the text or start over? Did you first finalise one section before starting another, or did you first write an entire draft before going back to finalise sections? Did you change the order of the paragraphs? Did you add paragraphs between others? Did you ever need help (from an experienced writer or teacher)? If so, when and why? Did you first write a draft copy and then finalise the end product?

The end product:
If you made notes before you started, to what extent do the end product and the notes concur? Are you satisfied with the end product? Would you like someone to read it and to give you some advice? Would you like to see what some of the other students have written about the same topic?

From this, I am sure you have realised that each individual follows a different writing process and that different writers have different ways of getting to the end product.
Although the end product of a writing exercise is linear, it does not mean that it has been written in the same way. Writers tend to move backwards and forwards when they write and you should teach the learners that this is an acceptable way of writing.
You have probably also realised that writing can be a messy affair Ð most people write a number of messy concepts before arriving at the end product. Learners must thus be taught that they will have to review their work and not see the first draft as the end product. People also like others to read their work and to offer suggestions Ð we also like to read others' work about the same topic.

What can we learn from this exercise about writing instruction?
I believe that many people find it difficult to write. (It certainly does not get easier as you get older and most people tend to be on the lookout for guidance!) It is clear that you cannot accept your first draft as the end product (remember this when you answer your assignments). The writing process often requires you to write, write over and rewrite. Although writing can be done in different ways, it is wise to first teach learners to tackle their writing tasks systematically. A more structured approach will be particularly beneficial for those learners who require a little more guidance when writing.

7.4.1 Orientation to the writing task (this can also be called pre-writing activities) I am sure you will agree that the first step in the writing process is to orientate the learners. Remember, the purpose of writing is to achieve a result Ð there is no way that anyone would put pen to paper if the purpose of the writing process was not to achieve a result. We write invitations, for example, because we want people to share a special event with us. We write letters to the municipality, because we want them to repair the lights in our street. We write examinations, because we want to pass, et cetera. 156

Your most important task, therefore, is to convince the learners that the purpose of writing is not to finish the task as quickly as possible, but to get a result.
Some of the results we could strive for during writing include

influencing people to look at a matter from a different perspective convincing someone of a particular matter encouraging someone to do something complaining, requesting, expressing feelings, giving instructions, explaining something, convincing someone, asking for information, entertaining someone, remembering something, learning spelling and punctuation or practising something During the orientation process, the learner must Ð first and foremost Ð form a picture of
. the target group for which he or she is writing
. the goal (purpose) he or she wants to achieve
The target group and the goal will determine whether the writing task is formal or informal and also the conditions with which the language use must comply. For example: . A short letter to a person you know well to confirm an appointment will be completely informal and will not need to meet any strict conditions.
. Drafting an advertisement has its own set of requirements: word choice is important, the spelling must be correct and the language use must be convincing.
. Sharing feelings is the goal of a creative piece such as a poem or a personal experience. Learners must understand that not all written texts have the same target group. A text about insects for pre-school children will, for example, be totally different to a text about insects that has been written for entomologists. A very successful way of making learners aware of different target groups is to ask them to write the introductory paragraphs for a speech about basic health for (1) pre-school children;
(2) teenagers; (3) a group of uneducated labourers; and (4) a group of medical doctors.
By doing so, they learn that the style, language usage and content are determined, to large extent, by the target group.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------The target group and the goal of a writing task determine the style, language usage and content.
You must draw this to the learners' attention.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------You could make the learners sensitive about the target group for whom they are writing by, for example, displaying a variety of library book titles and asking them to speculate about the target audiences the authors had in mind when they were writing their books. The learners must discuss the different target groups with regard to possible age, interests, careers and levels of education. They could do the same exercises using magazines, books (pre-school books, children's books, recipe books, subject literature for children and adults), advertisements, reviews, extracts from textbooks, minutes and reports.

I am sure you have already realised from the preceding discussion that learners must master the requirements with which each text must comply and be exposed to examples of each type of text before they can graduate to writing such a text themselves. There are three important aspects that must be taken into consideration:
(1) examples, (2) examples, (3) examples. Teachers cannot expect the learners to write a letter of application for a position or a letter to the press without first having seen those types of texts. If the learners need to comply with certain structural requirements (e.g. the format of a friendly or formal letter or minutes), they need to be brought to their attention during this orientation phase.
By asking themselves the following questions, the learners orient themselves to the writing task:
. What type of text do I have to write?
. What does such a text look like? What must I take particular note of?
. Who is going to read the text, that is, who is my target group for whom I am writing? . What do I want to achieve with the text?
Asking and answering questions must become a habit. Learners could, for example, first answer the above-mentioned questions in small groups, they could brainstorm or they could each try to answer the questions themselves before they are discussed in class. Reread Mrs Mojela's lesson and establish what pre-writing activities she did.

7.4.2 Planning and writing the text
Once the learners have formed an idea for themselves of the type of text which they have to write, what the characteristics of such a text are, who the target group is and what the purpose of the text is, they can begin planning the text. Teachers cannot just tell learners that they have to plan Ð they have to actively help them to plan. Dealing with topics
Learners often only skim through instructions or only read half the instructions and then do not understand exactly what is expected of them. Careful attention should, therefore, be given to analysing instructions in the classroom. The learners should first analyse the topic and ask themselves what they could do with the topic. As a start, you should lead the learners towards ``loosening up'' their thoughts.
(a) Brainstorming
One way to do this is brainstorming. There are various brainstorming techniques:
. Get the learners to think about all the words related to the topic.
. These words are then written up on the board (they must be written up even if the words are not really related to the topic).
. When the ideas have dried up, the words are sifted. Words which are not suitable are crossed out.
. The remaining words are then arranged in related categories. The learners can then use these words when they tackle the writing task.
. Learners can also form abc associations with the topic.

. Each letter of the alphabet is used as the first letter of a word which is related to the topic. . Who, what and where questions can also be answered in a brainstorming session.
(b) Word chains
Another useful planning technique is to make a word chain or mindmap for the topic.
. The theme about which the learners have to write is written in the middle of the chalkboard. . Then words which are related to the theme and which justify a paragraph are written down.
. Each word is expanded on as in the examples below.







is friendly licks faces wags tail likes everyone Figure 7.1
Example of a word chain
(c) Free or unstructured writing
Free writing is another way of ``loosening up'' the learners' thoughts. Peter Elbow (in
Soven 1999:34) describes free writing as follows:
The idea is simply to write about ten minutes (later on fifteen or twenty). Don't stop for anything. Go quickly without rushing. Never stop to look back, to cross something out, to wonder how to spell something, to wonder what word to use, or to think about what you are doing. If you can't think of a word or a spelling, just use a squiggle or else write ``I can't think of it.'' Just put down something.
The easiest thing is just to put down whatever is in your mind. If you get stuck it's fine to write ``I can't think what to say, I can't think what to say'' as many times as you want or repeat the last word you wrote over and over again, or anything else. The only requirement is that you never stop.

Brainstorming and free writing will help the learners to put their concerns about structure, style, correctness and organisation on the back burner and to concentrate on the content. Once they manage to do this, the rest will all fall into place.

(d) Interviews
Interviews in a group context are very useful. They work as follows: Karen says the following to the members of her group: ``I have to write an essay about my neighbourhood. Ask me some questions that will help me to develop some ideas for my essay.''

Read the following scenario and then answer the questions:
Mr Smith (who teaches a first additional language) heard from Mrs Mojela that brainstorming is a very good way to stimulate learners' thoughts about a topic. He decides to experiment. He writes the following in big letters on the chalkboard: ``We must be more tolerant of other people's cultures!'' He asks the learners to think of words they would use in a speech about this topic. The learners sit absolutely quietly and no one utters a single word. He then asks them to divide into groups and to compile a list of words in their groups.
When he gets to the one group, he finds that they have compiled a long list of words, but about three-quarters of them are in their home language. He is furious and promptly punishes the learners. Only one of two of the other groups have managed to come up with some words.
(1) Why do you think the learners were so unwilling to participate in the brainstorming session?
(2) Do you think that learners should be allowed to use their home language during brainstorming? (3) What would you do if you were Mr Smith?
Mr Smith's learners clearly do not have the necessary vocabulary to speak about the topic in their additional language. He handled the entire exercise very badly. He should have realised that many learners will not necessarily shout out additional language words in a big group (they are worried that they will pronounce words incorrectly or that they will use unsuitable words). Mr Smith should have made use of small groups right from the start. He should also have provided dictionaries. It is totally acceptable for learners to use their home language during brainstorming. (What must they do if they do not know the translation of a word in the additional language?) They can, for example, look up all the words in a dictionary after the brainstorming session.
Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997:254) believe that teachers should differentiate between learners who use their home language to plan and organise and those learners who first write in their home language and then translate word for word. The latter group requires lots of help and guidance with grammar. Learners' attitudes towards pre-writing activities
When I was still teaching, I really struggled to get learners to do pre-writing activities.
I was really encouraged when I read what Soven (1999:40) had to say:
Do not get discouraged if your students do not catch on to the prewriting activities immediately.
Even after classroom practice, student's initial prewriting efforts may not be successful. Some students may not benefit from prewriting activities for a particular assignment. Maybe they already have a headstart on their topic, or the type of prewriting activity suggested was not useful to them.
Assure your students that the same techniques do not work for all writers. Some writers prefer free association kinds of techniques, like brainstorming and freewriting, whereas others prefer systematic questioning (probably less popular with beginning writers). Some writers prefer isolation and quiet when they begin a paper, whereas others need the company and support of others.


Soven (1999:41) later concludes: ``It is only through repeated modelling and practice that students may begin to see the benefits of prewriting strategies. When students use prewriting techniques, if drafting becomes easier and if the quality of their papers begin to improve, then you have a fighting chance to convince your students of the benefits of using prewriting strategies.''
Show the learners that the purpose of pre-writing activities is to
. stimulate their creativity
. organise their ideas
. ensure that the final product is a logical unit Writing a draft copy
Learners must first always write a draft copy. It is sometimes even necessary to rework a text two or three times before submitting the end product. They must realise that it is essential to write an initial text, perhaps to revise it, and to discuss it and amend it after discussions with the teacher and other learners in order to create a wellrounded off and effective piece of communicative writing. You must plan your teaching so that the learners have the opportunity to work through this rewriting process. A very effective way of helping learners with the rewriting process is to get them to read each others' work and give advice or to indicate errors.

7.4.3 Revising and improving the draft copy
It is important that you motivate the learners to read and improve a text before it goes to the reader. The goal of revising a text is to make it as fluent and as readable as possible. Remember, the words of the text should not obscure the message, that is, the message is more important than beautiful words. Your words should be a mirror that reflects the meaning of your message. Unnecessary words sometimes hide the picture.
This phase needs to be actively taught, because young learners are often unwilling to revise and rewrite their work. This step is not just a case of ``proof reading'' the initial text; rather, it is a case of reconsidering and re-evaluating that which has been written.
It is sometimes necessary to put a text aside for a day or two before it is revised.
Classmates can also be asked to revise each other's work. In such a case, a short check list such as the following might be useful:

Do I understand everything that has been written?
Is the message clear that has been conveyed?
Are there mistakes in the sentence construction?
Are there spelling errors?
Is the punctuation correct?
Is the structure of the text logical?
Do the paragraphs follow one another logically? Is there a link between the paragraphs?
Is there a definite conclusion? Is the piece properly rounded off?
Does the passage suit the target group and the purpose of the writing task?

The learners can revise and improve their work based on the comments and answers to the above questions. I am sure you have realised that revising a text does not just

entail focusing on the grammatical correctness of a text; rather, it should focus on the greater meaning and purpose of the text.
Be warned: learners are often unwilling to rewrite a text. According to Soven
(1999:44±45), there are a number of reasons for this:
. Writing is hard work and it is painful to rewrite sentences that were written with so much effort.
. Beginner writers (inexperienced writers) seldom want to read through their own work. They usually say that, because their work is so poor, they hate having to read it themselves, or that their first attempt was their best attempt.
. Beginner writers seldom know what to look for when they reread their work.
. Beginner writers are hesitant to ask friends to help them with their revision.
Soven's last point is very valid. You could structure the activities even more by asking learners to complete revision forms such as the following about each other's work:
I think the best part of your essay is:
I think you could change the following:
I think you should add the following:
I do not understand:
You are good at:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . was very effective.

Journal entry 7d

What does the revision of written work entail?
Do you think it is necessary to revise written work?
How willing are you to revise your own written work and to make the necessary changes? What will you do to ensure that all your learners revise their essays?

Soven (1999:47) recommends the following strategies to encourage learners to revise their work:
. Share your own revision attempts with the learners. Explain to them that revision is a natural part of writing.
. It is essential that you comment positively about even the smallest revision!
. Try to isolate just a few aspects that must be taken into consideration during revision rather than asking the learners to revise their entire essays. Focus, for example, on revising the introduction and conclusion.
. Allow learners to help each other when they revise their work.

7.4.4 Reflection
After completing their writing, learners should reflect on the writing process. Learners should ask themselves how they approached the writing task and whether it was a good method. If the end product of the writing process is not successful, or if the writing process was more difficult than necessary, the value of such reflection is obvious. But even if the end product is successful, learners should still reflect on what contributed to the success of the end product. Learners could use the following questions to reflect on their writing:
. How did I orient myself to the writing task?
. Did I explore a number of ideas before starting to write?
. During the writing process, did I bear in mind my purpose and the target group or person for whom I was writing?
. During the writing process, did I have problems with word choice, spelling, sentence construction or developing the text? How did I deal with these problems?
. Did I read through my work and make corrections after finishing my writing task? . Did I take my classmates' and teacher's comments into consideration?
It is a good idea to initially force learners to write down their reflections. They could, for example, be asked to write a short paragraph in which they report on how they prepared for the writing task, their experiences and problems during the writing task and their revision procedures. They should also note whether or not they were satisfied with the end product.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------It is a good idea to keep the following two points in mind during writing instruction:
(1) Writing is a process that is not necessarily linear. The pre-writing activities, writing the draft, and revising and rewriting often overlap. I often revise and rewrite a paragraph, for example, long before I have completed the writing task. Do you do that as well?
(2) Some learners need more time than others to plan and write a text. There are many learners who find it extremely difficult to just start writing. Keep these learners in mind when you set due dates for creative writing or when they need to complete writing tasks in the class.


7.4.5 ``Publication'' of written work
A lot of thought goes into written work and many learners like to have their work displayed. Written work can be shared in a number of ways:

The final product can be a short play produced by the class.
The work can be read to learners in other classes or pinned to a notice board.
Arrange a show of learner's work.
Hold a ``Young Authors' Day'' for the whole school where learners can display their work or read it aloud.
. Encourage learners to submit work to the school magazine.
. Let them actually post their letters to their grandparents, the newspaper or a friend
(Petty, Petty & Salzer 1994:256).

It is also a good idea to form a club for pen friends. Encourage the learners to write to children in other countries. This will motivate them to improve their end product; it is also a wider (more extensive) learning process that interests learners.

It is impossible to discuss every type of writing, so I have chosen to discuss just a few.
If, however, you keep everything in mind that I have already discussed, you should be able to teach any kind of writing.

7.5.1 Creative writing
Home language learners and first additional language learners are expected to produce creative writing.
. A language affair
Creative writing is the collective name for all writing wherein subjective experiences, fantasy and originality are central. The learner writes primarily for himself or herself and for his or her own pleasure Ð this type of creative writing thus differs from the writing that has already been discussed, because the communication function, the purpose, target group and structure of the creative writing is not so prominent.
Learners write freely, they play with the language and discover the language's possibilities. All that is expected of the learners at this stage is that they develop their own abilities and talents in the field of writing.
. Leave the red pen to one side for a while
The learners must write freely, that is, to put their ideas to paper without fearing that the teacher will use his or her red pen liberally to spoil their fantasies and dreams.
That's right Ð the red pen must be left to one side during expressive or creative writing, because it can so easily undo the pleasure and enjoyment associated with creative writing. The teacher should, initially, just comment on the creative writing.
He or she can start to award marks at a later stage. Writing expressive paragraphs and essays
Creative writing can be encouraged by explaining to the learners that music, for example, Ð particularly music in films of TV productions Ð is often written to evoke a particular atmosphere. By playing a piece of music to them, they can first brainstorm and then list all the emotions the music evokes in them. Thereafter, they can write a short paragraph. By writing emotive paragraphs or essays about topics such as
``Heartache'', ``My greatest fear'' or descriptions of `` sunset'', `` spring blossom'' or
``A soap bubble'', the learners will develop their creative wings. You may also allow the learners to choose their own topics for an expressive paragraph or essay. Short stories and other poems
Learners enjoy writing simple rhymes or poems. To start with, tell them to use a particular rhyme scheme or topic. You could tell them to write a poem using a particular structure, such as

. the first two lines start with ``Previously I thought ... `'
. the following two lines with ``Previously I wanted to ...''
. the last line with ``But now ...''
Later on, you should leave the learners to write as they please. Explain the value of typography. A poem about the sea, for example, could be set out as follows: coming cra w a v es s h ng u p the beac e air the in th s ea d n
ulls screech h





Be careful not to over-emphasise the typography of a poem. A poem is meant to be heard. The power of a poem is in its sounds, rhythm and word choice. Too much emphasis was put on punctuation and typography in the past. Diaries or journal entries
Encourage the learners to keep diaries and to make daily entries. Remember that diaries are a personal matter; a learner could choose to write just a single word or to use a telegraphic style. (Read the section about journals in study unit 6.) Writing stories: truth or fiction
Everyone likes to tell stories and to listen to stories, but writing stories is not so easy.
The National Curriculum Statement states quite clearly that learners of a home language and of additional languages must be able to write stories. Home language learners should be able to write elementary short stories.
The following example is one way to get down to story writing. (Remember, the learners Ð particularly first and second additional language learners Ð must be given the necessary vocabulary and expressions before they start writing.)
Give the learners the following very boring story (Natal College of Education
A young girl was digging in the garden one day. She dug up an old box. When she opened the lid, a strange little man jumped out. They had lots of adventures together.

Now discuss the story using the following questions as a guide:
. Why is the story so boring?
. What could we do to make the story more interesting?
. What things in the story should be expanded on?
Now plan and write (as a class, in groups or individually) how the story could be made more interesting. You must provide the following information:

The child's name. The girl may be replaced by a boy.
What did the box look like? Was it difficult or easy to open the box?
Was the child scared or excited?
What did the little man look like?
Can the little man speak, sing or dance? Is he naughty or well behaved?
What did the little man and the child do?

. What happened to the little man at the end of the story?
. Find an appropriate title for the story.
I came across the following method on the Internet (
017.shtml). Although I have not tested it myself, it looks like it could be used to encourage learners in all phases to write stories.
Jumble story
Preparation: Have students choose three numbers (from 1 to 10). Each number corresponds to an item on the list below. The first number is the character their stories are to focus on, the second number is the setting for their stories, and so forth.
Assignment: Write a story with the character, setting, time period, and situation that you've chosen. The character that you've chosen should be the main character in the story, but isn't necessarily the ONLY character in the story. Likewise, most of the story will take place in the setting that you've chosen, but you can include other settings or elaborate on the setting that you have chosen (breaking it into several smaller settings, for example). The situation or challenge that you've chosen may involve the main character or your main character may observe someone else who must deal with the situation or challenge. In other words, you can combine these elements anyway that you desire, so long as all four are included in your story.

a new mother a photographer a recent high school graduate a restaurant owner or manager an alien from outer space


a homeless child a 93-year-old woman an environmentalist a college student a jazz musician


a city park the porch of an old farmhouse a polluted stream a college library a concert hall


late at night after a big thunderstorm has passed in early spring first week of the school year during a concert


near a National Forest a wedding reception a celebration party an expensive restaurant a shopping mall


during a forest fire after a fight the night of your high school graduation after a big meal sometime in December

1 an important decision needs to be made
2 a secret needs to be confessed to someone else
3 someone's pride has been injured
4 a death has occurred
5 someone has found or lost something


6 someone has accused someone else of doing something wrong
7 reminiscing about how things have changed 8 someone feels like giving up
9 something embarrassing has just happened
10 someone has just reached an important goal Writing a story together
Writing a story with someone else is lots of fun. Learners are given the first paragraph of a tension-filled story or they all start a new story. After five minutes, each learner gives his or her piece of paper to the learner sitting behind him or her; this learner then continues with the story. After six minutes, the papers are passed on again and the learners continue to write. The process is repeated after seven and eight minutes. (Give the learners an additional minute after each change-over so that they have time to read what has already been written.) Each learner must, in the last 10 minutes of the lesson, write a conclusion for the story that he or she has in front of him or her.
Learners really enjoy it if the stories are later read aloud to the class. It is important in activities such as this that each learner adds something to the story Ð if not, the process is unsuccessful. Series of pictures
Magazines and newspapers often publish series of pictures with or without dialogue.
Learners Ð particularly additional language learners Ð can use a series of pictures to narrate what is happening or to rewrite it in indirect speech. Or the dialogue can be erased so that learners can insert their own. In the same way, the captions of cartoons can be erased and learners can write in appropriate captions.

Journal entry 7e
Study the following picture and then write down in your journal as many possible writing activities that you can think of (and other activities that could be linked to language skills).

