The predictive power of two measures on academic success of first year B Ed English major students
The research focused on the importance of and the problem of English proficiency/literacy regarding Grade 12 learners exiting the school system and seeking entry at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs). Grade 12 learners’ final results have been used as a benchmark for admission into tertiary education for many years. These results have come under scrutiny over the past few years. IHLs are faced with the problem to generate ways to address the access of ill-prepared learners exiting Grade 12 and then to solve the problem of low levels of throughput and high drop-out rates among first year students, therefore the multi-faceted nature of access into South African IHLs was discussed, as well as alternative routes to enter IHLs. The researcher has experienced that the dropout rates of first year BEd English major students have been rather high. The purpose of this research was to determine what the predictive power of two measures, the English matric results of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and the English Literacy Skills Assessment (ELSA) were on the academic success of first year BEd English major students of the North-West University on the Vaal Triangle Campus. This was primarily done to improve first year BEd English major students’ English proficiency/literacy, as well as to increase their throughput rate. The major findings of this study pointed to the lack of English language proficiency/literacy of first year BEd English major students and the low throughput rate of these students. Although the ELSA proved to be the best predictor of academic success for first year BEd English major students, the Grade 12 English results also showed a statistical significant prediction capability. The results showed that there was no significant difference between ELSA 1 (which was used as pre-test) and ELSA 2 (which was used as post-test). An improvement in the ELSA 2 results was expected, as it was written as a post-test at the end of the first year BEd English major modules, indicating that the curriculum of the first year BEd English major students had little or no positive influence on the results of the ELSA 2. This resulted in the recommendation that it would be to the advantage of first year BEd English major students to change the current first year BEd English major curriculum in order to improve students’ English proficiency/literacy, as well as their throughput rate, which will result in improved academic success.
- Education