A balanced reading approach for grade one and two English L1 and EAL learners.
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This study reports on a balanced reading approach (BRA) designed for a multi-cultural classroom, including both Ll ( first language) and EAL ( English additional language ) Foundation phase learners. The purpose of this study is to explore how interactive reading approaches develop literacy skills for six African learners. The teacher as researcher developed a theoretical model, which informed her pedagogic practices in the balanced reading programme. She also engaged in action research to gain an insight into what teaching approaches, methodologies and resources make EAL learners learn more effectively. This information was disseminated to other educator colleagues. This study also examines parents' views on the BRA and their perceptions of the reading process. Data was drawn from the following sources: teacher observations and interactions with learners, semi-structured interviews with parents of learners, analysis of learner assessment and parental questionnaires. It was concluded that a balanced reading approach which values mother tongue instruction in a supportive learning environment enhances the self concepts and cognitive growth of EAL learners. This study has also demonstrated that collaborative active learning, extensive independent reading, language experience approach, home support , community support, high levels of intrinsic learner motivation and high teacher expectations of learners can positively impact on the EAL learners' academic progress and social growth at school. Keywords: Foundation phase English Additional Language Balanced Reading Approach III Additive Bilingualism Communicative Language Teaching Whole Language