Figure 7.2
Using pictures as a basis for creative writing activities
A whole range of activities can be based on pictures. Compare your ideas with the following: . Determine the context and speculate about what happened. The picture tells a story, but not the whole story. It does, for instance, not tell us where the accident took place,

what caused it or who was involved. The learners can supply all the background information. Let them decide on the name of the town, who drove the truck, how old he is, what company he works for, where he was going, who the cyclist is, the age of the cyclist, the injuries suffered by the cyclist and the outcome of the accident. This kind of activity can be done in groups and the learners could then compare the differences and similarities between the groups' answers. It is essential that the learners have the vocabulary they need to be able to speculate about the context and the events.
Labelling the objects in the picture is another way of practising vocabulary.
. Role play based on the picture. Now tell the learners to act as journalists, medical personnel, police and traffic officers, and to question the truck driver. An
``eyewitness'' could tell the police and the journalist what he or she saw, or the
``cyclist'' could tell his side of the story. The subsequent court case about the accident could also be dramatised in class using the home language.
. Taking notes. The journalist, police officer or agent from the insurance company could take notes whilst questioning the eyewitnesses and those involved in the accident.
. Diary entries. Ask learners to make diary entries from the points of view of the various people involved.
An eyewitness could write: ``Today I saw a frightful accident. A cyclist ...''
The cyclist could write: ``Today I was jolly nearly dead. I was just cruising along on my bike ...''
The truck driver could write the following to the learner: ``My truck's brakes failed today and ...''
. Letters. Short letters could be written to grandparents describing the accident.
Learners could, for example, write about an accident involving a younger brother or sister, an accident to which they were eyewitnesses, or what the writer experienced while driving his truck.

Journal entry 7f
Now look for a picture or a series of pictures. Paste the picture or pictures in your journal.
Using the picture/pictures as a basis, explain what writing activities your learners could do. Dialogues
Second additional language learners, in particular, need to be able to write and perform short dialogues. A good place to start is to teach the learners how to greet someone or how to introduce someone in the additional language. The teacher should first give the learners an example that they can practice before they write their own dialogues. Remember, the learners must be given the opportunity to use the vocabulary and specific language structures they have learned while they are writing their dialogues.

7.5.2 Functional writing exercises
Functional writing exercises comprise those writing tasks that have a particular purpose, such as airing your views in a letter to the press, writing a report or review or requesting information from someone in writing.
168 Notes and letters to classmates
By writing short notes and messages to one another, learners come to realise that writing is a form of communication. At first these notes can consist of just one or two sentences Ð this is good preparation for later attempts at letter writing. Initially you could give instructions about the content of the notes, such as: ask your friend to do something or pass on some instructions. This type of exercise is particularly useful for teaching a second additional language. Here are some examples of notes.
Wednesday 10 June

Friday 11 October

Dear Adri

Dear Anne

Please could I borrow your compass this afternoon. I'll give it back to you tomorrow. Give it to Nina, I'll get it from her after school. Thanks.

Please draw me a picture of a monkey tied to a chain.




Thursday 6 February
Hello Gert
Please will you ask the person behind you to close the window.
There's a cold wind coming in and
I'm not feeling so good.
Figure 7.3
Writing short notes
Each person who gets a note then has to reply, for example:
Wednesday 10 June
Dear Lida
Unfortunately I can't lend you my compass because I need it myself to do my homework this afternoon.
Figure 7.4
Answering notes


When learning a first or second additional language, learners can get some practice by asking each other questions (``What is your favourite colour?), issuing invitations
(``Do you feel like going to the movies with me on Saturday?), and accepting or declining invitations (``Sorry, I've got something else on''). At first, these notes can consist of just one sentence in order to practise a particular skill (e.g. asking a question). Later on they can contain two instructions, but they must take place in sequence (e.g. ``Ask the person behind you to shut the window as soon as the teacher has finished reading'' or ``Shut the window before taking your book out of your case''). Writing letters
Writing letters is an activity that home language learners and first and second additional language learners should do. Remember that the learners of additional languages will need to master the necessary vocabulary and expressions before they write a letter about a topic. First additional language learners can write letters in which they ask for information, invite someone to a party, accept an invitation, courteously refuse a request, congratulate or thank someone, or apply for work.
Second additional language learners could write friendly letters or letters to an ``agony aunty''. In the case of the home language, writing letters is at a more advanced level and learners are required to write a variety of official letters.
Apart from the standard form Ð date, address, salutation, conclusion and the address on the envelope Ð the question of content is important. Examples are essential. Take care that you do not spend so much time on the structure of the letter that you neglect to teach the learners how to write the content (tone and register).
Before you allow learners of an additional language to write a letter completely on their own, do the following guided writing tasks with them. The learners must use the schema to write a letter to a pen friend.
Dear ....................................
I am so excited, because my folks have given me permission to invite you to go on holiday with us in December. We are going ............................................................
We planned to do ...................................................................................................
................................................................................................... during the holiday

All you need to bring with you ..............................................................................
If you are able to go with us, we will be leaving the day the schools close.
I really hope that you will be able to go with us. Please .........................................
Best wishes.
When the learners write formal letters, it is important to bring the use of formal language to their attention. Writing reports
---------------------------------------------------------------------------You are probably tired of hearing that you need to use examples but, before I go any further, I want to emphasise once again the importance of using examples during functional writing.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Writing reports is probably one of the activities that the learners will do in their adult lives. They must be exposed to all types of reports Ð annual reports, minutes, reviews and newspaper reports.
During the pre-writing activities, learners could watch a television report of an event
(or listen to one on the radio). You could ask them to listen or watch for the following information: the who, what, where, when and how of the report; the purpose of the report; and the target group. The learners could then read a report and do the following activities.

Explain what a report is and why reports are written (class discussion).
Determine the purpose of the report.
Determine the target group.
Underline those elements that determine the style.
Circle subject-related language.
Determine the type of language used: formal or informal
Determine what makes it formal or informal.
Investigate paragraphing, main ideas, supporting ideas.
Investigate the structure of the report: the purpose, methods, findings, conclusions, recommendations.
Determine the who, what, how, where and when of the report by making margin notes. Get the learners to read a few other examples of reports, such as minutes, financial reports, annual reports, reviews and newspaper reports.
Determine, in groups, the purpose, target group, style, et cetera of each report.
Now follow the rest of the writing process: plan, write, revise and rewrite.

A review is also a type of report Ð it is a report about a film or a book. Before the

learners can write a review, they need to have read the book or have watched the film
(or television show) Ð they may not write a review about something that they have not experienced themselves. You could, of course, give them a few reviews to read and then ask them which film they would most like to go and see and why.
When learners write a review, they must keep the following in mind:
. Genre: comedy, thriller, drama, romance, et cetera
. Events: What happened? Is there a good storyline?
. Character development: Do the characters grow? Are they convincing? Can we identify with them?
. Acting: Do the actors/actresses play their characters convincingly? Is the acting overdone? . Dialogue: Is it fast, convincing or full of cliches?
. Cinematography: Has the movie been well filmed?
. Direction: Do the scenes flow into each other? Are the changes from one scene to another confusing?
. Music: Does the music fit the events? Does the music help to create atmosphere?
. Special effects: Are the explosions, earthquakes, fires, wind, rain, et cetera convincing? Writing about people who have been interviewed
Learners of a first additional language should be able to write a report based on an interview they have conducted with someone.
Ask the learners to draw up a questionnaire to use during interviews with classmates, parents, teachers or relatives Ð for example:
Where were you born?
What is your favourite ...?
What books do you enjoy reading?
Who is your role model? etc., etc.
Make sure that each learner compiles his or her own questionnaire and decides for himself or herself who he or she wants to interview. Learners can compare questionnaires and decide to add or delete questions.
After having conducted an interview with a classmate, parent, relative or teacher on the basis of the questionnaire (which is also an opportunity to practise speaking skills), they can turn the information into an essay. It is important for the learners to take notes during the interview. Tell them to submit their notes along with the questionnaire and what they have written about the interviewee. In the Further
Teaching and Training band, learners can compile an entire magazine article, together with photographs and headings, after the interview.
Learners may work together in their groups to compile the questions. Let them, for example, compile questions for an interview with a grandparent (if the learners' grandparents are deceased, they should ask an elderly person in the community) about his or her childhood. They can conduct the interview, write the report and then compare them with each other.
172 Reinterpretation of events from a different point of view
This type of written work requires learners to reconsider their views on an issue by writing about it from the viewpoint of a number of different people. This exercise is useful in teaching learners that everybody has his or her own opinion and that it is essential to be tolerant of the views and values of others Ð it links up with the
Thinking and reasoning learning outcomes.
Here is an example of such an exercise:
Outline the following scenario to your learners:
The children in your neighbourhood have been begging for a skateboard rink. Most of them have skateboards and enjoy riding them, but there just isn't a suitable place. You get into trouble if you ride your skateboard on the pavements, because you get into people's way and the streets are too dangerous. Finally, the municipality decides to build a skating rink in the local park Ð but this will mean felling a number of trees. A lot of people in the area go for walks in the park or go there to watch the variety of birds that live in the trees. You are asked to join a campaign protesting against the rink, but your friends want you on their side, helping to ensure that the rink gets built.

Get the learners to write down what the following people would say:
. A skateboard rider who wants the rink built. This rider is good enough to represent the town in a skateboarding competition, but he needs a place where he can practise regularly.
. A local resident who lives near the park and likes to go walking there because it is so peaceful.
. A senior citizen who has been hit by skateboards on the pavements several times and who regularly goes walking in the park.
. A nature lover who knows all about the birds that live in the park.
. An informal trader who sells sweets at the park gate.
. You yourself.

Journal entry 7g
Write a scenario (like the one about the skateboarder) in your journal that you could use to teach the learners how to view an argument from a different point of view. Summaries (simple extracts) of and schemes for set topics
Learners should be able to make summaries of and draw up schemes for topics. They can be taught how to do this by proceeding as follows while reading text:

underline the main ideas draw lines in the margin alongside the main ideas draw asterisks in the margin to mark key facts number the main ideas and details circle key words or phrases make notes (e.g. key words) in the margin

. tabulate the information
. mark important information with a highlighter
To make a summary, these notes are organised and turned into a summary.

Journal entry 7h
Choose any reading passage of between 400 and 500 words and paste it in your journal.
Explain how you will teach learners to summarise the passage. Answering questions and completing questionnaires or forms
Any language teaching situation that claims to be communicative, should include activities such as completing questionnaires and filling in forms. These activities should be true-to-life, that is, they should simulate those activities that you will need to carry out in your adult life as a home language or first additional language speaker.
When learners are expected to complete forms or to answer questionnaires, their reading and writing skills are closely integrated. Before a learner can complete a form, he or she needs to read it thoroughly. Learners must understand that it is very easy to misread questions and to give incorrect information when they have not read the instructions thoroughly. The instructions on a form can differ quite extensively: they can alternate between colouring in blocks, scrapping irrelevant information, circling letters or figures, or providing a comprehensive answer. Learners must be given exercises to practise these skills.
A good understanding of a question is essential when filling in a form, so learners must, therefore, be given the opportunity to analyse questions from a questionnaire or form. Do the questions generally ask for an opinion, fact, example or proof? By discussing the different types of questions usually found in forms and questionnaires, the learners will be taught to first analyse the questions thoroughly before attempting to answer them. Some learners will need to be taught how to fill in a form neatly and to write their answers in the spaces provided, without squeezing in words. It is thus important to plan answers before they are written down. It is true that some forms are badly set out Ð they leave far too little space for answers, even for people with an average sized handwriting. In cases like this, learners should be taught to continue writing on the back of the form and to refer the reader to the back page.
Learners should be encouraged to bring forms to class that they come across. The teacher will initially have to work through the form with the learners and discuss any quirks. By grade 9, however, the learners should be able to complete the forms independently. Completing questionnaires is a suitable activity for additional language learners, because it forces them to express themselves concisely.
Learners may, of course, compile their own questionnaires (see sec
174 Advertisements
When aiming to work with advertisements, you should first start with small advertisements (e.g. my cat has gone missing), an announcement on a poster (e.g. a school function or fete) or a mini-advertisement (e.g. items for sale, holiday work required). There will be time later to move onto creating an advertisement for a particular product. Learners are usually very familiar with advertisements and so it is easy to link up with their prior knowledge by asking them to bring examples to class.
The purpose of an advertisement is to convince the reader of a particular action. The message must thus be clear, the text should be short and concise, and no essential information may be omitted. The following should also enjoy special attention: structure; colour; clear, readable fonts; an illustration and visibleness. It is essential Ð particularly in the case of home language teaching Ð that learners use a variety of media when creating their advertisements. The advertisements in the first and second additional languages will, initially, be based on the learners' life world Ð they may be extended at a later stage to include those situations they will experience as adults.
Examples are, once again, very important. Learners could, for example, be asked to find two different advertisements that advertise the same product (e.g. a Mercedes and a Nissan). They can compare the advertisements and write down all the similarities and differences. They should take particular note of the image created by the different products, the language used (facts, opinions, convincing language), the illustrations, font and font size.
Learners enjoy working on an advertisement in a group context. Each group must first decide on the following before they compile their own advertisement: what they want to advertise, what the target market is, what the purpose of the advertisement is, what the focus should be, whether or not they are going to use illustrations, whether the advertisement will be convincingly visual or language based, et cetera.
Before compiling their advertisements, the learners must be made aware of the following advertisement techniques that are generally used to convince consumers to use a specific product (Paul, Ponniah, Seah & Keng 1994:82):
. seductive language (e.g. new, improved, sensational offer, lasts longer, powerful)
. satisfaction of needs (e.g. suggestion that users will be stronger healthier, more attractive, more popular, more appealing)
. endorsements (e.g. movie stars or sports figures may give a false impression that they actually use the product)
. inaccurate information of the product (e.g. implying that it has special powers or that it is larger)
The above-mentioned list, as I have already said, is no where close to being complete.
Please refer to the list of references at the back of this study guide if you would like any additional information about the different types of writing.

Learners of a second additional language need a lot of guidance when they write, especially those learners who are introduced to the language for the first time in grade 8.

You will thus have to do a number of controlled writing exercises with the learners before you allow them to write on their own.
Once you have decided on the writing tasks' specific function and notion (purpose), you will need to provide the learners with the linguistic tools (e.g. vocabulary and language structures) they will need to convey the message. An example of a communicative task is writing a letter of application (function) to a local library
(notion). The teacher can make use of controlled writing tasks to ensure that the learners have the necessary skills at their disposal for their communication attempts.

7.6.1 Replacement tables
Look, for example, at the following replacement tables:
Table 7.2
Replacement table
I am twelve thirteen fourteen

years old


I am in grade

five six seven


I would like to

become a member


take books out of the library know what to do to become a member be given more information

How much does it cost


to join

Would you please send

to take out books


more information


an application form

to become a member

The learners first practise this information orally and then write the necessary sentences: I am twelve years old. I am in grade six, et cetera.
You could also give the learners a series of pictures which, together, tell a story. You will usually find these types of exercises in textbooks, but compile your own if you do not.
These types of transcriptions are not used extensively in the Further Teaching and
Training band, but you could build on the learners' knowledge of replacement tables by designing, for example, a letter or postcard for lazy people. Give them an example such as the following before you ask them to design their own letters:
Table 7.3
Design a letter for lazy people



You will probably be very


shocked happy surprised

bored am relaxing am enjoying it


to hear that I

in the bushveld at the sea on the farm

et cetera.

7.6.2 Dictation
There are different types of dictation techniques.
Teachers could, for example, give the learners a paragraph to learn. He or she could then read the paragraph aloud in class and get the learners to write it down.
Alternatively, the teacher could read the paragraph out loud a few times; the learners then write it down without the teacher reading the paragraph again. Another variation is for the teacher to read a passage a couple of times; the learners then divide into groups and then attempt to write a paragraph which is a similar to the paragraph the teacher read as possible.
Once the learners have the necessary language skills, they can move on to the next step, namely guided writing. Although the teacher has a fair amount of control, the learners must be given a degree of freedom if they are to write certain sections themselves. 7.6.3 Transformations
The following can be practised by using transformation: changing tenses, direct and indirect speech, active and passive speech and questioning techniques. Learners could receive a dialogue such as the following:

Hello Erna, where are you going?


I am going to the shops.


To the shops? What are you planning to buy?


My mom wants me to buy a few things.


So, what do you have to buy?


Sugar, flour, salt and, if there is money left over, I can buy a chocolate for myself.


May I walk with you?

The purpose is now to repeat the conversation that took place between Susan and
Erna to a third person using indirect speech: Susan asks Erna where she is going. Erna replies and says ...

7.6.4 Sentence building exercises
Formulating sentences is an important writing activity. By doing ``take five'' exercises such as the following, the learners will practise formulating sentences:


The answer is five o' clock. Formulate five questions that will give you this answer.
Give five reasons why people say ``thank you'' (or please, excuse me, etc.).
Give five reasons why you did not do your homework.
Write down the five things that irritate you the most.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------The exercises that I have discussed in this section are only for elementary language teaching; in other words, when learners first start writing longer pieces in the second additional language.


Although assessment is dealt with in a separate study unit, the assessment of writing is such a unique task that I want to discuss it briefly here as well.

Journal entry 7i
Read the following two scenarios (adapted from Soven 1999:109):

Classroom A
Janet has finished her essay and is ready to hand it in; she hesitates because she is very nervous. All she can think about is the mark she is going to get. Will she get an A this time?
She worked really hard on her previous essay, but only got a C. When she got her last essay back from the teacher, she could clearly see where her mistakes were Ð she was also sure that she would be able to improve her mark if she was given a second chance. Janet is a very neat person and it really upsets her to see all the red scribbles on her neat work.

Classroom B
Susan has finished her essay and is ready to hand it in. She is excited to see what her teacher will think of it. She is not the slightest bit concerned about her mark, because she knows she will get another chance to improve if she chooses to. Her teachers work with porfolios. Although this essay will be corrected and given a mark, she is allowed to improve her work and to include the improved version in her portfolio. Her teachers always include interesting comments about her work which she enjoys reading.
Now answer the following questions in your journal:

Which of the situations above do you prefer? Why?
What role should assessment play in writing?
If you indicate mistakes in a piece of writing, do these corrections help the learner to avoid making the mistakes again?
What is the difference between assessment of and feedback (commenting) on a learner's work?
How does the use of portfolios in the writing programme help to make assessment more effective?

I prefer the second situation! I will now give you the reasons for my choice.

. To much assessment of the final product
By neglecting to make the draft copies and by only taking the end product into consideration, you lose much of the value of the writing process (see my discussion in section 7.4). You should give regular feedback in the writing process. There is far more value in identifying mistakes in the draft copies than in the end product Ð once the entire process has been completed. Very few learners take note of corrections that have been made with a red pen Ð they generally only focus on the mark they have been given. . You reaction is more important than the mark
I know that it is difficult to write lengthy comments if you have a large group of learners, so why don't you mark fewer writing exercises so that you will be able to write more comprehensive comments? Forget about giving marks on occasion and concentrate on giving written feedback on the learners' work.

Compare, for example, the following two ways of approaching a learner's work:
Option 1
Suzy, your positive feelings about your grandmother come through very strongly in your essay. I really like the powerful way you have described her sense of humour. The typically ``old fashioned'' words that your grandmother uses and your descriptions of her cooking make me long for my own grandmother (she passed away a few years ago). I noticed a few sentences that you may want to combine to facilitate a more flowing style. I also think you may have forgotten about your punctuation a little. If I were you, I would write each ``characteristic'' of your grandmother in a separate paragraph rather than writing them all in one long paragraph. Come and see if you do not understand what I mean.
Option 2
Content: Good
Language and style: Pay more attention to punctuation and paragraphing
10 out of 20
The comments in the second option are worthless and the mark allocation is vague.
Why did the learner get such a poor mark if the content was so good? What was good about the content? What was the problem with the paragraphs Ð were they too long or were there too many?
. The benefit of portfolios
Portfolios encourage learners to do their best, because their best work is kept in the portfolios. The learners see how their writing ability has grown and improved and this is, quite possibly, the biggest advantage of using portfolios Ð the focus is on the learners' progress rather than on an accumulation of marks. Portfolios are discussed in more detail in study unit 11, section 11.7.4.

. Mistakes are friends!
The learners' errors should be seen as friends rather than as enemies. Mistakes tell you a lot about your learners. They give an indication of where the problems are and what should enjoy attention in the future.
. A balance between conveying meaning and correctness
The content is the most important part of any piece of written work Ð whether or not the ideas and events are meaningful and interesting. You should attempt to maintain a balance between conveying meaning and correctness, particularly in additional languages. A learner may phrase something very awkwardly, but the meaning is still clear Ð if the meaning is clear, you do not need to focus too much on grammatical errors. The learners become very discouraged when they get their work back (that they have sweated blood and tears over) and it looks like a bloodbath! I prefer to mark with a pencil and to write the final mark in red. Before marking a text, decide if you are just going to concentrate on punctuation. The next time, you may wish to concentrate on phraseology.
. Don't find fault!
Sometimes teachers tend to be too critical of the learners' work Ð too inclined to look for errors and to penalise them for what they failed to do instead of rewarding them for what they did right.
. Use symbols to indicate mistakes
Teachers often use symbols to indicate language and spelling errors in the learners' writing. The learners must know exactly what the symbols stand for. You are welcome to use your own symbols Ð the following are only suggestions.
underline word
sl x Ð

new paragraph spelling error capital letter small letter punctuation mark omitted word order (He the dog kicked.)

circle word
Sc in the margin Ð

word or letter omitted write as one word faulty sentence structure poor or incorrect choice of word leave out poor sentence construction incomprehensible \

. Using rubrics
The Department of Education has a comprehensive document with assessment guidelines for the Languages, literacy and communication learning area in the senior phase. This document will be available at your local school. I will only give a few examples of rubrics and will explain briefly how to apply them. In Tutorial Letter 103,
I have included some additional guidelines and some examples of writing which may be marked according to the rubrics.

The criteria used during assessment are listed vertically in the most left-hand column.
These criteria must be given to learners beforehand, so that they know what outcomes they need to achieve! The mark is also indicated Ð in this case, a total of 40 is obtained which is divided by 2 to get a mark of 20. The rest of the columns contain descriptions of the learner's work and the teacher may decide which description best reflects his or her work.
The following rubric is suitable for learners who have written a paragraph or a functional writing piece in an additional language.



Table 7.4
An example of an assessment rubric for longer creative writing pieces (approximately 400 words): home language
Creative writing Ð (40/2 = 20)

Additional evidence or criteria required for this type of writing



1±2 marks

Thorough planning. Effective introduction and conclusion.

