Case studies of second language learners who excel at writing in English

Ntete, Susan (1999) Case studies of second language learners who excel at writing in English. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This study, which was carried out in Mdantsane township in the Eastern Cape, attempts to explain why some learners from the former Department of Education and Training, and whose mother-tongue is Xhosa, are more proficient English Second Language (ESL) writers than others. As one who grew up as an ESL learner, and has taught as an ESL teacher in this area, my interest in this field of study has been triggered by the concern of one who has experienced educational disadvantage. My understanding of what it means to be an ESL writer, given the status that English enjoys in South Africa presently, has been the motivating force behind this study. The study focuses on competent ESL writers. It is hoped that other researchers, teacher educators and teachers will learn something from the practices and strategies used by the learners in this study. In its investigation this study employs case studies. For purposes of triangulation, multiple sources of data collection have been used. The major areas of focus are on the learners and their ESL writing practices. Collection of data includes formal interviews with both ESL learners and their teachers, informal interviews with the learners' Xhosa teachers, observation as well as text analysis. The findings of the study suggest, among other things, that more often than not, it is learners who are motivated extroverts, ambitious go-getters and uninhibited survivors who become excellent ESL writers. Like any study, this has certain limitations. As a result the interpretation of data has been expressed in tentative terms. This does not mean that there is nothing to be gained from a study of this nature. Instead, the aim is to challenge more researchers to take up this issue, so that generalis ability across case studies can be achieved.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:English, Language, Teaching, Second
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
ID Code:2833
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:21 May 2012 13:16
Last Modified:21 May 2012 13:16
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