The identification of spelling difficulties of learners in the foundation phase with Tswana as medium of instruction
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This study links with the White Paper 6 on learners with special educational needs. which requires public schools to accommodate learners with diverse needs, as far as possible in inclusive education. The success of the inclusive education depends on the ability of educators to identify and support barriers to learning, for which they will have to be trained. Such in-service training will be aimed at the identification of barriers to learning or learners with diverse learning needs, specifically in the Foundation Phase. The purpose of this study was to determine what knowledge Foundation Phase educators possess in the identification of spelling difficulties experienced by learners with Tswana as medium of instruction, but for whom Tswana mostly is a first additional language. The literature study was therefore focussed on language learning, spelling difficulties in an additional language, and assessment in the Foundation Phase. The empirical research included a sample of teachers in the Foundation Phase in the North-West Province, regarding their identification of spelling difficulties in a first additional language. The empirical data were accumulated by means of an openended questionnaire, which was qualitatively analysed in terms of the teachers' knowledge of and skill in the identification and support of spelling difficulties in an additional language, in a classroom with Tswana as medium of instruction. The results indicated that the spelling difficulties they experience are the same as other learners who experience spelling difficulties in an additional language. The results also indicate that the educators lack sufficient knowledge and skills with regard to the identification and support of spelling difficulties. In-service training for Foundation Phase educators in the identification of spelling difficulties and the support thereof is a necessity.
- Education