Planning evident. Introduction and conclusion adequate for task.

Some evidence of planning, ineffective introduction; weak conclusion.

No evidence of planning, no introduction, no conclusion.




Handling of topic shows originality.

Handling of topic shows some originality. Some attempt at originality, but topic generally handled in mundane way.

No originality. Muddled handling of topic. 5±6



Essay paragraphed well. Logical and effective connectors used between paragraphs. Handling of topic shows originality.

Adequate paragraphing. Topic handled systematically. Logical connectors used between paragraphs.

Some attempt at paragraphing, but little topical unity within paragraphs. Topic handled in mundane way. Few connectors between paragraphs.

Register, tone, awareness of audience and purpose

Level 1

7±8 marks
Paragraphing, development of topic

Level 2

Originality in handling topic

Level 3

Planning, coherence, introduction and conclusion

Level 4




Register used skilfully. Subtle use of tone enhances essay. Purpose of essay fully achieved.

Appropriate register used. Some skilful use of tone. Purpose of essay achieved. Register appropriate to purpose, but little skill in use of tone. Purpose of essay barely achieved.

Little awareness of appropriate expression. Purpose of essay not achieved. Fully achieved.


Barely achieved.

Not achieved.

Solid writing (no paragraphing).
Muddled handling of topic.


Editing and proofreading



Excellent use of vocabulary; correct sentence structure, spelling and punctuation; mainly correct language usage.

Wide range of vocabulary; correct sentence structure; few errors in language usage, spelling and punctuation.

Adequate vocabulary; sentences mostly correct; some errors in language usage, spelling and punctuation.

Limited vocabulary; poor sentence structure; errors in language, spelling and punctuation.


Vocabulary, sentence structure, idiomatic use of language, spelling punctuation 5±6




Clear evidence of redrafting and editing has produced a finely crafted essay. Proofreading has eliminated mistakes.

Clear evidence of redrafting and editing. Proofreading has eliminated most errors.

Some evidence of editing on rough draft. Proofreading done, but errors not corrected.

Number of errors and poor handling of topic suggest no editing or proofreading done. Rough draft merely recopied.





Thorough planning. Effective introduction and conclusion.
Effective and correct sentence structure. Logical connectors used between sentences. Planning evident. Introduction and conclusion adequate for task. Correct sentence structure. Connectors used between sentences.

Some evidence of planning, ineffective introduction; weak conclusion; little topical unity within sentences. Some errors in sentence structure.
Few connectors between sentences.

No evidence of planning; no introduction, no conclusion; poor sentence structure.




Handling of topic shows originality. Handling of topic shows some originality.

Some attempt at originality but topic generally handled in mundane way.

Solid writing (no paragraphing). Muddled handling of topic. 3



Wide range of vocabulary;
Mainly correct spelling and punctuation; mainly correct language usage. Figurative language used.

Range of vocabulary; few errors in language usage, spelling and punctuation.

Adequate vocabulary; some errors in language usage, spelling and punctuation.

Limited vocabulary; many errors in language, spelling and punctuation.

Editing and proofreading

Level 1

Original and imaginative use of vocabulary, figurative language. Use of spelling, punctuation

Level 2

Originality in handling topic

Level 3

Planning. coherence, Introductory sentence/concluding sentence/ sentence structure use of connectors

Level 4




Clear evidence of redrafting and editing has produced a finely crafted essay. Proofreading has eliminated mistakes.

Clear evidence of redrafting and editing. Proofreading has eliminated most errors.

Some evidence of editing on rough draft. Proofreading done but errors not corrected.

Number of errors and poor handling of topic suggest no editing or proofreading done; rough draft merely recopied.


Creative writing Ð shorter pieces additional language

In this study unit, I explained what the writing process comprises and how learners should be taught to produce effective writing texts. I want to emphasise again that I did not discuss all the different types of writing texts. If, however, you use a lot of examples and take the learners through the correct writing process (pre-writing activities, writing a draft copy, revising the draft copy and finalising the end product), you will be able to teach any type of writing.

Table 7.5
An example of an assessment rubric for a paragraph in an additional language

Table 7.6
An example of an assessment rubric for functional writing in an additional language
Functional writing (20)

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Correctness of format and appropriate length

Level 4




Complete adherence to format.
Appropriate length.

Good adherence to format. Fairly appropriate length.

Partial adherence to format.
Inappropriate length.

Very limited adherence to topic.
Far too long or short.


Use of language

Adherence to topic



Appropriate structure and tone.
Variation of sentence types.
Good use of language grammar, spelling and punctuation with few errors. Mostly appropriate structure and tone. Complete sentences.

Inappropriate structure and tone.
Incomplete sentences.

Completely inappropriate structure and tone.


Structure, tone, style, register
Spelling punctuation.




Adheres to topic with minor deviations.
Achieves purpose partially.

Mentions the topic with no adherence to it.
Purpose not achieved.

Complete adherence to topic.
Achieves purpose fully.

Few grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

Many grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

Weak sentence structure

Numerous spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors.
Completely off the topic.
Purpose not achieved at all.

NB: Criteria should be varied according to the type of assessment task. For instance in the case of writing an advertisement, where creativity is important, refer to the Creative Writing rubric for guidance. ``Originality in handling the topic'' could possibly replace ``correctness of format''. ``Original use of language'' could be added to the criteria referring to style, register, spelling, etc.

Now page back to the outcomes that were set for writing instruction at the beginning of this study unit.
. Have you mastered the theory of writing instruction? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. Have you completed all your journal entries? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. Are you now ready for your practical teaching and assignments? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
If not, I suggest you work through the study unit again.
Now answer the following questions in the spaces provided:
Which principles should be kept in mind when teaching writing skills? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What activities will you do to orientate the learners with regard to writing minutes? . . . . .
What will you do to ensure that the learners revise and improve their writing tasks? . . . .
What are the advantages of using portfolios? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Why should teachers mark the learners' writing tasks with compassion? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Writing comprises a set of complex skills and writing instruction is a complex process.
If, however, you work through the writing process with the learners, that is, plan with them, write a draft copy yourself, and revise your draft copy with them and reflect on it, it will bear lots of fruit. You, the teacher, should not just work through the process with them, but you should serve as a model.



Thinking and reasoning

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. define critical thinking
. develop ideas to use in the teaching of critical thinking
Thinking and reasoning have been included as a separate outcome in the National
Curriculum Statement (Schools) Grade R-9. The learning outcome is as follows:
The learner will be able to use language to think and reason, as well as to access, process and use information for learning.

The outcome basically means that learners will learn to understand more complex concepts, will develop more complex thinking skills and will learn additional strategies that they can use to acquire information in their different learning areas. This is a very important skill for lifelong learning.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Look at the assessment standards in the National Curriculum Statement for the application of these outcomes! (The outcomes are not mentioned explicitly in the National Curriculum
Statement for Grades 10±12, but they are implied.)


Thinking and reasoning, as one of the outcomes of language teaching and the development of critical thinking, are very important and are becoming increasingly important in the world we live in. Children, for example, have to make some really important decisions at a very young age and this is because of the choices available to them.

Journal entry 8a
Look at the assessment standards in the National Curriculum Statement (Tutorial letter 104) and think how you would use the outcomes to develop understanding of human rights and environmental justice in your learners Ð use an example to illustrate your answer.


Values become very important when we strive to achieve these outcomes. Texts convey values and learners must learn to look at texts critically to determine which values are being conveyed Ð they are not always spelled out.
``When they analyse and, where necessary, challenge the values present in oral, visual and written texts, learners will:
. learn how texts take a particular view of people and events;
. develop the critical skills to examine and, if necessary, resist these views and the values associated with them; and
. become conscious of how they express values in the text they create themselves Ð for example: tolerance, empathy, respect, pleasure, humour, playfulness, displeasure, anger'' (Department of Education 2002:8).
In the whole-language movement, classrooms must be filled with a variety of material to create a literary environment. Learners must be given lots of opportunities to read with the teacher, to work with him or her on reading and writing activities, to write daily and to tell stories about the things that interest them. Teachers must allow the learners to choose the reading material. They must ask questions that fall outside the boundaries of literary meaning. ``These child-centred techniques and the belief that the child is `an active-meaning constructor, an aggressive processor of language and information' (Pearson, 1993, p 502) are extremely productive in accelerating learning for all children. A recent large-scale study of high-poverty classrooms found that instruction aimed at producing meaning Ð developing students' capacities to
`understand, reason, and compare' Ð produces higher results than more traditional practices'' (Honig 1996:3).
Knapp, Shields and Turnbull (in Honig 1996:3±4) explain this search for meaning as:
Instruction that helps students perceive the relationship of ``parts'' (discrete skills) to wholes (e.g., the application of skills to communicate, comprehend, or reason); instruction that provides students with the tools to construct meaning in their encounters with academic tasks and in the world in which they live; and instruction that makes explicit connections between one subject area and the next and what is learned in school and children's lives.

It is thus about teaching for understanding.

The following definition has been taken from Bester and Pienaar (2002:286):
Pascarella and Terenzini (1991:118) focus on the process aspect of critical thinking in their definition: ``Critical thinking typically involves the individual's ability to do some or all of the following: identify central issues and assumptions in an argument, recognize important relationships, make correct inferences from data, deduce conclusions from information or data provided, interpret whether conclusions are warranted on the basis of the data given, and evaluate evidence or authority'' (emphasis mine).

As you can see, the focus here is on identification, recognition, drawing conclusions, interpretation and evaluation. You should thus ask yourself how you can create opportunities in your lessons for your learners to develop these abilities.
Although it is difficult to decide what should be included in a generic definition of

critical thinking, it is clear that the various disciplines agree on the following:
``analysing arguments, decision making, problem solving, judgement of credibility and recognition of assumptions'' (Pienaar 2001:127).
The following is an extract from an article by Hirose (1992):
Critical thinking
The issue of critical thinking is being addressed at all levels of education throughout the nation. ``Deep-seated problems of environmental damage, human relations, overpopulation, rising expectations, diminishing resources, global competition, personal goals, and ideological conflict'' will need to be addressed by individuals capable of reflective and critical thought (Paul 1992, p. 4). Many of today's youth lack the basic skills to function effectively when they enter the workforce. A common complaint is that entry-level employees lack the reasoning and critical thinking abilities needed to process and refine information. With the modern work environment requiring more thinking and problem solving than the jobs of the past, community college teachers and administrators should emphasise critical thinking on their campuses, in their curricula, and in their teaching practices in order to prepare students to function effectively in today's workforce. This digest presents an overview of the concept of critical thinking, methods of teaching critical thinking, and examples of critical thinking programs in community colleges.
What is critical thinking?
Cromwell (1992) notes that the definition of critical thinking has gone through a transformation from meaning the ability to distinguish the thought patterns in the work of others to a reflection on one's own beliefs, thoughts, and decisions.
Nickerson, Perkins, and Smith (1985, p. 4±5) define it as figuring out what to believe, in a variety of contexts, ``in a rational way that requires the ability to judge the plausibility of specific assertions, to weigh evidence, to assess the logical soundness of inferences, to construct counter arguments and alternative hypotheses.'' Paul (1992,
p. 9±10) defines critical thinking as ``disciplined, self-directed thinking that exemplifies the perfections of thinking appropriate to a particular mode or domain of thought.'' Glock (1987, p. 9) offers the following broad definition: ``Critical thinking skills are (a) those diverse cognitive processes and associated attitudes,
(b) critical to intelligent action, (c) in diverse situations and fields, (d) that can be improved by instruction or conscious effort.''
Teaching critical thinking
Most of community college instruction is delivered through lectures. The instructor stands in front of a classroom and recites facts and information, while students sit passively and soak up (or ignore) what the instructor is presenting. The goal of teaching, in this mode, is to facilitate students' rote memorisation of facts from lectures and textbooks. According to Paul (1992, p. 4), this type of lower-order learning, ``undisciplined, associative, and inert'' hinders rather than facilitates the educational process. Instead, students must be encouraged to go beyond the memorisation of a fact, and adjust that fact to a particular domain of thought. For students to gain critical thinking skills, teachers will have to change the way they present materials and change who does the presenting in their classrooms. They must learn to ask more open-ended questions Ð why, how, and what if Ð and coach students through the process of learning how to answer them. Rather than having students absorb knowledge, teachers must encourage students to think problems

through, analyse, conceptualise, ask questions, be questioned, and reflect on how their beliefs might affect and compare to others. In addition to memorising facts and figures for a final examination, students must be challenged to apply what they have learned to the real world.
Glock (1986) suggests ways that teachers can reinforce verbal critical thinking skills by focusing greater attention on students' ``why'' questions than their ``who,''
``where'' and ``how'' questions. Teachers should also pay attention to their own methods of asking questions, questioning answers, and questioning questions. She suggests the following:
. When a student asks a why question, have the rest of the class discuss the kinds of questions that are most powerful and the sources of their power. Explain the structure of analytical questions. Use such questions Ð especially those generated by students Ð in quizzes.
. Once students become accustomed to answering analytical questions using material presented in class, ask similar questions that must be answered through their own work experience or out-of-class inquiries.
. Have students analyse the information presented in the textbook to discern which forms of inquiry were used to generate it.
. Have students read critical analyses of their text, and encourage students to develop their own criticisms based on their personal experiences.
. Compare opposing positions on a topic, and help students identify the sources of the differences of opinion. Avoid emotion-laden topics until students begin to perceive the ``universality of reinterpretation and redefinition.''
In her second-year oral communications course, Tripp (1990) uses the problemsolving conference. Students (1) select, define, and establish the parameters of a school-related problem; (2) analyse the problem to identify underlying causes, its scope and seriousness, and potential impact; (3) conduct a brainstorming session to generate creative solutions; (4) assess the proposed solutions in terms of viability and potential effectiveness; (5) reach consensus on the solutions; and (6) implement the decision. This process is used in the development of students' group research projects, which result in a technical report based on primary research. Questionnaires and interviews are generally used to gather data on such problems as curriculum requirements, campus parking, or dress codes. All group members should be involved throughout the process Ð``talking, listening, gathering data, writing, and editing'' Ð and decisions should be reached democratically.
Sheridan (1992) believes that writing facilitates critical thinking, arguing that ``the act of generating written discourse is not merely a result of critical thinking but also a stimulus to new thinking and new discoveries.'' In his freshman composition course,
Sheridan uses the Freewrite exercise to liberate students from their stultifying fear of grammar and spelling mistakes and open them to the risk taking required for innovative thought. Subsequent writing assignments are based on real life topics generated by the students themselves in a series of brainstorming sessions.
The ability to analyse problems and think critically will serve students well in today's complex world. Taking on the role of preparing and training students for this world will require many changes in teaching practices and learning styles, and in community college curricula and institutional mission.

Critical thinking in the classroom offers learners in the Languages learning area the opportunity to explore the social values of language.
Here is an example of how a poem can be used to inspire critical thinking:
Pulane's victory
Pulane's handwork bright with red and green
Reflect the life her children has never seen
Of women who stand victorious and strong
Having shackled the burden of culture and song.
Pulane's fingers fluttering with the wool
Find every stitch a victory to pull.
The marks of Joseph's powerful hand
Diminishes as she pulls strand upon strand.
When all is gone and they both will lie
Ashes to ashes and children will cry
The message she echoes will be strong and brave will carry her message beyond her grave.
(An African adaptation of ``Aunt Jennifer's Tigers'' by Adrienne Rich)

An analysis of the poem shows that the poet has presented the world from a feminist perspective. Pulane is doing a piece of needlework in which she depicts the liberation of a woman who has been abused by her husband. Her intention is to illustrate that women also have rights and are people in their own right.
Critical analysis gives rise to questions such as the following:

On what gender does the text concentrate, male or female?
What image is created of the female gender?
What image is created of the male gender?
What injustices are addressed in the text?
How many different people's opinions are expressed?
Is the opinion offered by the text only respected by the author/poet, or are there others who would agree with it?
What is your opinion of the matter under discussion?
What are the power relations? How are they made to appear as if they are normal or good? What negative aspects are excluded?
What people, classes, areas of life and experiences are ``left out'' or silenced?
How does the style of presentation contribute to the meaning of the text? Does the style always affect the meaning?

The following is an extract from an article by Pienaar (2001:127):
[One] aim ... is to develop the learner's comprehension of the way in which language is used to reflect and manipulate people's convictions, actions and relationships (Nieman, Swanepoel &
Venter 2000:10). The skills of reading, listening and observing are emphasised. Clayton (2000:1) states ``it is reading that promotes the essential cognitive skills one must possess in order to succeed in adult life''. She also states that comprehension is the focal point of the reading process as it involves the following:



relating vocabulary to experience understanding ideas, concepts and processes recognising relationships making comparisons drawing inferences reflecting and interpreting reading between the lines

According to Tierney, Readance and Disher (1995), comprehension is the crux of reading instruction and reading instruction is done primarily to stimulate thoughts about and a reaction to a reading activity. The basic purpose of reading instruction is thus to nurture an understanding of the self and the world around us; to develop our interests; to find solutions to personal, group and world problems; and to develop independent thinkers.
The following extract from the article by Pienaar (2001:127±128) explains further:
As these skills are mastered, comprehension occurs and leads to one being able to critically evaluate ideas, which is what is important in modern life.
Kabilan (2000:1) states that learners can only become proficient language users if they, besides using the language and knowing the meaning, could display creative and critical thinking through the language.
Collins (1993:1) states that because teaching higher level cognitive processes requires comprehension, inference and decision making, the reading classroom is the logical place to begin. She also states that teaching learners to think while reading is known in the literature as
``critical reading''. This is defined as ``learning to evaluate, draw inferences and arrive at conclusions based on evidence'' (Carr 1988:70).

The intrinsic value of language as an instrument for problem solving, decision making and creative thinking should be developed across the entire curriculum.
Critical thinking must, therefore, be developed across all areas of language teaching and not just during reading instruction. By listening critically to how a teacher expresses himself or herself and by asking the questions stated above, learners can learn how to think critically.
Many studies have indicated that oral language development has largely been neglected in the classroom. Oral language in the classroom is generally used more by teachers than by learners. However, oral language, even as used by the teacher, seldom functions as a means for learners to gain knowledge and to explore ideas.
Many teachers are under the assumption that their role is to teach and to teach means to talk. Accordingly, teachers spend hours and hours teaching by talking while the learners sit listening passively. Such conventional teaching-learning is one of the obstacles preventing the real development of oral language. Children leaving these classrooms tend to carry this passivity over to their learning attitudes and tend to be
``disabled'' in their learning abilities.
After a few years, learners will have become programmed to a kind of passive learning atmosphere where the teacher talks and the learners listen and do their homework.
Here, learning simply means taking down whatever is given. In this type of classroom environment, learners learn the basic skills of reading and writing. However, they will not learn how to think critically and how to make sound judgments on their own.

I hope I have made you aware of the importance of thinking and reasoning in language teaching. If you are able to answer the following questions, you have achieved the outcomes for this study unit:
Why is critical thinking important in the language classroom? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What is critical thinking? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How can you teach critical thinking? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I am sure you will agree that teachers often become so involved with establishing routine, finishing the textbook, covering the curriculum and preparing learners for standardised tests that they forget one of their original goals, that of stimulating thought. It must be remembered that although the focus of a programme may be the development of oral communication skills, critical thinking and reasoning abilities are also developed along the way.
For most children, the literacy learning process actually begins with speaking Ð talking about their experiences and talking about themselves. It is through speech that children learn to organise their thinking and focus their ideas. The neglect of oral language in the classroom will destroy that foundation and severely hinder the development of other aspects of language skills.



Teaching language structure and language use

In this study unit, I will discuss the teaching of language structure and language use.

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
. plan and present lessons on language structure and language use using the communicative approach
. adapt your teaching of language structure and language use to accommodate home language and additional languages learners

Read the two scenarios below and then answer the questions that follow:
Scenario A
Mrs Tucker's learners are used to the way she works. They know that she expects a lot from them, but that she also goes to a lot of trouble. The learners use their additional language with ease in her class, because they know that she regards communication as more important than the mistakes they make. Mrs Tucker once explained to them that the mistakes they make show her that they are making progress in acquiring the language. They are especially enjoying the present theme on recreation and entertainment. Two week ago, Mrs Tucker asked them to watch a movie on television and to write down its name, the names of the director and most important actors, as well as the time and channel on which it was screened.
Mrs Tucker's aim is to explain how adjectives and the degrees of comparison are used.
As time is of the essence and the learning programme is so full, she decides to introduce a review, because the learners will be required to write a review during the next day's writing lesson. She also wants to encourage the learners to use their dictionaries. Mrs Tucker divides the learners into groups of four, so that learners who have seen the same movie are in the same group. Each learner tells the other learners about the movie that he or she has seen, who the actors were, what they looked like, about the setting, whether it was a good film and the reasons why. She ask the groups to decide on the funniest, most interesting and most gripping movie. The groups then compare their answers.


Mrs Tucker then hands out copies of the following review:

Beloved, seductive Ð a scoundrel
Catch me if you can
Laetitia Pople


efore even coming of age,
Frank W Abagnale had worked as a doctor, lawyer and pilot. And no, he was not a child prodigy, but a charming, yet masterful crook!

