Reading challenges in English: Towards a reading model for Grade 8 learners in Mafikeng district
Marutla, Goitseone Benjamin
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Recent research findings from PIRLS, (2017) reveal shocking statistics about the state of reading among Grade 4 learners in South Africa. Out of 50 countries surveyed, South Africa came last with 78% of Grade 4 learners who cannot read for meaning. The main objective of the investigation was to design strategies that could assist Grade 8 teachers in addressing the reading challenges of their learners. Research suggests that reading challenges of learners can be overcome if teachers employ a systematic approach to the teaching of reading. This means that teachers need to establish ways of learning about their learners’s reading challenges and follow a specific process to help root them out. Data was collected through a mixed-method, that is, qualitative in the form of classroom observations and a reading study for the learners and quantitative in the form of a questionnaire for teachers. The sampling technique is purposive. The study focuses on addressing Grade 8 reading challenges and proposing a reading model developed for application in Grade 8 classes in the region. The study established that most learners struggle with word recognition and ultimately comprehension. It also established that fluent reading does not always result in systematic reading comprehension. Some learners who performed well on reading speed, accuracy and expression failed to do well on comprehension.
- Humanities