The influence of learner-related factors on the academic performance of Grade 12 English (L2) Learners in the Oshikoto Region of Namibia
The aim of this study was to examine learner related factors influencing the academic performance of Grade 12 learners in English Language (L 2) in Oshikoto region, Namibia. The English language is widely used in secondary/high schools in Africa given its global standing among languages in the world. However, since it is a second language, many learners face numerous challenges. Using purposive sampling, a sample of 52 participants was selected for the study and a mixed method approach was adopted in the collection of primary data. The data was analysed using contingency tables and supplemented with content analysis. Findings indicate that most Grade 12 learners lack English Language proficiency due to lack of English Language exposure, especially learners from poor socio-economic backgrounds. Findings further reveal that most English Language (L 2) learners in the selected schools were subjected to poverty, coupled with large class sizes and lack of teaching aides. In addition, the findings show that the majority of respondents (75 %) agreed that Grade 12 learners found it difficult to understand the examination questions in English given that English is a second language to them. The differences in English Language (L 2) learners’ performance lie in the differences in life experience of the learners concerned. Thus, socio-economic disparities influence children’s English Language (L 2) learning outcomes. Amongst other recommendations is that learners should be exposed to debates and drama that target enhancement of English Language in the classroom.
Keywords: Academic performance, Exposure, Learner related factors, Socio-economic background, Language proficiency.