Steven Spielberg's approach in
Catch me if you can is playfully seductive. The viewer falls in love with this con man who falsifies cheques and then later goes to work for the FBI.
It is only in the USA that a chancer such as this would get so far!
You forget and Ð even worse Ð forgive for a moment the millions that he stole from unsuspecting
Americans. If Spielberg were to enter the advertising world, the chances are that he would be very successful. Abagnale awakens people's idealism and talks business with ``them''.
But whether Abagnale would be successful in South Africa today is debatable. You experience Abagnale's childhood together with his father,
Frank snr, and his elegant French

mother. A chip off the old block Ð according to Frank snr, the key to deceit is a pin-striped suit. ``Blind them with a well-cut suit and highly polished shoes.'' Later in the film, we see him Ð rather ironically Ð as a disillusioned man dressed in the uniform of the
American postal service.
Christoper Walken playes his role brilliantly. He has revamped those dark characters he used to play and deserves the Oscar nomination he has received.
This film revolves around the father-son relationship between
Abagnale and the FBI agent,
Carl Hanratty (played by Tom
Hanks). Carl Hanratty and his team of oafs have hunted him for five years.
Hunted is the world, because
Hanratty is a determined man.
His reputation, or rather his very being, depends on him catching
Abagnale. Hanks plays this type of role with ease. Spielberg draws out the bureaucrat in Hanks.

The dry Hanratty is also charmed by Abagnale who phones him every Christmas Eve ...
In the film Adaptation (review on page 4), the main character says quite cuttingly that a policeman always hunts his own shadow.
The villain or scoundrel is that part of himself that he has not fulfilled. It is ironic that this is exactly what happens here.
Hanratty mends his ways. He confronts Abagnale in a brilliant scene and says that ``it is beter to live a lie than to live the truth.''
Spielberg then pulls the rabit out of the hat Ð the hunter and the hunted become one and the same. A Steven Spielberg film is always of the best entertainment on circuit ± he and Leonardo DiCaprio really excel.
. Main characters:
Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christopher Walken.
Age restriction: AA,
Duration: 129 minutes.

Source: Beeld. 2003a. Geliefd, verleidelik Ð 'n skurk. Plus bylaag. 7 Maart:3.

Mrs Tucker then asks the learners to read the review softly to themselves, and while reading to underline all the words that describe a person, place or object. Next, she reads the first paragraph out loud and notes how, for example, the word ``charming'' is used to describe Frank W Abagnale. Once everyone has finished reading, they compare their reviews with each other and see whether they have identified all the descriptive words. Mrs Tucker then checks that all the groups had identified the right words and asks whether someone could tell her what kind of words they have identified. (She knows that they have covered adjectives in previous years.) Most of the learners can tell her that they are adjectives.
The learners dealt with punctuation marks two weeks ago, and because there are three good examples of the use of dashes in the review, she refreshes their memories by asking them a few questions about the dashes before and after ``worse still'' (first

column), and the dash after ``a chip off the old block'' (second column) and after
``cycle'' (third column). She asks them about the function of the ellipsis after
``Christmas Eve'', and explains the meaning of the expressions ``a chip off the old block'' and ``pull a rabbit out of the hat''.
Since the learners have had to watch the movies on TV, she draws three TV screens on the board and asks which of the three TV screens is the biggest, which is the smallest and whether the middle screen is bigger or smaller than the first screen. She then asks which TV set they think is the most expensive and which one is the cheapest. Next, she asks them whether they think the big TV screen would last longer than the smallest one and which one they would most like to have. Finally, she asks which one would give them the best picture.
In this way, the learners become familiar with the degrees of comparison related to a particular group of words. She asks them to identify examples of comparatives or superlatives in the review, namely worse, drier, better, best. She then asks them to look up these words in the dictionary, as well as adjectives such as ``disillusioned'' and
``determined'' which appeared in the review. By guiding the learners with questions, the learners come to the conclusion that the degrees of comparison are formed in the following three ways:
. By putting ``more'' or ``most'' in front of the word Ð usually in the case of words comprising three or more syllables (``determined'', ``more determined'' and ``most determined''). . By adding -er or -est to the adjective (``higher'' and ``highest'').
. By knowing the exceptions to the rule (``good'', ``better'', ``best'').
Hereafter, she divides the learners who have seen the same movie into groups. They have to draw up a list of four adjectives Ð for example, ``suspenseful'', ``funny'',
``boring'' Ð that which best describes the movie or the characters in the movie. For homework they have to do two things: (1) look up the degrees of comparison of their adjectives in the dictionary and (2) write a paragraph about the movie they have watched using at least two of the degrees of comparison. Mrs Tucker reminds them that there is a comprehensive discussion of adjectives on page 40 of their textbook and that they should ask for help if they have any problems with the work. Each group's words are different and the next day they are given the opportunity to read their words and paragraphs to the class. Each learner is allowed to supplement his or her list with words from the other groups.
Scenario B
Mrs Pauw's objective is the same as Mrs Tucker's, namely to explain what an adjective is and how to use the degrees of comparison. She explains this by using several examples on the board. She then makes the learners write down the following definition in their books: An adjective is a word which describes nouns such as people, places or objects, such as a popular tourist destination, the tallest building in the world, the best hotel accommodation, a big TV screen. (She is very pleased with the examples she has chosen because they are busy with a theme on recreation and entertainment.)
Next, she draws the following pictures on the board:


This is a big TV screen

This is a bigger TV screen

This is the biggest TV screen

Figure 9.1
Mrs Pauw's drawings on the board
She points to the first screen and reads what she has written under it: ``This is a big television screen.'' Then, she points to the second screen which is a bit bigger and explains that it is a bigger screen, but that the last screen is the biggest screen of all and that one can speak of degrees of comparison in this context. She goes on to ask them to open their textbooks on page 40 and read through the discussion of adjectives and degrees of comparison. She shows them the explanation in the textbook which covers the various ways in which the degrees of comparison are formed. Learners are asked to complete a series of sentences with the correct degree of comparison. Some of the learners who finish early begin to look around and start talking to their neighbours, while others begin passing notes around the class.
Once everyone has had a turn, Mrs Pauw gives the learners a list of the degrees of comparison to learn for a test that they will write in the next period. Their homework is to complete the sentences in the textbook which test whether they can fill or enter the correct adjectives in the sentences.

Journal entry 9a
Complete the following table in your journal by marking the applicable block. (You do not need to copy the left-hand column in your journal Ð merely enter in the numbers.)
Mrs Pauw
1 The lesson may be regarded as a communicative language lesson. 2 The teacher makes the lesson topical and interesting.
3 Language structure and use are taught as part of a whole and not in isolation.

Mrs Tucker

Mrs Pauw

Mrs Tucker

4 The teaching of language structure and use is integrated with the teaching of other skills.
5 The teacher stimulates the learners' desire to communicate.
6 More than one language skill is taught at a time.
7 Learners will be able to use the language structure taught to them outside the classroom as well.
8 The lesson is limited to the textbook and learners soon lose interest.
9 Learning the language rule is regarded as more important than how it is applied.

Statements two to seven cover the requirements that all communicative language lessons ought to meet, while statements eight and nine contain examples of poor teaching practice. It is clear that Mrs Tucker teaches in a communicative way, while
Mrs Pauw still teaches according to the ``old'' approach. I will now discuss the requirements listed in statements two to seven. Then we will go on to look at things like teaching spelling, using a dictionary and other relevant issues.

I often hear teachers complaining that learners find language learning very boring.
However, when I ask them about the way they go about presenting their lessons, it often turns out that they are relying heavily on textbooks without any deviation.
Homework usually consists of doing exercises out of textbooks, which are then corrected the following day. They are usually very taken aback when I ask them: ``But wouldn't you also be bored if you had to learn language like this?''
There are ways in which you can make language lessons interesting! You could try games like ``word tennis'' when working with nouns, for example. Here the learners would have to send related words to each other, such as car Ð steering wheel door Ð house rain Ð water flowers Ð leaves

You do this until one of the learners cannot think of a word. You award points as you would in a real game of tennis. You may also like to vary this with word cricket, in which case the number of related words given by the learners are runs. If a learner cannot go any further, he or she loses the wicket.
The textbook is a useful aid, especially when you are dealing with difficult language structures like the infinitive, but you need not use it day in and day out. The best textbooks are those that give guidance on how to teach language in a communicative way and that integrate the teaching of language with listening, speaking, writing and thinking. 197

You should really forget about the notion that grammar consists of a whole lot of rules. In truth, grammar is the mirror which helps you to determine the context in which utterances are made, in order to determine the speaker's attitude towards the person whom he or she is addressing.
Grammar actually comprises three dimensions: morpho-syntaxis (form), semantics
(meaning), and pragmatics (use). These dimensions are interdependent and the one influences the other, and so forth. Take, for example, the active and passive voice.
Although they are usually described as morpho-syntactic, they offer a unique perspective on the way in which the speaker evaluates a particular situation. In
(1) ``The robbers robbed the bank'' and (2) ``The bank was robbed by the robbers'', it becomes clear that in (1) the emphasis is on the robbers and in (2) the emphasis is on the bank. One could therefore say that the passive has a pragmatic meaning, since it indicates what the focus of the discussion or statement is.
Although in this study unit I have mainly referred to the teaching of a first additional language, the methods discussed may be applied to the teaching of a second additional language. Once you have uncovered your learners' weak and strong points, you will come to know how to adapt your teaching methods.

I will now discuss the requirements of any language lesson on the basis of the lessons presented by Mrs Tucker and Mrs Pauw.

9.2.1 True-to-life and interesting
TV is part of our everyday lives with the exception of those who live in only the most isolated rural areas. (In this case, Mrs Tucker would obviously not have based her lesson on a TV programme but would have had to come up with something else. Do you have any ideas?) By asking groups of learners to talk about the movies they have seen on TV, she brought their reality into the classroom and made their school work real. We all like to talk about the great movie or TV programme we saw or the book we read and therefore the group discussions she held were true-to-life, authentic and natural. Learners were actively involved the whole time and busy with something they found interesting and enjoyable: watching TV. Without being aware of it, they got some learning done in the process!
By letting the learners talk in groups, Mrs Tucker was preparing them for what was to come: she knew that they would use adjectives to describe the movies and this would open them up to writing a review on them. By integrating a text (the text may be any complete written or spoken text, and not a series of disjointed sentences taken out of context) containing the language structure which is to be used later, the teacher is providing the learners with of a foretaste of what is to come.
Mrs Pauw was very pleased with herself for choosing sentences related to the theme, but the sentences were not part of a whole and the learners probably did not even make the connection. There were no points of contact between the outside world and
Mrs Pauw's lesson and the learners found the lesson far removed from their everyday lives. This is why they soon became bored and started doing other things. As she went down the rows asking each learner a question, the class was slowly switching off.
This kind of ``slow death'' can be explained as follows:

. Once the learner has answered the teacher, he or she shuts off because he or she has had his or her turn.
. Learners work out the question they are going to be asked and then concentrate solely on that question without paying any attention to the rest of the work.
. Learners soon become bored with this kind of work.

9.2.2 Language structure and use as part of the whole
Although language structure and use are regarded as separate outcomes, this does not mean that they should be taught and assessed (examined) separately in the classroom.
They ought rather to be seen as guidelines for the teacher on what the learners should be able to apply throughout the speaking, writing and reading programmes. It is clear that Mrs Tucker realises this, and that is why she expected her learners first to watch the movie on TV, and then to discuss it in groups (listen and talk), before she explained the language structure. After that they had to draw up lists of words and write a paragraph on the movie using those words. By doing this, she integrated all the skills.
By allowing the learners to look for words in a piece of writing, she observed another important principle, namely teaching language by using language material whether written or oral. In contrast, Mrs Pauw taught the language learning structure in isolation and as a means to an end.
Here I would like to repeat what I said in study unit 3.2: You should not be under the impression that explaining language and spelling rules, purposeful vocabulary building, et cetera are completely taboo. What I'm merely trying to show you is that they should not be taught in such a formal manner as almost a ``subject'' on their own. For example, one should not devote an entire lesson to nouns or a specific spelling rule. The old days of walking into the classroom and announcing that,
``Today we are going to learn about verbs'', are over. Language teaching must be derived from reading (or even listening). When you are reading a piece of writing or dealing with a report, advertisement, article, short story, novel or any other document, and you come across several good examples of punctuation, for example, you should use the opportunity to discuss them in context. By ``context'' I mean that you should deal with the punctation as it appears in the text. Do not try to cover all the punctuation signs at once. If a specific punctuation sign does not come up, leave it until you find it somewhere else at which time you can then explain it to the learners.
Punctuation is not something you can cover in a single lesson Ð it needs to be reinforced over and over again! Sawyer, Watson and Adams (1989) conducted an experiment in which they taught one group of learners (Group A) drills and similar exercises while another group (Group B) had to complete various writing tasks three times a week in hour-long sessions. On the average, Group B could identify 8,66 types of punctuation, while Group A could only define 3,85 types of punctuation. What was more, Group B, the writing group, was often able to cite what punctuation sign had been used, even if they could not give the reasons why it had been used.
Here is another example of integration (only suitable for home languages): if you do a listening exercise in which there is a lot of assimilation, delabialisation, et cetera, you could cover the different sounds in the listening exercise. Phonetics really cannot be taught without being integrated into a piece of listening.
In the same way one cannot cover adjectives without pointing them out in a text and explaining how they are used (even though Mrs Pauw tried to do just this). (This principle actually applies to all language teaching since one cannot teach how to write a report, advertisement or review without using examples thereof.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------The focus with language use must be Ð language in action!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Revision must be done on a regular basis. When, for example, you do a poem which contains certain language structures that you have already covered, you could briefly revise them by asking a few questions Ð even if your main focus is a poetry lesson.
Mrs Tucker saw her chance and revised punctuation signs because she found some very good examples of them in the review.

9.2.3 Create a desire to communicate
If learners feel as if they are being kept busy with meaningless activities that they won't be able to apply in their real lives, they will not have any desire to communicate. To create the desire to communicate in a learner, he or she must feel the need to give or acquire information. One can establish this need artificially in the classroom by creating an information gap. One person has information that another person wants. For example, if one asks for someone else's opinion, and one does not know what their answer is going to be, there is an information gap.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------The desire to communicate can be created by covering a theme which everyone finds interesting and meaningful.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Mrs Tucker succeeded in making her learners want to communicate. In the first place, she did not force them all to watch a specific movie, but left the choice open to them.
She then grouped together the learners who had watched the same movies. Obviously they wanted to talk about the movie they had seen. In the second place, Mrs Tucker chose a theme in which most people are interested: TV and movies. (Remember what I said about areas without electricity.)
Remember that one does not only have to create the wish to communicate but also the need to use various language structures. Shrum and Glisan (1994:91) have, for example, the following to say:
However, we need to remember that grammatical structures by themselves are rather useless. Like road signs, grammatical structures take on meaning only if they are situated in a context and in connected discourse. Furthermore, Krashen (1982) reminds us that grammatical structures will become internalized only if the learners are placed in a situation in which they need to use the structures for communicative purposes. Consequently an important role of the teacher is to create learning situations in which the students feel a need to exploit the grammar in order to comprehend and communicate in the target language.

It is only logical that one would use adjectives when discussing a movie! Mrs Tucker therefore created the need to use the specific language structure she had introduced.

9.2.4 Language structures outside the classroom
If learners' language knowledge is limited to what they learn in the classroom, they will never really master the language.

Because the learners in Mrs Tucker's class had the opportunity to practise and use language structures in groups, they would feel comfortable in using adjectives and the degrees of comparison when talking to someone outside of the classroom in their additional language. The best way in which to learn any language is to communicate with people who use it as a home language. If at all possible, encourage and create opportunities for your learners to do so.

9.2.5 Natural language use
It is important to initiate every lesson, whether it is on the teaching of an additional or a home language, with an authentic piece of language. It should be a written text that forms a whole and not merely a number of separate sentences taken out of context.
This text may be a story, poem, review or newspaper or magazine article Ð as long as it forms a logical whole. It may even be something to which the learners have to listen such as a movie, play, a taped radio advertisement, or a videoed TV advertisement or conversation. The language structure which is to be discussed should preferably be introduced in your lead up so that learners have some idea of what they will be dealing with (without it being spelled out).

All language teachers share the same goal, namely to improve the standard of their learners' listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. It is generally agreed that the purposeful teaching of language structures and use contribute to achieving this goal.
However, there are differences in the way in which teachers choose to reach this common goal. One can distinguish between two broad approaches, namely the traditional approach and the progressive approach. Davison and Dowson (1998:158±
159) describe the differences between them as follows:
The main differences are in four areas: the choice of texts, the attitude to rules, the emphasis on form or function, and the use or avoidance of exercises.
1 Choice of texts
``Traditional'' approaches use very short snippets of text. Often these will have been created in order to demonstrate grammatical features. The ideas expressed in these texts are not relevant or significant. ``Progressive'' approaches use longer texts. Texts are chosen because they are interesting in themselves as well as to illustrate a grammatical feature. Often they will clearly have been taken from a real communication.
2 Attitude to rules
In ``traditional'' approaches grammatical rules are seen as powerful formulae from which language can be created. The rules are regarded as fixed and any deviation from them is condemned as wrong. In ``progressive'' approaches grammatical rules are seen as useful descriptions of the patterns of language. However, where people's actual use of language differs from the supposed ``rule'' those differences are explored rather than condemned.
3 Form and function
``Traditional'' approaches focus on describing and identifying grammatical forms: ``This is a noun, that is a verb, here is an infinitive used in apposition to a pronoun''. This is often

called ``parsing''. ``Progressive'' approaches focus on how grammar contributes to the meaning or effect of a text, its function: ``The writer has chosen to use the present tense here because ...''
4 Exercises
``Traditional'' approaches develop understanding through exercises rather than through practical uses of language. ``Progressive'' approaches teach grammar by helping children to reflect on their own reading and writing.

Journal entry 9b

Which of the two approaches do you prefer? Substantiate your answer.
Do you think there is a place for both approaches? Give a reason/s for your answer.
Read through Mrs Tucker's and Mrs Pauw's lessons once more and explain how you think each of them approached their choice of texts, and their attitude towards language rules, forms, functions and exercises.

I have referred to the whole language or integrated language approach several times throughout the study guide. Shrum and Glisan (1994:93) describe the whole language approach as follows:
As early as 1976, psycholinguist Ken Goodman stated that ``Language is language only when it is whole'' (quoted in Fountas and Hannigan 1989, p. 134). According to Goodman, the whole is always viewed as being greater than the sum of its parts, and it is the whole that gives meaning to the parts. In terms of grammar instruction, words, phrases or sentences are not linguistic islands unto themselves; on the contrary, these linguistic elements only gain meaning when they are placed in context, and when used in conjunction with the whole. According to Goodman, once students experience the whole, they are better prepared to deal with the analysis of the parts.

The whole language approach emphasises natural language use (discourse) and encourages learners and readers from the beginning of the lesson to read or listen to and understand meaningful and longer examples of language use.
By starting the lesson with a complete text (e.g. a story, song, poem, fairy tale or magazine or newspaper article), the teacher initiates the explanation of the language structure by introducing the learners to it in the discourse. This is to their advantage because it gives the learners a ``feeling'' of what is to come. In this way, the functional meaning of the grammatical structures are highlighted even before the learners' attention is drawn to them. The whole language approach encourages the learner to use language in a functional and focused manner in integrated discourse. Therefore, from the very start of the lesson, the teacher and learners are using language authentically. Once the text or other feedback is provided to the learners, the teacher explains the text with the aid of pictures, the total physical response method (TPR) or role-playing to help them understand the text. The learners are drawn into the text by questions and other activities. At this stage the emphasis is on the meaning of the text.
Once the learners (whether it is a reading or listening piece) understand the text, their attention can be drawn to the various linguistic elements and language structures in

the text. Here the teacher may use a wide variety of methods such as giving explanations, asking questions about language structures in the text, and using the total physical response, the writing board and overhead projector. Once the specific language structure has been explained in enough detail, and the learners have internalised it, they must be given the opportunity to practise using it in a communicative situation. At this point the emphasis is on the transfer of meaning and not on a demonstration of their knowledge of language rules. For example, if the language structure that must be applied is how to ask questions, the teacher can play the ``alibi'' game with the learners. This works as follows: The teacher sketches a scenario like the following: ``Last night someone broke into Mrs Mbeki's house and stole all her jewellery. Two suspects were arrested near the scene.''
The teacher then chooses two of the learners to be the suspects. (The teacher may also choose to divide more suspects into pairs.) The two suspects must then be given the chance to get together to come up with an alibi, while the rest of the class draws up a list of questions to ask the suspects. The one suspect then leaves the classroom while the class questions the other suspect. The aim is to get information that proves that the two suspects' answers are inconsistent. The class takes down the suspect's answers. The second suspect then comes in and is also questioned. The learners compare the answers and point out inconsistencies. The class then has to draw up a report on the information they have gathered and recommend whether to prosecute the suspects or to release them.
By introducing an activity based on an authentic situation the learners are given the opportunity to gather information, to use it and to apply a specific language structure repeatedly, without getting bored or the lesson turning into a drill session.
You will find that learners also generate their own form of language use.
The whole language approach has a cyclic nature. Shrum and Glisan (1994:95) put it as follows:
The teacher foreshadows the explanation of the language structures by using an integrated discourse (stories, poems, tapes, etc); the emphasis is on understanding and meaning.


The teacher uses multiple repetitions and repeats the story line with the aid of pictures, TPR activities and role-playing whereby understanding is deepened and learner participation is heightened. Once again, the emphasis is on meaning.

In extension activities (eg interactive activities related to the theme of the story) learners must use the grammatical structure or structures in order to perform a specific task or function.


Once understanding has been established and meaning is understood, the teacher guides the learners to focus their attention on form. The teacher and learners work together on the explanation of language structures.

Figure 9.2


A whole language approach to the teaching of language structure and use

Shrum and Glisan (1994:95) explain this cycle as follows:
During the first stage of the cycle, the teacher foreshadows the grammar structure with an appropriate text. At this point, the meaning or comprehension of the text is of prime importance.
The second stage is actually an extension of the first stage, since once again the emphasis is on meaning. However, the second stage differs due to an increased level of learner participation. Now the learners have a general idea of the significance of the story (text); consequently they can become more participatory through TPR activities, mime, role-playing, etc. All of these activities serve to deepen comprehension for the learners. Once comprehension is achieved and meaning is understood, the teacher moves into the third stage and turns the learners' attention to focus on form, or the various linguistic elements of the grammatical structure(s). After this stage, the teacher completes the cycle by encouraging the learners to interact with integrated discourse through expansion activities such as rewriting or recreating similar stories, paired activities, or group activities. Through these extension activities, the learners become more aware of the function of the grammatical structure. That is, they learn that they can carry out a particular task or function by exploiting or using the appropriate grammatical structure.

