For children without the language of feedback: Multilingualism in promoting peer and teacher feedback
Complaints about poor results of English Second/English Foreign language (ESL/EFL) also known as English First Additional Language (EFAL) have been commonly heard from the stakeholders in South Africa. The culpability is either placed on teachers for not being proficient enough to teach the language suitably or learners who do not want to take their learning seriously; or the education system which is alleged to be fruitless. This study was driven by the need to identify EFL/ESL/EFL learners’ practices of multilingualism in promoting peer and teacher feedback for errors as an integral part of ESL learning. For this qualitative study, only 24 EFAL learners in the FET phase were used as respondents. These learners were stationed at three high schools in one district of South Africa. The researcher used three focus group discussion panels to collect data. The chosen high school ESL learners were purposively selected to articulate their practices of multilingualism in promoting peer and teacher feedback. The respondents seemed to favour their home language which is not English as the main medium of instruction when receiving either peer or teacher feedback. The study recommends the need to invest resources in promoting the learners’ home language usage in ESL teaching and learning environments. There is a need for the use of indigenous African languages to alternate with any second language when giving learners feedback to enhance their fuller understanding.
Key terms: english first additional language; english second language; english foreign language; multilingualism; corrective feedback