An exploration into the pedagogy of teaching reading in selected foundation phase isiZulu home language classes in Umlazi schools.
The problem of poor reading levels among South African students is still prevalent at all levels of education. Attempts to eradicate the problem through various means, for example, Foundations for Learning Campaign, Readathon Campaign, National Strategy for Reading, and many more have been made, yet to date no observable improvements have been noted. The purpose of this study is to explore the teaching of reading in isiZulu home language classrooms. The study aimed to answer three research questions: (i) What do foundation phase teachers say about teaching reading in isiZulu home language classes? (ii) How do foundation phase teachers teach reading in isiZulu home languages classes?, and (iii) Why do foundation phase teachers teach reading in isiZulu home language classes in the way they do? The study is conducted at Umlazi, an African Township, where isiZulu is the language spoken in the community and is the language of learning and teaching in all foundation phase classrooms. The research sites are two schools, in the same area. The participants of the study are eight teachers, all mother tongue speakers of isiZulu. There are six teachers in one school, and two from the other school. The children taught are also speakers of isiZulu. The study is a qualitative case study, situated in the constructivist paradigm. Semi-structured interviews; observations as well as document analysis are used as data collection methods. The study uses qualitative methods for the analysis of data. Vygotsky’s (1978) social-constructivist theory is used as a theoretical framework, and a conceptual framework is also developed for data analysis. Eight themes emerge from the findings. The first theme; content taught, is found to focus on the teaching of sounds and words, taught in isolation. The second one; ways of teaching, seem to be the phonic and look and say methods, which are due to beliefs that teachers have about them. The third one; reading resources is seen to be lacking in both schools, and teachers are seen to rely on traditional resources for the teaching of reading. The fourth one; context in which reading is taught, appears to be not conducive to the children’s reading development. Fifth; assessment of reading; is indirect. This means that teachers use written tasks, and not reading activities to assess reading. The sixth; aims of reading; is found to be on writing accuracy and not on reading for comprehension. The seventh; teachers’ beliefs; are the reasons for teachers’ actions and sayings. The last one; teachers’ attitudes towards isiZulu, are found to be the most dominant predicament, as teachers themselves see isiZulu as a problem, and prefer English rather than isiZulu. Findings of the study indicate that, teachers are highly influenced by their beliefs, the aspect which impacts on the ways they teach reading in isiZulu home language classrooms. Secondly, teachers do not adequately encourage children to read in isiZulu because of their bias towards the English language. The third finding is the lack of resources for the teaching of reading in isiZulu home language. It is concluded that isiZulu home language learners in such schools are not able to read because the problem starts at a very elementary level, in the foundation phase, and the problem is carried over into their whole academic life. Inkinga yamazinga aphansi okufunda okubhaliwe kubafundi baseNingizimu Afrika yinto ekhungethe onke amazinga emfundo. Nakuba iminingi imizamo esizanyiwe ukulwa nale nkinga, kuze kube manje bekungakabi bikho mibiko ebika ubungcono. Lapha ngingabala imizamo yaseNingizimu-Afrika efana ne-Foundations for Learning Campaign, Readathon