Remember, if a teacher fills the learners' heads with grammar rules, they will come to think in terms of grammar rules. However, if he or she confronts them with language use in real-life situations, their thinking will be focused on using language in real life.

Journal entry 9c

Reread Mrs Tucker's lesson, and explain in your journal how she progressed through the cycle as explained in figure 9.2.

The PPP approach is the acronym for presentation, practice and production. It is an approach followed when presenting a new language, practising it and then applying or using it in communicative situations. Cajkler and Addelman (2000:33) explain it thus: 1

The presentation stage: getting the language in.
The practice stage: keeping it there.
The communication stage: getting the language out.

To this one may add a fourth stage, namely that of revision and re-cycling (Cajkler &
Addelman 2000:33): ``Revision may occur when an initial introduction fails to offer a guiding model to learners, while a presentation may be a re-cycling of old language.
Inadequate performance by pupils at the communication stage suggests the need for revision.'' If you turn back to study unit 3, section 3.2, you will see that the above stages are closely related to the receptive (stage 1) and the productive (stage 2).

I shall now discuss each of these stages briefly. See whether the stages proposed by Cajkler and
Addelman correspond with the whole language approach discussed in section 9.4. You should then analyse the stages to establish whether they may be regarded as part of a progressive or traditional approach to teaching.

9.5.1 The presentation stage
This stage comprises the presentation of new language material or the re-cycling of
``old'' language.
The way in which new language is presented will depend on the resources and facilities available. The lesson may be based on a written text, a speech, a tape, a CDROM, a web site, a worksheet, a textbook, a short story, et cetera. The objective is to provide accurate models which the learners can investigate, copy, analyse or use. The is a highly controlled phase.
The presentation may also take the form of a revision of language structures that have already been taught, but that are now being used in a new format or context.

9.5.2 The practice stage
Once the new language material has been presented to the learners, they must be given every opportunity possible to practise what they have learned. The more opportunities they have to practise what they have learned and to make it their own
(a habit), the more they will develop their self-confidence. During this stage, the teacher gives them a lot of guidance and ensures that every learner gets the opportunity to practise the new language structure with his or her help and guidance.
The teacher should, however, be careful not to give too much help and to correct mistakes too frequently, because, in some cases this may be counterproductive
(learners may become too scared to open their mouths in case they make a mistake).
Cajkler and Addelman (2000:34) explain that the practice stage can be divided into two parts, namely controlled exercise and guided practice:
Controlled-practice activities seek a near perfect rendering of the language presented and the teacher monitors and corrects. Sufficient practice is given to allow learners to get it right. Perhaps the simplest form of controlled practice is repetition Ð learning by saying what a teacher or tape has said, for example.
During guided practice, teacher control or support relaxes as activities begin to move towards the communicative end of the spectrum by offering greater opportunities for learning by doing. The emphasis begins to change from getting the form right to getting a message across.

At this stage, the teacher monitors the situation carefully and decides which stage to introduce next, that is, revision/repetition or communication.

9.5.3 The production phase
At this stage, the learners engage in meaningful, interactive tasks, the success of which depends on the need that has been created to communicate. The emphasis is on the reception and transmission of language, and communicating effectively irrespective of sporadic language errors. At this point, the teacher's input should be

minimal and he or she should intervene only if communication (oral or written) comes to a complete standstill. This is done to ensure that learners get over their fear of using the language.
The principle of gradually giving less support applies to all the stages of the process.
Cajkler and Addelman (2000:33) point out that the stages create a framework within to work but that they may often run together. Therefore there is not always a clear distinction between guided practice and communication.
If one compares the PPP approach with the whole language approach, it is clear that the PPP approach does not lay so much emphasis on the integration of language material and the understanding of this material. Although the teacher initially uses language material, he or she then goes directly into an explanation of the language structure. In the PPP approach, the emphasis is on practising the language by means of drilling and repeating sentences and words, et cetera while this is not so in the case of the whole language approach.
Above and beyond the PPP approach and the whole language approach as discussed above, Pachler and Field (1997:147-160) suggest four stages, namely the input stage, during which a new theme is introduced, the explanation stage during which the learners' attention is focused on a new language structure, the habit-forming stage during which the new language structure is practised, and the communicative application stage during which the learners use the language in authentic communicative situations. The names of the various stages speak for themselves, and therefore it is unnecessary to discuss each of them in detail here. I would, however, like to focus briefly on one interesting observation made by Pachler and Field
(1997:61-62). They hold that not all of the activities used in practising an additional language (in the habit-forming phase) are equally valuable:
Pupil activities of low value

Choral/individual repetition.
Reading aloud from textbook.
Reading out dialogues/role-plays.
Copying from board/book.

Pupil activities of mixed value

Doing drill-like activities.
Pupil-pupil dialogue.
Receiving grammatical explanations.

Pupil activities of high value

Listening to the target language.
Replying to questions in the FL.1
Asking questions in the FL.
Engaging in dramatic activities.
Increasing active/passive vocabulary.

1 FL stands for ``foreign language'' or second additional language.



Reading silently.
Relating language to social/cultural context.
Doing written work of an error-avoiding nature.

You can see that therefore there are thus many different approaches that one may follow in presenting language structure and use. You will have to decide for yourself which one you prefer, whether you are going to combine them or even whether you are going to use one in some circumstances and another in others. I would, for example, use the PPP approach when learners are making their very first acquaintance with an additional language. Thereafter, as they become more familiar with the language, I would gradually begin applying the whole language approach and the implementation of other communicative language teaching principles. You may test the different approaches in practice and decide which one or ones work the best for you. 9.6 TEACHING SPELLING
Spelling should be taught continuously and progressively. One should devise a specific spelling programme. Spelling should be taught daily. Initially, spelling rules should be taught directly, and then revision should be done on a regular basis. When a difficult word comes up in a text, one should draw the learners' attention to it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Spelling comes naturally to some learners the more they learn about the language. In the initial stage of the teaching of an additional language, too much emphasis on the correct spelling of words may discourage learners from using the language or expressing themselves in it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Spelling should be continuously evaluated in the learners' compositions, answers to literature studies, silent reading tests and integrated language learning, but short tests and dictations should also be given regularly. Examples of spelling should not be evaluated in isolation, but in the context of the sentences in which they appear
(Subject Committee for Afrikaans First Language 1991:1).
The Subject Committee for Afrikaans First Language (1991:1-2) gives the following general hints on teaching spelling:
. One should preferably work inductively. If one guides learners to discover the underlying spelling rule or principle, they will remember it better than if they are given a long list of examples of the spelling rule to memorise.
. When dealing with a particular spelling rule, learners should be encouraged to give as many of their own examples as possible.
. As many of the senses must be used to learn the correct spelling as possible.
Spelling cannot be taught meaningfully without the learners being able to remember the written image, the sound image and the meaning of the word.
. It is often confusing to spell out a word letter by letter. Allow the learners to spell out the word syllable by syllable, for example in-te-rest-ing rather than i-t-e-r-e-st-i-n-g.
. Repetition is crucial. You should continously revise material already dealt with,

and when a specific word comes up once again, remind the learners of the relevant spelling principle.
. Dictionaries and vocabulary lists should be available and the learners should use them frequently. Learners should constantly check their own spelling when they are in any doubt at all.
Although these tips are specifically given for teaching Afrikaans as a home language, they can be used equally well in the case of any other language or additional language. When teaching spelling in an additional language, you should bear the following in mind (Jacobs 1992:72):
. Remember that a poor speller is not someone who spells difficult words incorrectly, but someone who spells everyday words incorrectly.
. Learners must be taught how to look at words in a special way. It is not enough merely to listen to or read a word in order to learn to spell it. Learners should learn to look at a word in order to uncover certain letter sequences.

9.6.1 Ways of making spelling interesting The CAT-CALL method
The CAT-CALL method is derived from the words copy, apply, tear, colour, another, left, learned (Wessels & Van den Berg 1998:105). This method is very useful where learners find the spelling of a particular word very difficult.
C Ð Copy:
A Ð Apply:
T Ð Tear:
C Ð Colour:
A Ð Another:
L Ð Left
L Ð Learned:

Learners copy down the word from the textbook, dictionary or board.
They apply in a sentence.
They break the word down into its syllables.
They write out the word in a pen or pencil of another colour.
They write out the word in another way, for example in print, italics or in capitals.
Right-handed learners write out the word with their left hand and visa versa.
Can I spell the word now? The learners test themselves.

For example: impatient C

She is so impatient, she never waits for anything! im-pa-tient impatient


impatient impatient T Look, close, write and check
Learners may also be taught the following way of learning spelling:
Look: Learners take a good look at the words to try to remember how to spell them.

Close: They close up the words so that they can't see them.
Write: They write out the words and read them out softly to themselves.
Check/revise: They check what they have written. If they have misspelt any of them, they should not simply write them out correctly, but should go through the whole process again. Make learning spelling a game
The teacher writes out ten difficult words on the chalkboard related to the theme they are working on, and gives the learners about a minute to look at the words and particularly the way they are spelt.

annual perennial deciduous autumn season evergreen bulb temperature flood drought Figure 9.3
A spelling game
(Try to choose words that are related to a specific theme and that the learners have come a across in a text, or will be coming across soon.) The teacher explains that he or she is going to rub out one of the words and that the class will have to write that word down themselves. He or she proceeds to rub out words at random and the learners write down the words as they are rubbed out. This continues until every last word has been rubbed out. The learners then work in groups of three or so to compare their spelling. They help each other and make corrections as they think necessary.
They then look the words up in a dictionary and mark each others' work. Spelling and reading
The ability to spell well is developed through reading. The more learners read, the more their spelling will improve. Once they have read a piece of writing, the teacher may ask them to go back and circle the words that they think are difficult to spell. The teacher then discusses these words with them and tries to establish why they think they are difficult to spell. Assessing and spelling
It is common for learners who have trouble in spelling in an additional language to

have difficulties in spelling in their home language. Find out from the other teachers if this is indeed the case and keep this in mind when assessing such learners' work. These learners should be given extra spelling instruction.
It is a very good idea to make a list of the words that your learners spell wrongly while you are correcting their work. After a month or so see whether you can group these words together. Are there certain sounds that they spell incorrectly? Are there words that they confuse (e.g. desert, dessert)? Pay specific attention to problem areas.
Ask yourself the following question: Are my learners aware of their spelling problems? If they are writing about something, you may, for example, ask them to underline those words which they are not sure how to spell. You can then ask them to go and check their spelling in the dictionary. This activity should tell you a lot about the learners' spelling ability and need for guidance. Learners who underline a lot of words are clearly unsure about spelling and require extra exercises and help. Using dictionaries in teaching spelling
When writing, learners often have difficulty in spelling certain words. You should avoid interrupting the writing process and therefore should not try to teach them spelling rules at this point. Encourage learners to look up difficult words in the dictionary. In this way they will learn to solve spelling problems on their own and the writing process will be interrupted as little as possible. The ability to use a dictionary is a very important skill they need to acquire, and that also helps them ``fix'' the correct spelling of words Ð therefore give your learners full access to the dictionary.
In the following section, I shall give you a few ideas on how to use the dictionary.

You should actively teach learners how to use the dictionary (especially the explanatory dictionary). This means that learners must given the opportunity to look up words in the dictionary and that you should explain that the dictionary contains information on the following:

the spelling of words the pronunciation of words how words are divided into syllables the meaning of words the different forms a word can take in a sentence how words are formed by using


prefixes and suffixes compounds abbreviations declensions the plural of words the stem of words figures of speech synonyms and antonyms the origins of words

The following are some activities that you can do with learners in the course of the year to accustom them to using the dictionary.
. Alphabetical order: Give the learners a word to look up as quickly as possible in the dictionary. You can make it more fun by having the girls compete against the boys, or different rows or groups compete against each other.
. Photocopy a page out of a dictionary and ask the learners to circle all the adjectives, underline all the verbs, mark the nouns in red and put a star next to the adverbs.
Before they will be able to do this, you will have to explain what the abbreviations behind every word mean.
. Use a dictionary to show the learners that one word may have different meanings depending on its context. Help them to choose the right word for a particular context. Teach them that a word may have both a lexical and linguistic context.
The linguistic context determines whether the word is functioning as a verb, noun, adjective or adverb and therefore its meaning. A word's lexical context depends on the other words and sentences in the text.
. Help learners identify the catchwords, homonyms (words that look the same with different meanings), declensions, derivations and compounds, stress or accent, pronunciation, style (e.g. archaic, formal, slang), abbreviations, et cetera in the dictionary. When teaching an additional language, the dictionary should be used to look up the word in the additional language and the meaning of the word or to look up the word in the home language and find the word's equivalent in the additional language.

Journal entry 9d

Summarise the section on Teaching spelling in



Consider the following questions:

Should one actively teach vocabulary?
Should one teach vocabulary every day?
What kind of vocabulary should one teach?
How should one teach vocabulary?

There is quite a lot of debate on, and different opinions about, the issue of vocabulary extension. 211

Journal entry 9e
Read through the following teachers' opinions on vocabulary extension. In your journal, write down the opinions with which you agree and explain briefly why you agree with them.
Give reasons why you do not agree with the other opinions.
I don't teach vocabulary, because
I don't know how to or what words to teach.

I encourage learners to use dictionaries.

I teach new words in every class and give learners long lists of new vocabulary to learn.

I spend a lot of time of extending vocabulary by means of word building
(eg compounds, the use of affixes, etc) and by exploring the relationships between words (eg synonyms and antonyms). I teach vocabulary in context and make the most of new words in texts to extend the learners' vocabulary. I let the learners guess the meaning of words they don't know. Figure 9.4
Teachers opinions on vocabulary extension

Possible responses to the above opinions.

1 I don't teach vocabulary, because I don't know how to or what words to teach.
Although teaching vocabulary is not the only key to using language successfully, it is essential to teach vocabulary actively. In the case of learners of an additional language, vocabulary is especially important. Even if the learner has the recipe (the language structure) without the ingredients (vocabulary), he or she won't be able to cook anything!
The teacher therefore needs to create a balance between language structure and vocabulary.
It is easy to become bored with learning vocabulary. Think of interesting ways in which to extend vocabulary. Learners enjoy cross word puzzles, quizzes and competitions. The best thing to do is to integrate vocabulary with the rest of the lesson and to teach new words as they come up in the work the learners are doing.
On the question of the words that learners should be learning, keep the following recommendations made by Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997:187) in mind:
Relevant factors in learning new vocabulary are:

how frequently the word occurs whether the word relates to a concept or a group of concepts the learners already have how important it is for the learners to understand and use the word and whether they have a real need to use a word in order to communicate or understand communication Words that fall into these categories are most easily learned.

2 I teach new words in every lesson and give learners long lists of new vocabulary to learn.
Research has shown that learners must come across a new word several times before it becomes part of their vocabulary and they will use it themselves. Therefore one does not achieve much by introducing new words every day Ð one probably simply overwhelms them like this!
In the real world, one does not learn new words from a long alphabetical list. One learns new vocabulary by reading, talking to people or using new words in a specific writing exercise. Long lists of vocabulary put learners off Ð they are artificial and seem unrelated to real language usage. Words mean different things in different contexts, and these meanings cannot be conveyed in vocabulary lists. New words must be dealt with in context. If you are busy with a specific theme, you can give the learners a list of words related to that theme and ask them to use at least five of these words in a writing exercise on that theme. Obviously, there may also be a disadvantage to this approach. What do you suppose it is?
Yes, you're right! The message that the learner is trying to convey in the writing task may be lost if it becomes more important for him or her to use the five words than to put across the actual message.
3 I teach vocabulary in context and make the most of new words in texts to extend the learners' vocabulary.
I have already discussed ``context''. The learner can understand the true meaning of a word only if it is given in context. The most practical way in which to extend vocabulary is therefore to use vocabulary in a specific text. One must, however, be careful not to consider the vocabulary to be more important than the text as a whole.

One of the best times to extend vocabulary is when teaching reading. It is advisable to teach the new words before the learners actually come across the words in the text.
4 I let the learners guess the meaning of words they don't know.
It is often possible to derive the meaning of a word from its context and learners should be encouraged to do so Ð before they go to look up the meaning of the word in the dictionary. You can make a game of this: let them first guess the meaning of the word and then ask them to go and look up its meaning up in the dictionary to see whether they were right.
5 I encourage learners to use dictionaries.
The dictionary is critical element of any language class. By training learners to use the dictionary, you are developing their independence and establishing the habit of looking up new words. If one uses the correct dictionary, learners will also get information on when, where and how a particular word should be used.
6 I spend a lot of time of extending vocabulary by means of word building (e.g. compounds, the use of affixes, etc) and by exploring the relationships between words (e.g. synonyms and antonyms).
Knowing how words are formed can help learners to work out the meaning of new words. If, for example, learners know that the prefix ``thermo-'' means heat, the chances are good that they will be able to work out the meaning of words like thermoplastics, thermotherapy and thermodynamics from the context of the text.
The same applies to the relationships between words. Some learners find it easier to learn a word if they can associate it with another word (an antonym or synonym).

Making mistakes is an unavoidable and essential part of learning any language Ð whether it is a home language or an additional language. It is only by making mistakes and hearing the correct form that learners can develop an understanding of how language functions. It is therefore important for learners to get as many opportunities possible to produce language and use it creatively rather than simply repeating it after the teacher. The more opportunities learners get, the more mistakes they will make Ð therefore the teacher must think very carefully about how to respond to mistakes.
The internalisation (i.e. to make something one's own, to understand it and to use it) of a new language structure takes time. Therefore teachers cannot expect that correcting mistakes will yield immediate results. Even learners on an advanced level make mistakes. Correcting learners constantly will not produce learners who don't make mistakes. Truth be told, placing too much emphasis on correcting errors may be counter-productive because it will discourage learners from using the language and experimenting with new language structures and vocabulary. However, the fact of the matter is that mistakes cannot be ignored Ð they must be pointed out to learners.
The secret is to limit corrections to a few at a time and to decide when it is appropriate to point them out and when it is not.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------You can sometimes correct mistakes subtly by doing, for example, the following:
Learner: ``Ma'am, yesterday we took our hond to the veearts.''
Teacher: ``Oh, why did you take your dog to the vet yesterday?''
By doing this, you are acknowledging the message conveyed and correcting the language usage at the same time.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Remember the following when pointing out mistakes:
. If you interrupt speakers to correct them, they will soon become too afraid to talk.
. Point out only a few mistakes at a time Ð no-one likes to get back work that looks like a bloodbath. Try to mark with a pencil.
. If everyone in your class has the same home language, they will probably all make the same type of mistakes. You can then play the ``mistake-of-the-week'' game with them. Choose a mistake that most of them make and then explain it to them, putting the correct version on the board or on a special place on the classroom wall. The learners must then try not to make that mistake the next week. A game like this makes them aware of a specific error and encourages them to avoid making it (Littlejohn & Hicks 2003).
. You can discuss mistakes you have come across at the end of the lesson without dwelling on who made them.

Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997:78) summarise the latest trends in teaching language structure and use as follows:
Clearly the teacher can no longer grab just any structure, make a few disjointed sentences to demonstrate its ``working'' and give similar sentences for homework. The lesson on a specific grammatical point must be a tight unit of functional language use in a realistic setting to which the teacher should adhere when providing additional examples or material.

Now turn back to the outcomes for this study unit and ask yourself whether you have achieved them. Test yourself by answering the following questions without paging back:

Give an example of how language structure and use may be used in an authentic situation.
Discuss at least two ways in which teachers can go about making language structures interesting for learners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Demonstrate two methods of learning spelling, which learners can use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Choose four aspects of dictionary usage to which you could draw your learners' attention and explain how you would go about doing this. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


What advice would you give an inexperienced colleague on teaching vocabulary? . . . . . . . .
How would you apply the whole language approach in your class? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

An understanding and knowledge of language structures are key factors in effective communication. Although in terms of the communicative approach, meaning is regarded as more important than form, this does not mean that language structures need not be taught. Language structures should not be taught as isolated rules and the communicative objective must always be taken into account.



Planning a language teaching programme Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to

do long-term planning and short-term planning plan activity lesson prepare activity lesson formulate learning outcomes

Successful teaching is mostly the result of thorough and effective planning and preparation on the part of the teacher. The teacher is responsible for organising teaching events in such a way that learning is promoted.
Planning and preparation ensure that the learning content is arranged and presented logically. Remember, it is more often the approach to teaching and learning that ensures that successful learning takes place, rather than the learning content itself!
Even when confronted with a boring subject, a resourceful teacher can present an exciting lesson.
I want to challenge you. We often think we are teaching correctly, but do not achieve the results we had hoped for. Test your effectiveness as a teacher by doing the following: . Work out a simple lesson plan on how to teach someone to fold a serviette (or just a piece of paper) in a specific way.
. Ask members of your family or your friends to act as your learners.
. Follow your lesson plan carefully and teach your ``learners'' how to fold a serviette or piece of paper.
. Put away the example after the first attempt and see whether your ``learners'' are able to fold a new serviette or piece of paper as they were taught.
. Ask your ``learners'' what they thought of your presentation and what they think could be improved.
Although this is a very simple exercise, it is an important one; these types of exercises show us that we do not explain or demonstrate as well as we think we do. Learners need far more repetition and practice than we think. When preparing your lesson, always think about the serviette-folding lesson.

