An investigation of the impact of new English language texts upon the classroom practice of teachers in two ex-Department of Education and Training (DET) primary schools.
This dissertation studies the impact on classroom practice, of the unaided use of new English Language texts, based on the TASC ( Thinking Actively in a Social Context) approach, Thinking Skills and Communicative Language Teaching ( CLT ). The central aim of the study was to establish whether the use of the new materials would effect any change in the teaching methodology of the participant teachers as well as a change in the learner involvement in the English Second Language ( ESL ) classroom. The literature on Thinking Skills and Communicative Language Teaching was reviewed in order to establish the significance of incorporating Thinking Skills into the teaching of language. Issues related to school-based curriculum development were explored with a view to finding out whether the curriculum initiative undertaken could contribute to improved ESL teaching and more effective learning in primary schools. The draft materials used, viz. "Language in my World", were used collaboratively by the researcher together with the writing team from the Curriculum Development Unit ( CDU ), University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. A qualitative, participatory research method was applied. Eight teachers from two ex-Department of Education and Training ( DET ) schools, one rural, one urban ), participated in the study.The research design enabled the researcher to collect data over a period of six weeks. The research design, the fieldwork, and analysis of the lessons observed are described and recorded. The findings indicated aspects of classroom practice which hinder the effective learning and teaching of English Second Language. The implications of the findings for appropriate curriculum development and teacher training are considered. Certain recommendations from the findings for curriculum development are made which will enable teachers to develop their professional knowledge and improve their teaching practice.