Academic literacy and the development of inference skills at secondary school level
Learners are required to cope with increasingly complex texts at school, as they need to be able to cope effectively with the demands of progressively more advanced academic discourse types. This article reports on a small-scale case study that was conducted to establish the academic literacy levels of five Grade 10 learner cohorts. We stress the importance of the development of academic literacy at school level, and then discuss the results of an academic literacy test. The test results provided useful diagnostic information and pointed out that learners were severely lacking in their inferencemaking skills. We discuss inference types and suggest a number of practical strategies that can be followed to develop learners’ inference skills at secondary school level.
Keywords: academic literacy, academic language, inference skills, diagnostic assessment, inference types, inferencemaking strategies