I am a firm believer Ð as are many other educationists Ð that a systematic approach to planning and preparation is an important way of ensuring that effective teaching takes place. Planning decisions should be logical and should follow a certain order. You should, for example, first decide on the learning outcomes the learners have to achieve before you decide on the activities, tasks, teaching methods and assessment procedures.
Please note that there is a difference between planning and preparation Ð they are not the same.
. Planning involves selecting the critical and learning outcomes; choosing a theme; identifying assessment standards, activities and tasks that must be completed; deciding how the class will be organised (e.g. working individually, in groups or pairs, explanation by the teacher), determining the resources and time that will be required for each activity; and deciding how assessment will be done.
. Preparation, in contrast, is a result of planning and is more practical. Preparation has to do with the application of the planning process and involves organising the learning material, preparing media (e.g. making transparencies), compiling worksheets, making tape recordings for listening exercises and formulating questions based on the recorded piece, duplicating suitable visual material for each learner, et cetera.

You may well ask why planning is necessary. Teachers plan for different reasons. They plan in order to organise the teaching events, to become acquainted with the learning material and to ensure that the teaching process is interactive. Planning also helps teachers to anticipate and prevent possible problems. It is also essential that teachers plan the time available.

For teaching to be successful, all planning Ð long-term planning (macro) and shortterm planning (micro) Ð should be done in advance.
Long-term planning can be done in advance for a term or a year. Term planning is probably the most practical as the school programme is often interrupted by unforeseen circumstances.
Factors that should be taken into consideration when doing long-term planning include . critical outcomes, learning outcomes and assessment standards as well as the time period within which the work must be completed
. the level of difficulty of the assessment standards (Should more time be made available for certain assessment standards than for others?)
. how continuous assessment (CASS) will be implemented and how much time should be allowed for assessment activities
. administrative matters and the availability of facilities such as apparatus, films, magazines and the library
. the duration of each lesson

Each school has its own way of planning, so I will only give you some broad guidelines; these should help you to adapt to your future school's way of planning.
Please note, however, that all outcomes-based planning must be done in collaboration with the language teachers responsible for teaching the same grade.
. At the beginning of the year, you should determine approximately how many periods/teaching hours are available in each term in which to complete the work set out in the National Curriculum Statement (school holidays and examination periods should be deducted).
. After you have determined the approximate number of periods available in the term, decide on the themes to be used during that term. Also decide on the critical outcomes and the learning outcomes that the learners will strive to achieve, and the assessment standards that must be reached. Each theme is dealt with in a number of lesson units.
. Now decide on the activities and tasks you wish to include so that the assessment standards are reached as effectively as possible.
. The next step is the planning of the assessment procedures.
The following is an extract from a term plan and it shows how you can plan for a number of lesson units (some schools refer to lesson units as modules).
Table 10.1
An example of unit planning
UNIT PLANNING: 3 March Ð 4 April 2003 (5 weeks)
English home language
Recreation and relaxation
Critical outcomes

Learning outcomes

Assessment standards

1 The ability to collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information



Listens carefully for specific main ideas and responds appropriately

2 The ability to communicate effectively by using different forms of visual, symbolic and language skills



Demonstrates a range of basic interactive skills by participating actively in group discussions, discussions, debates and investigations: asks appropriate questions, shows genuine interest

3 The ability to work effectively with others as member of a team, group, organisation or community LO3

Reading and viewing Reads aloud and silently for a variety of purposes by using appropriate reading strategies (scanning)
Discusses the aim, target groups and context of texts
Explains how the key features and structure of texts contribute to the functioning of the texts


Critical outcomes

Learning outcomes

Assessment standards



Uses the writing process independently and with others to generate texts


Language structure and use

Works with words (uses the dictionary) Works with sentences (identifies and uses adjectives)


Class organisation

Sources and resources

5 weeks Ð 6 6 40 minutes teaching time per week

Switch between working in groups and pairs to individual activities and direct teaching by the teacher

The Star: 24/3/2003 p 4: article on Aventura holiday resorts
Brochures on holiday resorts
Advertisements from magazines/ newspapers Radio: Highveld 94.7 Ð Eco tour
Announcements Ð airport
How English works Ð Michael
Tape recorder, activity book, worksheet
City Johannesburg Ð Wally Serote

Teacher assessment Ð use form provided
Teacher observation
Teacher assessment (marks questions Ð memorandum)
Peers assessment




Recreation and relaxation


Learning outcomes
Listening; speaking
Listening; writing
Listening; speaking



Reading; writing
Language structure and use

(21/3 = Human
Rights Day)

Listening; speaking
Writing (creative)


Number of periods


Class discussion: places learners would like to visit
Listen to advertisement about Eco tour, answer questions in writing
Role play Ð enquire about above-mentioned tour Photographs of tourist attractions Ð link headings to photos
Scan for information on holiday resorts in
Distinguish between facts and opinions in extracts Sources: articles, advertisements, travel brochures, Eco advertisement on tape


Observation by teacher

Read articles, advertisements, maps, travel brochures etc. and compile an itinerary for a tour group Ð individual
Identify persuasive language in advertisements
Design an advertisement that will persuade people to go on this tour Ð use persuasive language Ð group work
Sources: worksheets, airport announcements on tape
Listen to announcements at airport, discuss style and register. Complete worksheet
Write a post card from holiday resort Ð for portfolio Poem: City Johannesburg Ð Wally Serote et cetera et cetera


2 plus homework
2 plus homework

Group assessment Ð rubric Peer assessment
assessment Ð rubric 1 plus homework

Teacher assessment Ð rubric Portfolio


Assessment planning
Learning Area: Languages
Language: English Home Language
Grade: 9 a Methods


Recreation and relaxation Self-assessment


Peer assessment


Group assessment






Skills table





Assessment of performance






Listening guide
Assessment table




Tape recording/reading


Assessment task
Observation sheet









Role play/drama






Recreation and relaxation Fashion



Panel discussion


Flow diagram
Design a game
Micro-planning, or planning for a specific lesson, is based on term planning or unit planning. When, for example, you plan to discuss a poem according to Combrink's integration model and you decide on activities for each phase, you are busy doing micro-planning. It is important that you decide before each lesson what the learners should learn and how they should learn it. You must, therefore, decide before the lesson what the learners should know and what they should be able to do at the end of a lesson, what the content will be, which procedures will be followed, how much time will be allowed for the activities and how the learners will be assessed.
Schools usually prescribe a specific lesson planning form. The following is an example of such a form (adapted from Pachler & Field 1997:349).
Table 10.2
An example of a lesson planning form
Lesson plan
Leaning area:




Learning outcomes
Lesson outcomes (what the learners should be able to do at the end of the lesson)

Sources and resources (media)

Activities and methods

Learner activities

Teacher activities/ methods Introduction:
Assessment table:

Homework assignment

Rosenshine and Stevens (in Cole & Chan 1994:100) and Hunter and Russel (in
Armstrong et al 1990:270) maintain that a teacher doing micro-planning (lesson planning) should plan to
. start the lesson with a brief overview of the content already taught, create an expectancy in the learners about the new content and explain the conditions that apply in a specific lesson
. give a short explanation of the lesson outcomes that learners are expected to achieve, so that learners know exactly what is expected of them
. present new content in small bites to give learners regular opportunities to practise their skills and to apply their knowledge
. give clear and detailed instructions, demonstrations and explanations
. give all learners the opportunity to become actively involved in learning events
. assess continuously during teaching (e.g. by regularly asking critical questions and by giving instructions) to check whether learners acquire and understand the information they need to achieve the lesson outcomes; it is preferable to get feedback from all learners
. guide (help) learners to apply knowledge, particularly during the first phase of any task, and to check whether they apply this knowledge correctly
. present feedback systematically and clear any misconceptions immediately

A number of different authors have compiled guidelines for the presentation of lessons

and many of these guidelines are similar. Most of these authors emphasise the importance of learners being given the opportunity to apply new knowledge and skills
Ð preferably independently and in new situations.
Lesson presentation is part of every teacher's daily task and should be seen as the most important aspect of teaching practice. Didactic theory and teaching practice are combined during lesson presentation Ð the lesson can thus be regarded as the link between theory and practice.
Because we generally learn more from practical experience, I suggest that you ask yourself the following questions:
. Have I arranged the desks in my classroom in such a way that I have the best possible contact with my learners?
. Does my tone of voice encourage learners to ask questions?
. Do I sound as though I want to teach the learners something or do I sound as though I want to help them to function properly in life?
. Do I present my lesson in such a way that the learners can clearly see the practical benefits of the knowledge and skills I teach?
These aspects will all contribute to successful teaching. But there is another aspect we need to keep in mind. Teaching cannot be done in a haphazard way Ð the teacher must ensure that teaching is done in a logical and systematic way.
The following aspects should be kept in mind during the presentation of lessons
(adopted from Meij, Kuhn & Snyman [1985:1±5]).

10.5.1 Critical outcomes, learning outcomes, assessment standards and themes Critical outcomes, learning outcomes, assessment standards and themes should be the starting point in the planning of any lesson.

10.5.2 Selection of content based on assessment standards
The teacher selects the essence of that which will be presented. If a teacher plans to use a text for reading, he or she must decide which revision exercises, reading skills, et cetera should take place. If he or she wishes to discuss a poem, he or she should determine the meaning of the poem as well as the poetic devices that are present in the specific poem.

10.5.3 Formulating outcomes
Because learning outcomes are very broad and can only be achieved in the long term, it is not good enough to only set learning outcomes for lessons. We also need to formulate specific lesson outcomes (lesson outcomes were previously called aims).
Lesson outcomes refer to the goals which should be reached within a specific lesson. It is very important that each lesson should have carefully formulated outcomes so that the teacher and learners know exactly what should be achieved in the lesson. Lesson outcomes are very specific and indicate what the learners need to be able to do at the

end of a lesson. The formulation should be clear, specific and unambiguous. The lesson outcomes should also contain action words (verbs) or measurable activities (the teacher and learners need to know exactly what must be achieved).
Here are some examples of lesson outcomes:
. At the end of the lesson, learners must be able to distinguish between facts and opinions. . At the end of the lesson, learners should be able to express the theme of the story.
They should also be able to give reasons for their answers.
. At the end of the lesson, learners should be able to use 10 new words in sentences.
Lesson outcomes should be assessable, that is, the teacher must be able to determine whether learners have achieved the lesson outcomes.
Lesson outcomes should preferably be formulated so that learners are required to achieve different cognitive skills (e.g. comprehension, application, evaluation).
Here are some examples of lesson outcomes based on some cognitive skills:
At the end of this lesson, learners should be able to

name the different rhyme schemes (knowledge) deduce the meaning of new words from the reading text (comprehension) use new words in sentences to explain their meanings (application) present the main idea of each paragraph in a sentence (analysis) use the various main ideas to compile a summary of the text (synthesis) compare the author's point of view with their own and decide whether or not they agree with the author (evaluation)

10.5.4 Phases in the presentation of lessons
The following phases indicate the course of a lesson in the classroom. Although we should always adapt to circumstances and be as creative as possible, a basic lesson structure is usually evident: an introductory phase, a central or middle phase and a conclusion. The introductory phase of a lesson
The way the teacher begins the lesson usually determines whether the learners pay attention or lose interest. It is thus essential that the teacher gains the learners' attention in the first couple of minutes and explains what is expected of them.
Teachers should, therefore, try to think of ways to make their lessons as interesting as possible. Learners' prior knowledge (of the content) should be taken into account and learners should be involved in the learning material by doing activities which interest them. If the lesson can be linked with a previous lesson, the teacher should try to determine what the learners still remember from that lesson. The teacher should try to link the new learning material with the learners' prior knowledge or experience.
When you start planning a lesson, it is a good idea to make a list of the possible ways a specific lesson could be presented Ð make the list as complete as possible. Then try

to think of interesting and original ways to present the lesson Ð prepare your lesson with these ideas in mind. Remember, those ideas that worked 10 years ago will not necessarily work today. South Africa has changed enormously and we must take this into consideration when we plan our lessons. Although we still follow certain basic educational principles, our presentation should be new and stimulating.
When, during the introductory phase of the lesson, the teacher checks the previous day's homework, he or she will be able to determine how much the learners are able to remember. If the teacher detects gaps in the learners' knowledge, he or she could revise the previous day's lesson.
A teacher should always ask himself or herself the following questions when planning the introductory phase of a lesson:
. How can I determine, in the introductory phase of my lesson, what the learners know about the new learning content?
. When I start my lesson, how can I link the learning content to the learners' experiences? . How can I use the introduction to build a bridge between the learners' prior knowledge and the new learning content?
. How can I stimulate the learners' interest in the new learning material and how can I motivate them?
. What is the best way to help learners understand the expected outcomes Ð in a direct way or by implication or suggestion Ð so that they will want to achieve the outcomes? Research has shown that learners study better when faced with a problem. The teacher can create such a problem by converting the outcomes into questions. During a skim reading lesson, the teacher may create the following scenario: You have been wrongly detained by the police. You have received a thick pile of documents containing the so-called charges against you. You know that these charges are not true, but you can not defend yourself until you know exactly what these charges entail. How will you quickly ascertain what these documents contain before you are locked up? Middle phase: presentation of the learning material
This phase represents the biggest part of the lesson and it is here that the learning material is presented in a logical and systematic fashion.
If the teacher realises that the learners do not understand the material, he or she must change direction immediately Ð there is no point in continuing as planned. The teacher must either change the method of presentation or repeat the previous lesson.
A wide variety of methods and media may be used. Formative assessment (continuous assessment) should be done.
It is important that teachers provide learners with continuous feedback on their progress. During this phase, the teacher should implement everything he or she knows about teaching in order to present a successful lesson Ð learners need to learn something. To achieve this, teachers need to keep the following in mind:
. effective questioning


active learner participation working in groups, pairs or individually feedback facilitation and direct explanations when necessary exercising control participating actively in interesting activities maintaining the correct tempo using markers (e.g. ``listen carefully to the following explanation'', ``write this down'', ``pay attention to the following steps'', ``in contrast'')
. using appropriate examples and effective media
. using effective methods of presentation
. using humour
When presenting new learning content, teachers should use the most appropriate methods, teaching media, explanations, demonstrations and questions.
To prevent a class from becoming totally unruly, the teacher must know exactly what he or she wants to achieve, how much time is available for the activities, what the learners must do and how they can be motivated.
It is important to keep learners busy; they must apply new insights and knowledge as soon as they acquire them. As soon as the teacher has explained the meaning of new words, for example, the learners must be given the opportunity to use those words meaningfully in sentences. It is sometimes necessary that teachers stand back and allow the learners to find the answers themselves, but at other times, they may be required to give more explicit explanations. Conclusion of the lesson
The conclusion of the lesson should, like the introduction and middle phase, also be planned in detail. The conclusion may not consist of a few quick words intended to bring the lesson to a close. Curzon (1990:245) maintains that a conclusion should consist of the following:
A conclusion provides a final opportunity of ensuring consolidation (i.e. strengthening of what has been taught), assimilation and retention and ought to include a revision (perhaps in the form of question and answer), a summary of which can be presented visually. A link with the next lesson in the overall scheme of work can be provided, for example, by the setting of homework which should be seen as a preparation for that lesson, or by the announcement of the next lesson's title.

It is necessary, in the last phase of the lesson, to consolidate and revise. Although there are different ways to do this (e.g. through questions, worksheets, an oral summary, summary or transparency), the most important points in the lesson should be briefly repeated. Assessment plays a very important role in the conclusion of a lesson, for the following reasons:
. It provides the teacher with the necessary feedback on what the learners have achieved and what learning material should be presented next. Assessment enables the teacher to determine whether the learners have achieved the outcomes.
. Assessment provides learners with the necessary feedback so that they can determine their successes and failures.

. It helps the teacher to understand learners, their abilities and their needs.
. Assessment encourages and motivates learners. Learners may be tested orally to determine whether they understand the broad outlines of the lesson. The teacher is able to establish if any part of the lesson was unclear and, if so, to rectify it immediately. An important part of assessment is that learners must get the opportunity to assess themselves. Learners should, for example, be allowed to compare their progress with that of other learners. By providing learners with the learning outcomes beforehand, learners are able to establish if they have achieved the learning outcomes. Give learners a short assessment questionnaire and ask them to tick off each outcome as they achieve it.
Assessment may be done orally or in writing; alternatively, the teacher could give the learners a homework assignment that has to be completed and that will be marked the following day. Be selective in the homework assignments you give learners. Always ask yourself if it is necessary that learners complete the assignment at home. Also ensure that the homework assignments have clear lesson outcomes.
Homework assignments are usually divided into three categories, namely preparatory assignments, extensions of classroom activities, and practice and drilling exercises.
Teachers should always give clear instructions when asking learners to complete preparatory exercises Ð they should also tell learners why it is important to do the exercises. Homework assignments are ideal for reinforcing existing knowledge. Homework should consist of activities that learners can complete on their own. The activities should be logical extensions of work done in the classroom and should also allow learners to apply the knowledge learned in class to new situations. Teachers should not set too many practice exercises for homework. Practising the same skill over and over becomes boring Ð particularly for the intelligent learners who generally master the task very quickly. The ideal homework assignment should comprise three types of homework. Reflection after the lesson
Each teacher should assess himself or herself after completing a lesson. Assess yourself by asking the following questions:

How do I feel about the lesson Ð satisfied or dissatisfied? Why?
What contributed to the success or failure of the lesson?
What will I change if I have to present this lesson again?
Which of the lesson outcomes did the learners achieve?
Which of the lesson outcomes did the learners not achieve?
What was the atmosphere like in class Ð tense, relaxed, supportive or restrictive?
Were there any signs of tension or bad behaviour? Why?
How much did the learners participate? How can I improve this?
Which learners performed well and which did not? How can this be addressed?
Were there any learners who did not learn anything? What can I do to help them?
Were the learners motivated? If not, what should I have done to motivate them?
Did the learners express their opinions? If not, what can I do to ensure that they do in future?

I hope that you now have the knowledge and skills you need to do macro-planning and micro-planning.
If you are able to answer the following questions, you have mastered this study unit:

1 Why is thorough planning necessary? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 What is the starting point of all planning? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3 Name the three phases of a lesson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4 What is the purpose of homework assignments? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Each province and school has its own policy for planning; your planning (macroplanning and micro-planning) will thus need to be in accordance with these policies.
But by keeping the guidelines given in this study unit in mind, you will be able to do any planning.


Assessment in language teaching In this last study unit, I will discuss the new methods of assessment that are used in outcomes-based education and the communicative approach to language teaching.

Learning outcomes
Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to

assess learners' prior knowledge assess learners' progress identify problems experienced by learners identify the outcomes that learners have achieved assess learners' reading, speaking, writing and listening skills in the language . effectively implement continuous assessment

As you work through this study unit, you will understand what assessment is and that assessment forms an integral part of the learning process. You will also realise that assessment ought to planned well in advance and that it must be implemented on a continuous basis. You will also be introduced to a variety of assessment methods. Journal entry 11a

Why do teachers assess? Write down in your journal the numbers of all the statements you agree with.


The Department or Principal expects them to do assessment.
They want to establish whether or not learners have achieved the outcomes.
They want to determine which learners need more assistance.
They want to ascertain whether learners can be promoted to the next grade.
They want to ensure that learners study the learning content.
They want to know if learners have benefited from their teaching.
They want to establish what it is that learners find difficult.

By completing the following table, you will be able to evaluate what you think of the important aspects of language teaching. Take note: please write your personal comments on each of these points in the last column of the table in your journal and not in the study guide. It is not necessary to copy the entire table into your journal Ð write down only the number of the statement and your personal comments.





Personal comments (2.1) The quality of learners' learning is linked directly, although not exclusively, to the quality of teaching. One of the best ways to improve learning is to improve teaching.
(2.2) To become more effective, teachers should state the learning outcomes clearly and develop assessment strategies which provide specific and comprehensive feedback on the extent to which the outcomes have been achieved. (2.3) To improve their learning, learners should receive regular, timeous, appropriate and focused feedback. They should also be taught how to assess their own learning.
(2.4) The aim with assessment is to allocate a final mark to each learner.
(2.5) The aim with assessment is to indicate learners' progress.
(2.6) The active involvement of learners in classroom assessment strategies enhances their learning and personal satisfaction.
(2.7) Learners regard assessment as an important source of motivation.


Do you think there is a difference between assessment and the allocation of marks? If so, which form of evaluation is most beneficial to learners? Give reasons for your answer. I hope you understand that all of the statements in the above table are positive and correct. 11.1

To refresh your memory about the differences between the old content-based approach and the new outcomes-based approach, please page back to section 1.3.2. I am sure you agree that assessment also needs to change in order to suit the outcomesbased approach.
Which column in the following table is relevant to the communicative and outcomesbased approaches to language teaching?


Table 11.1
Assessment in language teaching
Column A

Column B

There is an emphasis on the assessment of content.

There is an emphasis on the achievement of demonstrated (visible and audible) outcomes.

It is important to test knowledge of language rules.

The practical application of language in speaking, reading, writing and listening situations is tested.

Assessment occurs at the end of a month or term by means of a test or examination.

Assessment takes place on a continuous basis as it forms an integral part of the teaching process.

Assessment enables teachers to provide parents with feedback on their children's progress.

Assessment serves as an indication to teachers and learners that outcomes have been achieved and that new learning content can be introduced.

Assessment enables teachers to ascertain which learners are intelligent and which are not.

Assessment enables teachers to establish what it is that learners find difficult.

I hope you agree that column B is much more in line with the present outcomes-based approach! 11.2 WHAT IS ASSESSMENT?
Critically consider the following questions:
(1) What does assessment in language teaching involve?
(2) What is the difference between assessment and evaluation?
(3) Evaluation in the old content-based approach consisted of written tests and examinations.
What other forms (methods) of assessment would be better suited to the outcomes-based and communicative approaches to language teaching?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Assessment consists of a task or a series of tasks that are set by the teacher to learn more about a learner's knowledge, skills and attitudes; this information will help the teacher to decide whether the learner has satisfactorily achieved all the set outcomes.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------This information is then evaluated (value is attached) and decisions based on the information are then made (e.g. that the learner may not be promoted to the next grade, that the learner has not achieved a certain outcome satisfactorily and thus has to do some additional work, or that the teacher has not got through to the learner).
Assessment is a continuous and planned process. It is essential to record all assessment results and learners should receive detailed feedback on their achievements. A mark of
62 percent does not usually mean very much, because it does not really show the learners what sections they are struggling with. Assessment must involve constructive, written feedback to learners. A remark such as ``You are capable of more'' is not constructive Ð it does not indicate the areas the learner needs to improve on or how he or she could improve his or her performance.

