An exploration of the teaching beliefs and practices of adult basic education and training teachers of reading.
This case study examines the pedagogy of early reading in a South African Basic Education Centre. Existing literature shows that illiteracy among adults in South Africa is a great concern. The acquisition of reading competence in adults is under - researched in South Africa and previous research has tended to focus on literacy/reading in relation to health issues or the acquisition of reading in children. This study attempts to contribute to understanding poor reading conditions in adult classes by providing a description of beliefs and practices of three Adult Basic Education and Training teachers of reading. The study captures the beliefs and practices of the teachers of reading in ABET Level 1- 4 with respect to the teaching of reading in Zulu and English. Data is examined using constructivism and dialogic space as theoretical frameworks. Data was gathered from teacher interviews and classroom observations. The findings of this paper include that these teachers lack pedagogical knowledge to inform their practice and are often influenced by their own experience of being taught to read. The dominant instructional practice was a focus on pronunciation while reading aloud as opposed to text comprehension. Recommendations are made regarding the support that could be offered to the teachers of reading in this centre.