Teacher perspectives and practices in teaching English reading comprehension to Grade 2 First Additional Language Learners
English reading comprehension is an educational challenge worldwide, and South Africa is no exception. English as First Additional Language (FAL) is very significant in South Africa. Learners require specialised support by teachers to overcome the language barrier and comprehend what they read in English as their first additional language. This aspect of overcoming the language barrier in EFAL lead to the study which was conducted to investigate the teacher perspectives and practices in teaching English reading comprehension to Grade 2 First Additional Language Learners. This qualitative study was undertaken through the interpretive paradigm and a case study research design was used. The research sites included three independent English schools in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. The data collection strategies included individual semi-structured interviews and classroom observations of the teachers teaching English reading comprehension. In addition, a reflective journal was kept by the researcher to document the participants’ body language during the interviews and observations. The data were analysed by making use of thematic coding. Findings revealed the pre-comprehension strategies, classroom practices, resources used in teaching English reading comprehension and ways to make reading fun that teachers use to teach English reading comprehension to Grade 2 FAL learners. These strategies and practices are discussed in light of the various stages of the reading process – as reflected in a reading comprehension teaching framework. Teachers can use this framework to address the key challenges in teaching FAL learners.
Keywords: reading comprehension, teaching framework, scaffolding, teacher perspectives, First Additional Language.