Enriching my teaching in English first additional language to Grade Four isiZulu speaking learners: a teacher's self-study.
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The main purpose of this study was to conduct a self-study of my practice as a teacher to explore ways of enriching the process of teaching IsiZulu speaking learners in English. I therefore, aimed to better understand and evaluate my relationships with my grade 4 learners and to improve my teaching practice. Adopting a sociocultural theoretical perspective on teaching and learning helped me to understand that learning is culturally and socially constructed, which means that it is important to pay attention to learners' social and cultural backgrounds and circumstances, so as to draw on what they already know from social and cultural interactions. The first question that guided my research was: How have my lived experiences contributed to how I teach IsiZulu speaking grade 4 learners in English? This question helped me to look back at my personal history and the way I learnt English and how I teach in English. My second research question was: How do learners experience and respond to my teaching in grade 4 classroom? In exploring this research question, I presented work that was constructed with my learners and made use of ideas and reflections my by learners in the classroom. This allowed me to interpret how they experienced my teaching. My third research question was: How can I further improve my teaching to IsiZulu speaking grade 4 learners? In responding to this research question, I reflected on my teacher learning as I explored a variety of teaching approaches to enhance my learners' understanding of the learning content presented to them in English. I was the main participant in the study, working with my 38 grade 4 learners and my three critical friends who were also studying towards their Masters' Degree in Curriculum Studies. Data were generated using nine research tools: a) artefact retrieval; b) reflective journal writing; c) memory drawing; d) collage; e) metaphor drawing; f) curriculum policy, g) photographs; h) lesson plans; and i) audio recording of lessons and conversations. From my self-study research, I discovered that teaching learners in a language that is not their home language requires them to learn the language as much as they are learning the content, which results in them taking longer to learn than the language speakers. Therefore, in my planning of activities I should be aware of this and make them relevant to context. That I need to create a learning environment that speaks to their needs and not only what I aimed to achieve.