Addressing the challenge of over-crowdedness in English First Additional Language (EFAL) classrooms

  • Sekanse Abiner Ntsala
  • Mamosebatho Julia Ramabenyane
  • Mariette Koen
  • Irma Loock


This paper lends itself to extenuating the impact of over-crowdedness in the intermediate phase EFAL classrooms. An in-depth  investigation into the causes of poor performance in the intermediate phase EFAL classrooms revealed over-crowdedness as one of the main possible causes. The pedagogical impediments that result from this phenomenon affect the intermediate phase EFL teachers more due to the curriculum requirements of this subject. The study was conducted in the Motheo Education District, in the Free State Province. The data was collected qualitatively, through the use of a group interview, semi-structured interviews and observations. The interviews focused on both well-performing and poor performing schools, while the observations focused on the well-performing schools. The data, which was analysed thematically, revealed the following practices that can benefit EFAL teachers working in overcrowded intermediate phase classrooms: effective planning and preparation, the integration of skills, constructive teaching, explicit instruction, a selective  approach, notetaking and the process approach. The study was premised on the theory of hope, as the insights from well-performing  schools expound the importance of not losing hope and remaining motivated to mitigate contextual factors.


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eISSN: 0259-9570