Learner Reading Problems: A Case of Khoe Learners at Junior Secondary School
This article is part of a larger tracer study that investigated Khoe learners’ reading ability of English at junior secondary school in Botswana. The research was carried out at Motshegaletau Primary School and Mothamo Junior Community Secondary. The purpose of the study was to examine whether the reading problems identified among Khoe learners at primary level persisted to higher levels of education. The study, which was qualitative, used questionnaires, interviews, classroom observations, students’ artefacts, and teachers’ schemes and records of work to explore the subjects’ reading skills. The findings indicate that Khoe learners lack comprehension strategies, have difficulties understanding implicit reading instructions, lack requisite vocabulary to facilitate reading and writing, do not actively participate in class and are generally slow readers. It is worth noting that some of the problems have persisted from primary level and resulted in poor performance in reading tasks at higher levels of education. The study recommends reading programmes that can empower students and alleviate at least some of these problems. Further, it suggests that teacher training programmes be revamped to equip teachers with necessary skills to handle complexity and diversity in the reading classrooms.
Keywords: reading, diversity, empowerment, comprehension strategies, transformative, independent readers.