An analysis of lesson plan design for teaching ESL learners with limited English language proficiency
According to the Constitution of South Africa (1996), as well as the Schools Act of South Africa (1996), everyone has the right to education in the language of their choice. The advantage of being educated in one’s home language is a well-known and accepted as a demonstrated fact (Oosthuizen, Rossouw & De Wet, 2004:22). Unfortunately, Oosthuizen et al. (2004:22) remark that the biggest problem in education today, is that home language education cannot be given to everyone in South Africa. As a result many parents choose English as the Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) for their children, since they believe English is the language of empowerment. Although English Second Language (ESL) learners pose a challenge to educators in the class, they still have a right to quality education. Therefore, thorough planning is essential to ensure that these learners are taught according to their needs. The primary aim of this research study was to determine if primary school educators designed their lesson planning to accommodate ESL learners with a limited English proficiency. The primary aim could only be determined if the following sub-aims were successfully analysed: *To determine through a literature investigation which specific language barriers ESL learners, with limited English language proficiency, experience during a lesson. *To determine through a literature investigation why lesson planning is important; *To determine to what extent educators accommodate language barriers to learning of ESL learners, with a limited English language proficiency, in their lesson plans. *To determine how educators reflect on their lesson plan, in order to determine whether ESL learners, with limited English language proficiency, coped with the lesson. *To establish which modifications, if any, educators make after reflection to accommodate ESL learners with limited English language proficiency in the follow lesson planning? A Qualitative research method was followed during the study. Data was collected for the research study by doing a document analysis and semi-structured interviews with primary school educators who are currently in the teaching profession and have ESL learners in their class. A convenience sample was used, where the nearest parallel medium school was chosen with participants readily available. The following findings emerged from the study: According to the literature study, the most common specific language barriers which ESL learners with limited English proficiency experience in the classroom are: *Experience it difficult to express themselves in English; *Educators disparity in language between learners and educators; *a limited English vocabulary; and *struggling with comprehension of English. Findings of the empirical study showed that the participants do not plan for accommodations for ESL learners who may experience barriers to learning. They indicated that since English is the LOLT of the school and because they feel that the learners should be proficient in the language they do not need to plan for possible misunderstandings or communication problems that could occur because of a language barrier. However, they did acknowledge that a limited vocabulary and ways of expression can cause communication problems.
- Education