Barriers to acquiring English reading and writing skills by Zulu-speaking foundation-phase learners

  • AC Lessing
  • SD Mahabeer


This article reflects on an investigation into the barriers that hinder Zulu-speaking English second language (L2) learners in the Foundation Phase from acquiring reading and writing skills. These barriers are categorised as contextual, language, school and intrinsic learner factors. A questionnaire based on these categories was completed by teachers in the Foundation Phase in schools in and around Durban to determine to what extent teachers\' experiences concur with the barriers identified in the literature on the subject. Several significant relationships were found between the various variables which contribute to the problems L2 learners experience in acquiring English reading and writing skills: poor socioeconomic environments, lack of parental involvement, low educational level of parents, cognitive factors and various language, school and intrinsic factors..

Journal for Language Teaching vol Vol. 41 (2) 2007: pp. 139-152

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eISSN: 0259-9570