Assessment includes measurement and evaluation. Measurement provides teachers with the essential information they need to make informed decisions in the future. A spelling test to determine the number of new words a learner has learned is an example of measurement. The teacher can then determine whether a specific learner achieved what was expected of him or her or achieved more than was expected of him or her, whether he or she achieved the set outcomes, and what he or she achieved in comparison with the rest of the class Ð the teacher thus evaluates the learner's achievements. Evaluation can also be done to determine the quality of a programme, system or activity. A teacher can, for example, use the information gathered through assessment to evaluate his or her teaching methods Ð a teacher should do this to improve the quality of his or her teaching. Evaluation can also be done to determine the quality of a programme, system or activity. A teacher can, for example, use the information gathered through assessment to evaluate his or her teaching methods Ð a teacher should do this to improve the quality of his or her teaching.
Look carefully at the report below which gives feedback to a learner about his English performance: 234



Figure 11.1
Example of a report


What are the ``variety of skills'' referred to under the heading ``Creative writing''?
According to the report, which activities were assessed?
How do you know that assessment was not based only on written tests and examinations?
Using the report as a guideline, explain the difference between assessment and evaluation.

Do you agree that the ``variety of skills'' referred to above include the ability to plan and to write, revise and finalise the written document? It is interesting to note that dramatising skills, oral presentations and research skills were assessed. It is also clear that learners were expected to write tests. The marks they achieved in these tests were combined with the marks for research, written work, oral presentations and dramatisation in order to determine a final mark for the third term. These marks were combined with those from the examination and the previous terms in order to determine the final promotion mark.
The report clearly shows that assessment can be done in a variety of ways. Although tests and examinations are important forms of assessment, they are not the only ways to assess; rather, portfolios, self-assessment and peer assessment, projects, worksheets, questionnaires, interviews, observations and assignments Ð to name but a few Ð should also be used.
The key word in outcomes-based assessment is demonstration. The learner will demonstrate in one or another way (e.g. through a portfolio, interview, test or assignment) that he or she possesses the required knowledge, ability and competence.
Teachers must inform learners of the criteria that they intend using during the assessment process. When functional writing is assessed, for example, learners must have prior knowledge that marks will be awarded for the format of the piece, for logical reasoning, the use of formal language, et cetera. When a project is assessed, for example, learners should have prior knowledge that marks will be awarded for research, layout, media, logical flow, language usage and bibliographic references.
Transparency is the key word Ð learners must know how, when and where they will be assessed; they must also know what criteria will be used to assess them.

I have already mentioned that evaluation entails a value judgement; it does not always have to be based on measurement. We make informal ``value'' judgements about individual learners on a daily basis, for example: ``Thabo is not working properly this morning'' or ``Susan's work has improved in recent weeks''. It is not wrong to make intuitive evaluations; rather, informal observations in the classroom have great value and should be regularly recorded on learners' personal charts.
Remember, though, that such remarks should focus on a learner's behaviour and the consequences thereof rather than on the person. Compare the following two comments: ``Sipho's displays restless behaviour in class and this keeps him and other learners from learning effectively'' and ``Sipho is a disturbance'' (Gauteng
Department of Education 2001:146).
Teachers use four main types of assessment, namely, baseline, formative, diagnostic and summative assessment. This means that they have to make certain decisions regarding assessment before, during and after teaching.


Look at the following table compiled by McMillan (2001:6):
Table 11.2
Baseline Ð formative and summative assessment

Using the National Curriculum Statement as a guide, explain what types of assessment you can identify in the table.


Assessment that is done before any teaching takes place, is known as baseline assessment and it aims to determine learners' prior knowledge and abilities. The information presented under the heading Assessment information in table 11.2 gives you an idea of how information can be collected for this purpose. In the language class, for example, you will try to determine the extent of the learners' vocabulary, how well they are able to speak the language and how motivated they are to learn the language. Another example: before you can teach learners how to write a review, you will need to determine if they (a) read newspapers regularly and know what a review looks like or
(b) have no idea what a review is. The information you gather will determine, to a large extent, how you will present your lesson: in the first instance, you can build on the learners' prior knowledge, while in the second instance, you will have to fill the gap and provide the necessary knowledge. Baseline assessment is usually done by asking oral questions or by giving short tests or other written assignments.
Assessment that takes place during teaching Ð such as asking questions to determine whether learners follow and understand the work Ð is called formative assessment. As you can see from table 11.2, this is done using informal observation, that is, by listening to learners, being aware of the questions they ask and how they react to your questions. This information is then applied to enhance the teaching process while it is taking place.
Summative assessment takes place at the end of a cycle or learning unit and aims to document learners' achievement. This form of assessment is usually formal and is the same for all learners. It includes written tests, achievement-based tests, oral examinations, et cetera.

There has been a meaningful change in assessment and the tendency is now to assess higher order thinking, that is, to assess those thinking skills that learners will need in later life. The following table makes a distinction between lower order, middle order and higher-order thinking. Also look at the example of questions and possible activities. The verbs that are given may be used to ensure that the specific level of thinking is used.
Table 11.3
Assessing all levels of thinking
Level of thinking


Examples of questions Possible activities

Tell, list, describe, name, find, spell, memorise, order, define

How many characters ...?

List the most important events in the book.

Lower order
Ask learners to recall information. The focus is on the facts learners' have previously learned.

Who did ...?
Name the ...?
Where does it take place? Spell the word ``immediately''.
Where did the boy disappear to?


Memorise a poem.
Give synonyms for ...

Level of thinking


Examples of questions Explain, give examples, compare, translate, illustrate, apply, use, tell me about What are the differences between ...?

Possible activities

Middle order
Ask learners to show understanding and to apply their knowledge.

In your own words ...

What is the main idea?

Explain the reasons why
Thabo ran away.

Which word best fits this sentence? Tell the story in your own words.

Which word in the passage indicates that ...?
Higher order
Ask learners to
. analyse the information they have received
. generate new ideas
. judge or give their own views.

Distinguish, design, develop, predict, plan, assume, combine, summarise, judge, debate, justify, criticise

What will happen if ...?
Is there a better solution? If so, what is it?
Do you think it is a good idea to ...?
How will you feel if ...?
What is your opinion of ...?
Imagine you are Thabo.
What would ...?

Design an advertisement for ...
Conduct a debate about the free provision of
Aids medicine Ð yes or no? Explain why it is a good/ poor book.
Give five criteria for writing a review.

Assessment which only includes lower-order questions (which test knowledge) does not meet the requirements of outcomes-based assessment. You will be astonished to see how quickly learners adapt to answering higher-order questions. These types of questions encourage learners to make judgements, to give their views, to give reasons why they say certain things, to see relationships between things, to judge/evaluate, to find solutions to problems, to create new things and to make predictions. These types of skills are essential for everyday life and should receive specific attention in the classroom.
Learners can be stimulated to think on different levels. Show them a picture depicting a street in Johannesburg immediately after a robbery has taken place. Then ask the following questions (adapted from Martin & Miller 1999:14):
. Lower-order questions (check knowledge and test insight): What do you see in the picture? Where does this scene take place?
. Middle-order questions (application of knowledge): Name some other places that look like this? Why are there so many policemen in the picture?
. Higher-order questions: What would have happened if there were no policemen in this picture? What can be done to prevent situations like the one in the picture?
Would you like to live in a city like this or would you rather stay in the country?
Give a reason for your answer.
Apart from stimulating the various levels of thinking, questions like these can also provide information about a learner's language skills. The answer to the first question
(What do you see in the picture?) will, for example, provide a great deal of information about the learner's vocabulary (or lack thereof), while the answer to a questions such as
``What would have happened if there were no policemen?'' will provide information about the learner's ability to indicate the relation between cause and effect.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Learners must be taught to answer higher-order questions. They cannot be confronted with this type of question for the first time during assessment.


Journal entry 11b
Imagine that you want to discuss the following short story during a literature lesson. Set two questions aimed at lower-order thinking, three questions aimed at middle-order thinking and four questions aimed at higher-order thinking. Indicate why you regard each question as being aimed at a certain level of thinking.
A sad story by Sarie Combrink
He was a poor teacher. His suit was old and he only had one tie, but we loved and respected him. One day, rich Jano Smit brought his gold fountain pen to class. Everyone was duly impressed.
During break, he left the beautiful pen lying on his desk.
But by the end of the school day, the pen was missing. Jano wanted to go to the police.
Everyone starting searching: with pale faces, the teacher as well. There was hell to pay.
Later on Soppie Viljee winked at me. He was as pale as death. ``Will you keep quiet?, he stuttered, ``I know who took the pen.''
``I will. Who was it?''
We were shocked. Shame. We wanted to cry. What now? He will obviously try to return the pen, but how? We all watched each other.
As the bell rang, Soppie went to the teacher's table. ``Sir, the pen most probably rolled into the crack in the floor,'' he whispered. ``I'll bring my claw-hammer tomorrow morning, then we can lift the floor boards to have a look.''
When Soppie lifted the board the following morning, the pen was right there. Everyone could breathe more freely, our teacher too. But as he wrote that afternoon, the ugly old school pen fitted awkwardly into his hand. It was so sad.
Source: Transvaal Education Department. 1993. Standard 10: year-end examination.

Imagine that you are able to take a trip to a place you have never been to before. What would you do? Surely, you would ascertain where you were at that moment and then decide where you would like to go. You would then plan the route and determine how long the journey would take. You would keep the route in mind and check every now and then that you were still on the correct road. How would you know that you had reached your destination? You would look for sign boards and other information that would confirm that you had reached your destination.
Outcomes-based education follows a very similar process. You first decide what outcomes the learners need to achieve and then you establish at what level the learners

are (How far are they from reaching the outcomes?). You then plan a learning programme which will lead the learners step-by-step to the outcomes. Each step involves a learning activity which each learner must complete. You check (assess) each learner's progress while he or she is busy with the activity, thereby ensuring that each learner remains on the ``correct'' route. Learners need to know if they are on the right road or if they are heading in the wrong direction. You need to help them and guide them. Once a learner feels that he or she has reached his or her ``destination''
(outcome), you will need to find information that confirms it. You then assess the learner to determine what he or she can do with the language. This process, called continuous assessment, determines where the learner is, how must progress he or she has made and the extent to which he or she has reached the outcome.
The Gauteng Department of Education lists the following advantages of CASS
(continuous assessment):
. The learner is assessed using different and appropriate assessment methods Ð this will provide a more valid assessment of the learner's performance.
. Assessment will take place in authentic contexts, that is, the learner will be assessed in a context that is realistic and is integral to the learning process.
. A learner will receive immediate feedback once assessment has taken place, which will promote the formative role of assessment.
. Continuous assessment gives learners the chance to improve, which a once-off external examination does not.
. Internal assessment assesses a variety of skills which would otherwise not be considered for assessment purposes.
. Assessment is an on-going process; learners are thus compelled to work consistently which helps to reinstate the culture of teaching and learning.
. The educator who works closely with the learner will now judge (assess) the learner's performance.
Continuous assessment should be done in any well-planned lesson or series of lessons.
You could, for example, do baseline assessment at the beginning of a series of lesson, formative assessment after each main concept is discussed, diagnostic assessment when learners struggle with certain information and summative assessment at the end of a series of lessons. If you follow this cycle of assessment Ð before, during and after each main section of work Ð you will truly be doing continuous assessment.

Journal entry 11c
Imagine that you want to present a reading lessons on the short story A sad story. You also want to pay particular attention to language use and language structure by explaining how the adjective works. Explain how you would work through the cycle of assessment.

Continuous assessment also means that learners' homework should be formally assessed from time to time, and that their participation in the class, their answers to questions, their interaction with their friends, et cetera should also be assessed on a continuous basis.

Authentic assessment is that assessment that links to real-life contexts and situations

outside the school environment. Activities must be realistic. The idea is that teaching should equip learners to take their rightful place in a competitive society, that is, to learn how to be the best possible parent, worker, consumer, citizen, friend, employer, mediator, et cetera. If one of the aims of teaching is to prepare learners for these role, then it is logical that assessment should indicate whether the learners will, in fact, be able to fulfil these roles.
Authentic assessment means that teachers need to give learners tasks and problems that they are likely to encounter in real life. This is best done by placing learners in simulated situations and then requiring them to complete certain tasks. Authentic assessment usually requires learners to complete a task or to produce something concrete and visible.
Writing and speaking instruction, in particular, should be taught within a real-life context, that is, it should be based on simulated or true-to-life situations. Learners should be exposed to simulated situations where they have to react orally or in writing. These situation should be similar to those they will experience in their every day or professional lives. The value of authentic assessment is that it helps learners to develop in real, life-oriented language situations and that it prepares them for successful communicative integration into society after leaving school. The following is an example of authentic writing assessment:
You have just received a ticket for a traffic violation. You are convinced, however, that there were circumstances that left you no alternative but to commit the offence.
After making enquiries about the matter, you are told that you must complete a prescribed form if you wish to object to the fine. You may plead your case in no more than 100 words.
State your objection or explanation in writing. (Decide what offence you supposedly committed.) Source: Transvaal Education Department (1993).

Figure 11.2
Authentic assessment of writing in a home language

Authentic assessment in additional languages
Your luggage disappears during a plane or train journey. Complete the form below which permits the airline or railways staff to locate and return your luggage.
. Give a description of the luggage that was lost.
. Describe the content of the luggage.
. Briefly state why the luggage is valuable.
Source: Transvaal Education Department (1993)

Figure 11.3
Authentic assessment in additional languages
The following thematic approach to writing is another example of authentic assessment: . Give the learners an article about Miriam Makeba. Place the learners in a real-life

situation, such as the following: You are the chairperson of your school's cultural club. Your club has just organised a ladies' night. Now carry out the following tasks: Ð Write a letter on behalf of the club to Miriam and invite her to be the guest speaker at the function.
Ð Compile a notice to inform the club members of the function.
Ð Prepare your welcoming address in writing in which you will welcome
Ð The evening was a great success Ð now write a letter of thanks to Miriam.

Journal entry 11d


Set five functional writing tasks for shorter pieces for a home language or first additional language (refer to sec 7.5.2 to refresh your memory about functional writing) which adhere to the requirements of authentic assessment. (Include the advertisements, letters and other materials your have used in compiling these assignments.) Formulate five authentic writing assignments based on a theme.

In our daily lives, we are often expected to write short notes, business letters, testimonials, reports, letters of thanks, invitations, congratulations, et cetera or to compile different lists. You should assess the learners' ability to complete these writing tasks. In section 7.7, I explain how to use a rubric to assess.

11.6.1 Using rubrics
When performance-based assessment is done, rubrics are usually used to indicate whether learners have surpassed, achieved, partially achieved or not achieved the expected performance (criteria). The following is an example of such a rubric which can be used to assess unprepared reading of a text (reading aloud):
Table 11.4
Rubric for the assessment of reading aloud
Criteria for reading Not achieved

Partially achieved Achieved

Exceeded requirements Reads fluently
Pronunciation correct
Interpretative reading
Reads audibly and clearly Keeps eye contact with the audience


Criteria for reading Not achieved

Partially achieved Achieved

Exceeded requirements Effective variation of reading tempo
Shows understanding of what is being read
Assessed by:


Source: Beeld 2003b:3

11.7.1 Introduction
The way assessment takes place often determines the way teaching is done. Because assessment plays such an important role in the learners' lives, class work often aims to prepare the learners for the assessment. The way you assess, therefore, will influence the way you teach language and the way the learners learn. If you expect the learners, for example, to know and to be able to apply language structures in assessment, your teaching will comprise drilling of language structures and other formal language exercises in which accuracy and correctness are central. If your goal is, however, to prepare the learners to communicate effectively in a variety of true-tolife situations, you will not expect the learners Ð during assessment Ð to use language structures correctly and totally out of context in isolated sentences (Jackson
1996:7). If you want communicative and outcomes-based language teaching to take its rightful place, your assessment will have to change radically with regard to
. methods of assessment
. types of assessment instruments
. frequency of assessment

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Formal written tests limit the assessment of a wide variety of communication abilities in authentic (real life) situations.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------According to the Gauteng Department of Education (2001:146), your assessment will be on track if you structure it around the following questions:
. What knowledge, skills and abilities are implied by the outcomes? (The assessment standards give a clear indication, but it is sometime necessary to expand them even more.) . What will I regard as proof that the learners possess the knowledge, skills and abilities? . Which activities should learners do to demonstrate that proof?
Your answers to these questions will enable you to design assessment activities that will give you a clear picture of the learners' progress towards achieving the outcomes.

11.7.2 The demands that outcomes-based education and communicative language teaching make on assessment
Communicative language teaching and the outcomes-based approach require that we keep the following in mind when assessing (Jackson 1996:9±10):
. The following are not examples of the communicative or outcomes-based approaches: artificial, isolated sentences that must be corrected; incomplete sentences that need to be completed; and writing essays about a series of topics.
Assessment should be based on real-life language situations such as conversations, games, advertisements, magazine articles, radio broadcasts, et cetera. Unrelated sentence exercises should be replaced with continuous texts. We do not communicate using unrelated sentences in real life, so we should not expect the learners to do so!
. The term ``language use'' does not only refer to the use of formal language in formal situations. Informal language may be used as and when the situation or context requires it. Teachers must acknowledge this fact and include various tasks where learners must use appropriate language within a certain situation (formal or informal). Whether learners are able to discern when formal or informal language needs to be used, is precisely one of the things that should be assessed!
. Language structures should be taught as a means to an end and not as an end in itself! This fact should be clearly indicated through the assessment task. Tasks should be based on real-life language use, that is, the application of language structures in real situations.
. Pictures and other visual material form part of our everyday language reality and should, therefore, also take its rightful place during assessment. The inclusion of photographs, pictures, series of pictures, comics et cetera allow you to assess the learners' ability to read and design printed media Ð newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, multi-media presentations and visual language.
. I have emphasised throughout the study guide the issue of integrated language teaching. You cannot integrate all the skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing and thinking) and then only concentrate on one skill during assessment.
. All four of the skills should be assessed. Do not only test written skills and knowledge of language rules Ð listening, speaking, writing and thinking are of equal importance. All the skills should be assessed on a regular basis.
. Written tests are definitely not the only method of assessment. It is not possible to assess a learner's ability to communicate orally by using a test. It is also impossible to assess a learner's conversational skills using formal speech. Language teachers must use observation, oral presentations in groups (prepared and unprepared), portfolios, journals and other instruments of assessment.
As a last word on written tests and examinations, I would like to include the following (Gauteng Department of Education 2001:146±147):
In Section 1 we defined a test as being any assessment activity in which learners must all do the same work under the same, strictly controlled conditions. This is a useful, sometimes essential, means of assessing certain types of performance.
Traditionally, tests at school are of the pen-and-paper type. Such tests do have some uses. They compel learners to commit information to memory and can be a quick, easy way of assessing the extent to which they have done so. Since many higher-order activities depend upon a foundation of knowledge, this is an important consideration. By their very nature, tests require learners to complete identical tasks under the same, standardised conditions. This makes it possible to compare learners' results, which is useful for setting and monitoring standards. Formal written tests


at school also help learners to develop examination skills and techniques, thus preparing them for the external examinations that they will encounter in the Further Education and Training band, in higher and vocational education, and in adult careers.
On the other hand, pen-and-paper tests also have serious limitations. They often focus on headknowledge and recall of information at the expense of deep understanding and the ability to apply what has been learned. Practical abilities, in particular, do not lend themselves to pen-and-paper testing. Another problem is that some learners, especially in the senior grades, become ``test-wise'',
That is, they develop the ability to improve their test results by employing a range of strategies unrelated to the desired performance, such as guessing, recognising clues in questions that unintentionally point to the answers, using familiarity with the educator's likes and dislikes to enhance the appeal of their answers, and so on. Conversely, other learners experience such anxiety over written tests, that their performance is inhibited and their results correspondingly undermined.
For all these reasons, then, written tests and exams should not be the sole or even the primary means of assessment.

11.7.3 Instruments and methods of assessment
The following methods, instruments and techniques may be used to conduct assessment in the language classroom.
Table 11.5
Methods, instruments and techniques of assessment in language teaching

Assessment by classmates
Group assessment
. group assesses the individual . group assesses the group . individuals assess the group . class assesses the individual Teacher assessment



Assessment tables
Written assignments

(opportunity for learners to demonstrate skill)
Project work
Research project
Role play
Panel discussion
Practical demonstration
Oral presentation
Written presentations (essays, letters, advertisements, CV, etc.)

I will only discuss a few of the items from this table.
Observation means that a teacher observes a learner during activities. While he or she is observing, the teacher may ask questions, use observation sheets or review lists to collect and record information. Observation sheets are standardised forms which can be completed by the teacher and/or learners. They contain questions or statements and have space for written observations.
The following is an example of a rubric that can be used by the teacher to assess learner participation in class:
Table 11.6
Rubric for assessment of learner participation






Learner asks questions when he or she does not understand.
Reacts to teacher's questions.
Actively participates in group work and discussions. Makes meaningful and correct contributions in class.
Scale for mark allocation:


Always participates enthusiastically/shows lively interest in the language.
Above average/active participation.
Participation satisfactory.
Seldom takes part.
Mostly no evidence of participation.

