Title page for ETD etd-05152010-233034

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Wium, Anna Maria
Email awium@ul.ac.za
URN etd-05152010-233034
Document Title The development of a support programme for foundation phase teachers to facilitate listening and language for numeracy
Degree DPhil
Department Communication Pathology
Advisor Name Title
Prof I Eloff Co-Supervisor
Prof B Louw Supervisor
  • listening skills
  • continued professional development
  • mixed methods
  • adult learning
  • education
  • programme evaluation
  • numeracy
  • language
  • foundation phase teachers
  • OBE
  • curriculum
Date 2010-04-12
Availability unrestricted
Various assessments and international studies have shown that learners in South African schools experience challenges and perform poorly with respect to literacy and numeracy. To become competitive in the global arena, there is an urgent need to raise the standards of education.

Language is required for all learning, including numeracy and mathematics. Many young learners in South Africa struggle to develop adequate language skills because of an inherent pathology and/or barriers in their learning environment. Learners who do not develop adequate listening and language skills during their early years are most likely to experience difficulty in acquiring literacy and numeracy skills, resulting in poor academic progress. By supporting learners to overcome their developmental delays as early as in the foundation phase, future learning problems may be prevented. To raise education standards, teachers need to heighten their attempts to facilitate literacy and numeracy in the foundation phase.

Teachers currently have to adapt to a new national curriculum statement (NCS) that is based on an outcomes-based education (OBE) approach (Department of Education, 1997:16). Many teachers, especially those in black townships and other previously disadvantaged areas, find this difficult as they have not been sufficiently trained or are not adequately qualified. Educational changes have necessitated the need for high quality staff development and support.

Speech-language therapists (SLTs) working within a collaborative approach in the education context can support the learners who need to acquire listening and language skills, as well as the teachers who have to facilitate these skills.

This study developed a support programme for foundation phase teachers to facilitate listening and language for numeracy. The multifaceted programme consisted of training, mentoring, and practical components, which aimed at developing the participantsí competence (foundational, practical, and reflective competence). The programme integrated the principles of adult learning within an OBE approach while taking culture and diversity into consideration. The programme was evaluated within a Logic Model framework.

The research made use of a concurrent, equal status triangulation design where triangulation was obtained by transforming QUAL data into QUAN data to be compared. In the QUAN strand, data were collected from 96 teacher participants (who were selected by using a convenience sampling method) by means of questionnaires, portfolio assignments, attendance registers, and financial statements. Qualitative data were collected from eight focus group discussions (using a nested design with 12 participants at a time) as well as a research diary, testimonials, and various correspondences.

The findings indicated that all the participants have gained knowledge, skills, and confidence, but to varying degrees. Factors that affected the outcomes included aspects related to time, the choice of venue, age, prior support and qualifications, as well as motivation related to the context. Group learning was identified as a suitable strategy for teacher support in these contexts. Provided that specific factors are considered to increase effectiveness, the outcomes indicated that the programme could be used to support foundation phase teachers in these specific contexts.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Additional information available on a CD stored at the Merensky Library

Please cite as follows:

Wium, AM 1010, The development of a support programme for foundation phase teachers to facilitate listening and language for numeracy, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05152010-233034/ >


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