South African Journal of African Languages

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A theoretical approach to teaching academic literacy through the use of genres: A knowledge about language for preservice teachers

Simthembile Xeketwana


This paper explores the properties of genre-based pedagogy regarding its application in South African schools in the intermediate, senior and Further Education and Training phases. The paper aims at contributing to the improvement of language skills and literacy in reading and writing by empowering preservice teachers with a theoretical approach to knowledge about isiXhosa. Genre-based pedagogy and systemic functional linguistics (SFL) are employed to examine media texts such as those found in Bona magazine, which can be of value in teaching isiXhosa at home language level. The paper further demonstrates the use of lexical items from the perspective of the ideational metafunction, which is sentence-level grammar, in evaluative language use as underpinned by genre-based pedagogy and SFL. This paper seeks to contribute to the use of media texts as a resource for language development in South African schools as per the specifications of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement. In conclusion, the paper argues that the analysis of isiXhosa media texts could benefit educators’ knowledge about language, which is needed to enhance literacy in South African schools.
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