When learners work together in groups, the teacher should observe and assess each learner's participation very carefully, as participation in groups is a very important critical outcome that learners must achieve.
Learner assess their own performance (self-assessment) with regard to the outcomes they are supposed to achieve. They also provide reasons for their performance. This helps learners to understand the assessment process and to accept responsibility for their work. Peer group assessment and self-assessment should be implemented gradually. Learners can use a rubric such as the following to assess themselves (self-assessment) after a group has completed its task:


Table 11.7
Rubric for self-assessment of a group task



Everyone in the group worked hard.
It is not fair that I receive the same mark as the rest of the group.
I work better in a group where others can help me.
I am not afraid to give input in a group.
I hate having to work in a group.
I love group work, because everyone has ideas.

You can use various rubrics. Learners could, for example, be expected to complete the following rubric after doing a piece of creative writing. The rubric would then be handed in with the written piece.
Table 11.8
Assessment of writing
Name: ________________________________________
Title: __________________________________________

Date: _____________________________

Is my subject interesting?
Did I stick to the subject?
Do all my paragraphs link up with the subject?
Does the introduction grab the reader's attention?
Did I organise my writing by using paragraphs?
Did I include a suitable conclusion?


use descriptive words? use synonyms instead of repeating the same word over and over? proofread my text thoroughly and bring about any necessary changes? ask someone to read my work and to suggest ways to improve my work?

Language and style:
Does the language fit the style of the text (formal or informal)?
Did I check the spelling of difficult words?
Did I punctuate correctly?
Did I use full sentences?

Learners can use similar rubrics to assess themselves after completing a listening task, presenting an oral or reading a text (which may include a poem, short story, novel or drama). 248

Learners assess one another (peer assessment). Teachers should provide clear guidelines in order to prevent unnecessary criticism and to encourage focus on positive remarks.
In section 7.4.3, I provide an example of how learners can assess each other's written assignments. The following rubric combines self-assessment, peer assessment and teacher assessment. This rubric can be used to assess projects, assignments, posters, multimedia assignments and research tasks.
Table 11.9
Rubric for assessment of tasks

Mark allocated




Quality of research
Continuous collection of material and information Final product: creativity
Final product: quality and content
Final product: visual attraction
Technical quality
Final adjusted mark

Before completing the rubric, the teacher must decide on the criteria that will be used to allocate marks. One mark, for example, is awarded when a learner has made a slight effort but has certainly not mastered the activity. Two marks are awarded when a learner has made an effort, but has only achieved a limited degree of success. Five marks are awarded when the specific activity is of a very high quality, et cetera.
In order to identify important differences between learners (so that their educational needs can be established), teachers need to assess the learners on a continuous basis.
Teachers who depend on their memories for information about learners' strong points and needs are unlikely to be effective teachers. Make use of techniques to improve your teaching, such as recording your observations regularly while working with learners or making cassette recordings which can be analysed at a later date. It is also wise to keep a portfolio of school work, tests and other relevant material for each learner as this will show you how each learner assesses his or her progress. Since portfolios are such an essential part of assessment in outcomes-based education, I have discussed them under a separate heading.

11.7.4 Using portfolios What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a cover, file or expandable box that contains examples of learners' work completed over a period of time. It should include examples of different types of work: homework, assignments, tests, examples of written work, examples of self249

assessment (remarks made by learners about their own work), peer group assessment, projects, cassettes containing learners' oral work and any other important documentation brought together by learners over a period of time. The portfolio should contain a collection of the learner's work that demonstrates that learning has taken place. Parents should also see these portfolios and be given the opportunity to comment on them.
There are various kind of portfolios. A portfolio can, for example, represent a learner's cumulative attempts over a long period or it can focus on a specific task. A comprehensive portfolio will include all a learner's planning, research, concepts and other documentation which indicate the learner's development and progress; it will also include the end result. A limited portfolio will only include a few deliberately chosen documents which relate to a specific task (e.g. the planning and process followed in the writing, improvement and finalisation of a story or newspaper article). What should be included in a portfolio?
The following are examples of what should be included in a portfolio.
. Written assignments. These may include essays, lists, remarks, reports and worksheets. These demonstrate the learner's writing and thinking skills. Learners should, for example, be given the opportunity to plan, to write a draft copy, to make improvements and to reflect on the written work. The planning, first draft, improved drafts and reflection on the writing should all be included in the portfolio. . Interviews and oral presentations. These can assess the learner's comprehension, the amount of research done and the learner's communication skills.
. Projects. Learners can complete projects in pairs or in groups. They can then be assessed on the content and on their ability to work as part of a team.
. Practical assignments. Learners can complete experiments, and draw and build models to demonstrate their comprehension and their ability to apply their knowledge. What requirements should portfolios meet?
A learner's portfolio should meet the following requirements:
. The portfolio should be neat.
. The portfolio should contain a table of contents.
. Learner portfolios should include a document in which the learner indicates why the content is important and why specific assignments have been chosen for inclusion. . A learner's portfolio may include work from all learning areas or it may be limited to language. Guidelines for using portfolios
Woolfolk (in Van der Horst & McDonald 2002:209±210) provides the following comprehensive guidelines for using portfolios in education:

(a) Train learners in the compilation and use of portfolios
Keep example of good portfolios in the class, but emphasise from the very beginning that each portfolio should be an individual account of a learner's work. Each portfolio should be different and unique.
(b) Involve learners in the selection of assignments to be included in the portfolio While busy with a cycle, programme or theme, ask learners periodically to select assignments that meet the following criteria: ``my biggest problem'', ``my best work'', ``my work that shows the best improvement'' or ``three approaches to ...''.
Ask learners to choose those assignments that best indicate what they have learned.
These documents should then be included in the portfolios.
(c) A portfolio should contain information that indicates a learner's selfreflection and self-criticism
Ask learners to give reasons why certain assignments have been included in their portfolios and then include these reasons in the portfolio.
Each learner should compile a guide to his or her portfolio. This guide should explain how the learner's strong and weak points are reflected in the included assignments.
The learners should also include self-criticism and criticism by the group, and indicate which assignments are examples of good work and which assignments can be improved. (d) Assessment of portfolios
The portfolios should be assessed at regular intervals at times determined by the teacher and the learners. The logical time for assessment is at the end of a project or at the end of a theme or term.
Each province has its own regulations for portfolios.

In section 11.2, I explained that tests and examination are one way of assessing Ð although not the only way. Properly compiled tests and examinations are a very effective form of assessment. The best way to explain how written assessment should be done in language teaching, is to show you two examination papers. The first examination paper is content driven and only tests ready knowledge; it also uses unrelated sentences that have been taken totally out of context. Most of us wrote these types of examinations at school, but this is an example of what an examination paper should not look like! The second examination paper is based on an outcomesbased and communicative approach. This paper tests the learners' ability to use language and their ability to communicate.
Now study the following examples of examination papers:

Section A: Reading
Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow:
Four main factors determine the value of news.
The reader wants his news to be new. That is why he buys his paper or listens to the broadcast. The miracle of present-day communication frequently makes the announcement of the news almost coincide with the instant of its happening.
The reader finds more interest in a minor event close at hand than in a more important event miles away. James Gordon Benner, Jr, when he first published his Paris Edition of the Herald, gave his reporters this principle in the epigram, ``A dead dog in the Rue de Louvre (the paper's address) is of more concern than a flood in China.'' Today news of purely local concern is the bedrock on which the publishers of American news papers outside of the largest cities build their circulation, and surveys show that news of international importance, except major events, is of interest to only 10 per cent of readers in large communities and to so small a proportion of readers in the small cities that no percentage figures have been worked out.
The very small and the very large attract attention. We find interest in minuteness as well as in magnitude Ð but chiefly in magnitude. Accordingly, when we hear of an accident or a catastrophe, we ask for the number of lives lost and the extent of the damage done. We want to know the amount of the philanthropist's bequest and the dimensions of the new airliner.
Is the news reported important or in any way significant? We might naturally think that this factor should head our list, but news practice decrees otherwise, for the touchstone, as noted before, is interest. The trivial story, if imbued with interest, frequently ranks in newsworthiness above announcements which are important and significant, but dull. This is no new thing. Away, back in
51 BC Cicero complained that his professional news correspondent was giving him too much of sporting events and not enough about the political situation. Editors get the same complaint today from their thoughtful readers. They know they can't satisfy everyone. They know, also, that
``interesting'' news, which encompasses much that is trivial, attracts the mass audience, while the merely important is addressed to a small public. Nevertheless, the better papers and the better newscasts seek to give news that holds significance and importance in its proper place and treatment. Source: Van Schalkwyk 1986:672±673.

(1) List (using only one word for each) the four factors which determine the value of news.
(2) What is meant by ``the miracle of present-day communication''?
(3) Which sentence tells us that big events usually interest people more than small events?
(4) What does BC stand for?
(5) What kind of news did Cicero prefer?
(6) What is meant by ``trivial news''?
(7) Find a word in the passage that means the same as each of the following phrases:

person employed by the newspaper to report on distant events number of people living in the same locality sudden, widespread disaster pointed saying or mode of expression

(8) What kind of complaints do editors get from their thoughtful readers?


Section B: Language use and structure
Question 1

Give antonyms for the following words:

(a) permanent
(b) respect
Question 2

Choose the correct word:

(a) They had to return to their/there house.
(b) His childish/childlike behaviour shows his spiteful nature.
Question 3



What is the plural of the following words:

echo father-in-law leaf foot Question 5


Write the following sentences in the passive voice:

(a) The secretary compiled the minutes.
(b) Someone told me to hand you this book.
Question 4



Write the words in brackets in the correct form:

(a) The girl is (poor) dressed.
(b) The books are arranged in (chronologic) order.


Section C: Writing
Write an essay of approximately 300 words about one of the following topics:

Our violent age
A holiday on the farm
My hero
A day I will never forget
A thunder storm


Question 1
Look at the picture of the two children whose parents have left them alone. What advice would you give them (name three things)?

Source: Paul, Ponniah, Seah & Keng 1994:1.


Question 2
It happens more and more frequently that parents leave their children alone at home when they go to work. What should these children know? Read the following extract and find out!
Many children come from homes where both parents work or where children have had to take responsibility for the home as both parents have died of Aids. Increasing urbanisation means that the extended family is no longer available to provide support and rising costs have made it almost impossible to afford help Ð many children are thus left alone in the afternoons. These children Ð and any other children who are left alone at home Ð need to be taught some essential safety measures. Safety is not just being aware of the possibility of robbers breaking into the house, but also includes being able to use electrical appliances and other potentially dangerous agents safely. This means that children need to know what to do in the case of an accident.
Children who are left alone should know their own address and telephone number, as well as their parents' names, employers, work addresses and work telephone numbers.
Emergency numbers such as the fire brigade, police, flying squad, family doctor as well as the telephone numbers of two adults who live close by should be placed in a prominent place in the home in case children need to call somebody and their parents are not available. Children who arrive home alone must be vigilant. They should never enter the house if the door is ajar, if windows are broken or if any strange things are evident (e.g. a strange noise coming from the house). Rather, they should go to a neighbour to call their parents or the police. If a stranger calls, children should handle the call in such a way that the caller does not know that the children are alone. The child could say the following as an example: ``My mom/dad is busy and is unable to come to the telephone right now. May I take a message?''

2.1 Each paragraph in the passage can be given a heading which indicates what the paragraph is about. I have included all the necessary headings below, but they are in the incorrect order. Give each paragraph the correct heading.

Be clever!
What children should know
Be aware of safety measures
Alone at home
Be on the lookout for strange things

2.2 The passage ends very abruptly. Write an appropriate conclusion.
2.3 Give the passage an appropriate heading.
2.4 Why do you think children should not enter a house if they see a broken window? [2]
2.5 Are the following statements true or false. Give reasons for your answers: [4]
(a) Children should memorise telephone numbers.
(b) If parents cannot be reached in an emergency, children should call the police.

Question 3
3.1 Find the words in the text that fit each of the descriptions below and write them down. [6]
(a) to be aware of
(b) it is not very far
(c) the chance of becoming
3.2 Give the singular of each of the following words:


(a) adults
(b) names
(c) neighbours
Question 4
How would you paraphrase the last two sentences? Start with: The child could say, for example, that ...
Question 5
You and your brother are alone at home. Complete the following list of things that you should and should not do.

What you should do

What you should not do

There is a fire in the house.
As you return from school, you see that the door is slightly ajar.
Your brother fell and there is blood streaming from the wound on his head
Question 6
You have read the passage and have decided that you would like to get more information about safety in the home from Captain X, a policeman.
Complete the following dialogue between you and the policeman:


Introduce yourself:


Good morning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Greets and asks how he can be of service: ............................................................
Captain X: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Say what the purpose of your visit is:



Captain X answers and asks you what you would like to know:

Captain X: Of course I can help you. What . . . . . . . .

Your first question:


Captain X answers:

Captain X: Firstly, home owners should install



You ask your second question:
Captain X answers:
You ask your next questions:
Captain X answers:
Thank the captain for his help and greet him.
Captain X greets you:

good locks on all their doors and windows.
Secondly, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Captain X: Well, if you would like to involve the community, you could always establish a neighbourhood watch.
Captain X: Yes, that will work. People will be able to sleep more peacefully.
Captain X: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Question 7
In each case, ask two different questions to which you will receive the following answers: [4]
(a) Their parents' names and telephone numbers at work (two questions).
(b) If the door to the house is ajar (two questions).
Question 8
Look at the following pictures.
8.1 Imagine you are a reporter who saw everything happening or found out what happened during an interview. Write a short article for the local newspaper. Give your article a striking heading.
8.2 Imagine you are the boy in the picture. Write a letter to your cousin in which you tell him about the close shave you had.



The first question paper is an example of a typical content-driven paper. The learners must know the language structure and be able to apply it in unrelated sentences. The question is then whether they will be able to use the structure in everyday life. The second question paper is clearly aimed at communication. The second paper does not aim to test the learners' ability to answer language questions correctly, but rather to see what they are able to do with the language, that is, whether they are able to communicate or not.

Journal entry 11e
Explain how the second question paper follows a communicative and outcomes-based education approach.

I believe that there are five main differences between the two question papers:
(1) They are divided into separate sections. If you look at the first question paper, it is very clear that language skills are regarded as a separate entity. There is a clear distinction between reading, language structure, language use and writing.
There is no indication that skills are integrated. The second question paper also does not really integrate the skills, but each skill flows easily into the next. The questions are all based on the same context. The passage is primarily used to assess reading, but language structure is also assessed. The questions aim to test the learner's ability to use the language (communicate) and not his or her knowledge of language structures. The writing task is also related to the text.
(2) Lower and higher-order skills. The first question paper basically tests lower-order skills. The second question paper aims to test the learners' ability to use language in communicative situations.
(3) A close relationship between items. The passage in the first question paper is used only to test reading comprehension; the questions about language structure and use are based on unrelated sentences. The topics learners must write about have no context. The second question paper's questions are all based on a particular theme and are set within a particular context. The questions about language structure are based on the text and aim to test learners' ability to use language in communicative situations.
(4) Topics for written tasks. The topics given in the first question paper are unrelated, artificial, very broad and do not allow learners to write about real-life situations
(i.e. they are not authentic); they have no target group and do not create a desire to communicate. These types of topics are repeated time and time again in question papers Ð so much so, that learners are able to rote learn and regurgitate them in examinations. The topics in the second question paper are aimed at a specific target group, place the learners in a particular situation, create the desire to communicate, are set within a specific context and give learners a framework within which they can work. Young learners, particularly additional language learners in the senior phase, need such a framework. Each picture can be translated into a paragraph.
(5) Authentic assessment. Although learners should be given the opportunity to write creative and descriptive essays (as is expected in the first question paper), it is unlikely that they will ever write such essays outside the classroom (unless they

pursue a writing career). The writing section in the second question paper is more functional and tests writing skills and not just a good imagination. The second question paper also moves away from the traditional ``essay and letter'' question paper, to an approach where writing tasks take real life into consideration Ð they place learners in authentic, real-life situation (e.g. conducting an interview).

11.8.1 Types of written questions that can be used to assess communicative skills I will only discuss a few types of question. Open-ended questions and closed questions
The aim of the assessment will determine the type of question you will ask. If the aim is, for example, simply to test language structure, you will ask questions such as the following: ``What part of speech is `but'?'' This type of question has no context; it is an openended question that has many possible answers. However, the question ``Use the word
`but' as a conjunction in a sentence'' limits the number of possible answers and is thus a closed question. Questions should thus be structured in such a way that they assess the learners' ability to use the language.
Open-ended questions require learners to respond using either a phrase, word or sentence. Look at the following examples (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:295):
Question 1
Give one word to describe the tone of the following utterance:
I humbly beg you to accept my sincerest apologies.

Answer: polite, obsequious, humble, respectful, abject (any one or anything synonymous). Question 2
On what occasion would such an apology be appropriate?
Answer: If you had given serious offence (any synonymous, including specific example). Question 3
The apology would be inappropriate if you had merely arrived two minutes late for an appointment with a good friend. How would you apologise in that instance? Give your actual words.
Answer: Sorry I'm late (anything appropriate).
It is also quite possible that the answer to the first question could be mocking or sarcastic. No context is given and the learner could conceivably argue that no-one apologises in such a servile way. The learner would then be justified in responding to

the second question by saying that the situation was one in which the other person was exaggerating the seriousness of something trivial and the speaker wanted to indicate this by giving a sarcastic reply. The teacher would have to give credit for acceptable answers.
The advantages of open-ended questions are that learners cannot guess the correct answers and that their productive skills are tested (what they are able to do with the language). Journal entry 11f

Devise similar exercises containing open-ended questions and write them in your journal. Related items
Learners are given two columns and have to link the items in column A with those in column B. Column B usually has more entries than column A (about 50% more) to ensure that learners do not guess the answers. This method can be used to test vocabulary (column A contains the word and column B the description) or can be used to test their knowledge of a particular register and style.
Table 11.10
An example of related items
Column A: Expression
1 I am sorry, but I do not ...
2 You may with pleasure ...
3 Well done ...
4 I am appalled ...
5 If it is not too much trouble ...
6 I would appreciate it if ...

Column B: When to use
A To express disappointment
B To ask a favour
C To ask permission
D To thank someone
E To give advice
F To disagree with someone
G To congratulate
H To scold
I To give permission

This exercise may be changed by giving possible answers (in column B) to the utterances in column A.

260 The cloze technique
At first glance, cloze-technique exercises seem to only require learners to fill the gaps.
Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997:301), however, define a cloze-technique exercise as follows:
... a test format to measure proficiency. In other words, it is a way of setting a test that assesses underlying language ability rather than individual structures. The term derives from the concept closure in psychology and relates to the human tendency to fill or close a gap to complete an unfinished pattern meaningfully. Experience of language leads a person to develop certain expectations about what comes next in a text. The redundancy of language in any context gives clues to meaning.

Although a cloze test does not test language usage in natural situations, it indirectly tests the learners' underlying skills. This type of test can be used to assess listening, reading comprehension and language use.
A cloze test allows teachers to test many skills at one time. They can be compiled by omitting every fifth word from the text Ð learners would then be expected to fill in the missing words. The first and last sentences or paragraph are left intact to provide a meaningful context. The greater the number of words omitted, the more difficult the test will become, because the context will become less meaningful. This means that you are able to test the learners' ready knowledge and skills in context, that is, the language they understand and use. To be able to complete a cloze test, learners need
. knowledge of a variety of grammatical structures
. knowledge of the vocabulary of the topic under discussion
. prediction techniques (discourse markers) in reading and listening so that they are able to deduce meaning from the context and are able to follow a logical flow of meaning . an understanding of the structure of the text Ð the way in which sentences and paragraphs are organised to provide the text with meaning and fluency
. an understanding of the correct word to fill in and, more importantly, the suitability of the word in context Ð in other words, more formal or informal
(Jackson 1996:50).
. knowledge of the world; comprehension is always a function of the interaction between a person's existing knowledge and the information contained in the text
(A learner's inability to complete a cloze meaningfully could be ascribed to inadequate world knowledge in the topic area as well as to a lack of linguistic competence.) (Kilfoil & Van der Walt 1997:303)
When marking a cloze test, you should give learners credit for correct words that do not appear in the original text. You may deduct half a mark if the learner makes a large number of spelling errors.
Learners must be given the chance to practise doing cloze exercises before they have to write a cloze test. Give them hints such as the following: scan the text to determine the context, pay attention to language structure and logic when choosing a word or choose the word that best fits the context. The level of difficulty of a cloze test can be changed by increasing or decreasing the number of words left out. You could make the test a little easier by providing a list of words from which learners can choose; this list of words should contain more words than are necessary to prevent learners from guessing. Cloze tests should not be used too often Ð learners who like to analyse things in detail will love these tests, but learners who study holistically will be disadvantaged. 261

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Never give a cloze test on its own. Use a cloze test with other less structured reading and writing tasks. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Assessment forms an integral part of teaching. It must be continuous to determine if you and the learners are on the right track, that is, if you will be able to achieve the intended outcomes. Remember, you are not the only one assessing Ð learners assess you as a teacher, your humanity, your teaching skills, your ability to bring something across, your patience and your willingness to help. As teachers, we are seldom aware of our learners' opinion of us and so we should ask them to do an assessment of our abilities and skills from time to time.
Try to answer the following questions about assessment without paging back to the text: 1

Define assessment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why is assessment necessary? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of portfolios as a method of assessment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Compile a list of things you would like to see in learners' portfolios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


What do you regard as the most important requirements of assessment practices in outcomes-based and communicative language teaching? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Do you think that teachers could discard lower-order questions completely? Give reasons for your answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Correct assessment is just as important as correct teaching. In order to assess effectively, teachers should decide what knowledge, skills and abilities they want to assess (baseline, formative, summative or diagnostic assessment) and which method of assessment would be best suited to the task. Teachers need to pay particular attention to assessment when they are doing their planning.
I hope you have enjoyed working through this study guide and that you are looking forward to accepting the challenges that await you!


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