Campaign, National Strategy for Reading. Inhloso yalolu cwaningo ukubheka ukufundiswa kokufunda okubhaliwe olimini lwasekhaya lwesiZulu emabangeni aphansi. Ucwaningo luhlose ukuphendula imibuzongqangi emithathu elandelayo: (i) Othisha bamabanga aphansi bathini ngokufundisa ukufunda okubhaliwe emabangeni aphansi esiZulu njengolimi lwasekhaya? (ii) Othisha bamabanga aphansi bakufundisa kanjani ukufunda okubhaliwe emabangeni esibili nelesithathu emakilasini esiZulu njengolimi lwasekhaya? (iii) Kungani othisha bamabanga aphansi befundisa ukufunda okubhaliwe ngendlela abakwenza ngayo? Ucwaningo lwenziwe elokishini lama-Afrika laseMlazi, lapho isiZulu siwulimi olukhulunywa emphakathini, kanti nasezikoleni zamabanga aphansi kusetshenziswa sona njengolimi lokufundisa. Ucwaningo lwenziwe ezikoleni ezimbili ezisesigcemeni esisodwa. Bayisishiyagalombili othisha ababe yingxenye yocwaningo, bayisithupha kwesinye isikole, kanti kwesinye babili. Ucwaningo lulucwaningo lobunjalo besimo (qualitative case study), ngaphansi kwe-social constuctivist paradigm. Kusetshenziswa izingxoxo ezisakuhleleka (semi-structured interviews), ukubukela othisha befundisa (observations), kanye nendlela yokuhlaziya imibhalo njengezindlela zokuqoqa ulwazi locwaningo. Ucwaningo luphinde lusebenzise izindlela zocwaningo lobunjalo besimo ukuhlaziya ulwazi olutholakele. Kusetshenziswa insizakuhlaziya kaVygotsky (1978) njengohlaka lwenjulalwazi kanye nohlaka lwemicabango ukuhlaziya ulwazi olutholakele. Kugqama izindikimba eziyisishiyagalombili olwazini olutholakalayo. Kukhona emayelana nokufundiswayo lapho kufundiswa ukufunda okubhaliwe. Lapha kuvela ukuthi othisha bafundisa imisindo namagama nemisho emifushane, okufundiswa kuzihambela kodwa; ngamanye amazwi kungasukeli embhalweni. Enye imayelana nezindlela namasu okufundisa ukufunda okubhaliwe. Lapha kuvela ukuthi othisha bafundisa ngendlela yokufundisa ngemisindo, bayihlanganise nendlela yokubuka-usho (look-and–say method). Enye imayelana nezinsizakufundisa zokufunda okubhaliwe, okubonakala ziyindlala kuzo zombili izikole, kanti futhi ukusetshenziswa kwazo kuncikene nezinkolelo othisha abanazo. Enye imayelana nendawo okufundelwa kuyo ukufunda okubhaliwe, okutholakala kungagqugquzeli kangako ukuthuthuka kwengane ekufundeni imibhalo yesiZulu. Enye imayelana nokuhlolwa kokufundiswa kokufunda okubhaliwe. Lapha kuvela ukuthi ukuhlola kwenzeka ngendlela engaqondene nokufunda okubhaliwe, ngoba ukuhlola ukufunda okubhaliwe kwenzeka ngokuthi abafundi benze imisebenzi ebhalwayo, efana nesibizelo nokunye. Enye yezindikimba imayelana nenhloso yokufunda okubhaliwe. Lapha kubonakala ukufunda okubhaliwe kungenanhloso yokufunda ngokuqondisisa umbhalo ofundwayo, kodwa kunalokho kube ukubhala ngokucophelela, ‘ngendlela enembayo’ (writing accuracy). Enye indikimba imayelana nezinkolelo othisha abanazo ngokufundisa ukufunda okubhaliwe. Lokhu kubonakala kuyisona sizathu kwabakwenzayo nabakushoyo othisha ngokufundisa ukufunda okubhaliwe. Kanti enye imayelana nokuzenyeza kothisha ngolimi abalufundisayo lwesiZulu. Lapha othisha babonakala besibukela phansi isiZulu kodwa bencamela isiNgisi. Imiphumela yocwaningo ikhombisa ukuthi abakushoyo nabakwenzayo othisha kungenxa yezinkolelo abanamathele kuzo, okuyizona ezinomthelela ezindleleni abazisebenzisayo lapho befundisa ukufunda okubhaliwe. Okwesibili ukuthi othisha abazilekeleli ngokwanele izingane ukuba zithuthuke ekufundeni okubhaliwe olimini lwesiZulu, ngenxa yokuchema nesiNgisi. Okwesithathu ukuthi izinsizakufundisa zolimi lwesiZulu ziyindlala kuzo zombili izikole. Ngakho-ke ucwaningo lusonga ngokuthi kusho ukuthi abafundi bakulezi zikole banenkinga yokufunda okubhaliwe olimini lwesiZulu nje yingoba inkinga iqala emabangeni aphansi, besebancane, bakhule baqhubeke nayo impilo yabo yonke emfundweni.