An exploration of reading strategies implemented by teachers teaching isiZulu home language in grade 1.
This study explores the strategies implemented by grade one isiZulu Home Language (HL) teachers when teaching reading. One of the fundamental skills of education for learners involves the development of reading in the early stages of schooling. The CAPS document was recently introduced in order to help introduce teachers to a variety of explicit strategies in the teaching and assessment of reading. However, practitioner experience and research indicate that most teachers find it difficult to implement the strategies suggested for a variety of reasons. The study adopted the qualitative approach based on an interpretive approach. The objective of choosing the qualitative method for data collection was to get deeper insight into how teachers teach reading to learners. The strategies employed to gather data with efficiency and minimum bias involved the adoption of the semi-structured interview. This research used the semi-structured interviews with three grade one teachers in the Pinetown district as respondents. Research findings indicate that teachers have significant difficulties in implementing the reading strategies to achieve the levels of competencies as required by the CAPS document. The respondents in this research found that they were significantly challenged when it came to implementing the recommended CAPS strategies to learners. It was also observed that there are distinct gaps in the teaching of reading to learners in the foundation phase. Moreover, teachers struggled with the interpretation of the reading methods as laid out in the policy framework. In order to address these problems it is recommended that teachers in the schools be trained thoroughly on how to implement strategies recommended by the Department of Education as stipulated in the CAPS document. The respondents realized that they needed extensive knowledge and specialised skills which were not offered during the training. All the three teachers taught the different aspects of the language in isolation, and not in the integrated approach as espoused in the CAPS. The findings also suggest that support from school management in mentoring is required to assist teachers to implement the strategies with efficiency and understanding.