A survey of the writing approaches followed by ESL teachers in Port Elizabeth secondary schools where Afrikaans is the first language

Harran, Marcelle (1994) A survey of the writing approaches followed by ESL teachers in Port Elizabeth secondary schools where Afrikaans is the first language. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

In this study an attempt is made to describe and illuminate the current approaches to ESL writing in secondary schools in the Port Elizabeth-Despatch areas where Afrikaans is the first language of the pupils. Teacher and pupil Questionnaires were used as a means of data collection through which the approaches, practices and attitudes to the teaching of ESL writing in the secondary schools in the survey area could be reviewed and assessed. The teacher Questionnaire revealed that most respondents appeared to have a limited awareness or understanding of basic composing processes, especially the role of multiple drafting and teacher intervention in the form of interactive feedback. There is also evidence that there is a limited understanding of how these activities can be effectively implemented in a classroom situation. The pupil Questionnaire was used as a means to extend the understanding of teacher approaches to ESL writing as revealed in the teacher Questionnaire, to enable comparisons to be made and to evaluate the writing approaches currently practised in the ESL classroom. Many of the observations revealed in the teacher Questionnaire were echoed in the analysis of the pupil Questionnaire, especially the limited roles of planning and feedback, treatment of error, attitude to writing and the limited improvement in writing as pupils progress through the secondary school. The analysis also revealed that pupils were reluctant to expose, or share their work with audiences, were pre-occupied with error and viewed the teacher as grade-giver, grammarian and topic-provider. Topic selection was also revealed as a factor which influenced the pupils' negative or indifferent attitudes to writing. Although the process approach was considered a traditional approach to writing by 1986, the analysis and review of the Questionnaire data has revealed that a fair assessment of the state of ESL writing in the survey schools would place the current writing approaches in the traditional product- centred, form-dominated, teacher-centred mould. For this position to change, research pedagogy will need to become part of teacher training and the classroom so that there can be greater teacher awareness and understanding of composing processes and their implementation in the classroom. This is necessary, because research findings have revealed that a genuine orientation to a process approach and the application of composing stategies followed by good writers will result in improved writing progress and pupils having a more positive attitude to writing.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:ESL writing, Secondary schools, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Afrikaans first language, Teachers, Students, Learners, Questionnaires, Composition, Intervention, Feedback, Planning, Attitude
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Murray, Sarah
ID Code:3563
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:05 Oct 2012 12:38
Last Modified:05 Oct 2012 12:38
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