Journal for Language Teaching

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Exploring educators’ understanding of developing learners’ reading skills and their readiness to implement CAPS

N Mather, S Land


This study explored what three Intermediate Phase English First Additional Language teachers understood about reading and teaching reading, and the strategies they used to develop learners’ reading skills. Data gathered through interviews and observations of classroom practice were used to consider the extent of their readiness to achieve the aims implicit in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). It was found that these educators understand reading primarily as the oral performance of decoding text to speech, and view comprehension as a separate and restricted entity; also, limitations in their understanding of comprehension processes involved in reading impeded their readiness to implement CAPS. Shortcomings in educators’ schooling experiences, training and professional development were considered with a view to informing future teacher training and workshops. This study formed part of a university led research project which investigated well-documented indications of poor development of literacy skills in South African schools.

Keywords: Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), Decoding, Interactive models of reading, Intermediate Phase (IP), Reading skills, Annual National Assessment (ANA).

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