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Determining factors affecting English literacy levels at Ntuthuko Primary School.

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Learners in South Africa are performing poorly in the area reading and writing English. The South African Department of Education conducted a systemic evaluation of language competence of intermediate phase learners in South Africa and found that a large majority (63%) were below the required competence for their age level. The problem in reading and writing English is also common at Ntuthuko Primary School a public primary school in KwaZulu Natal province. For instance, an observational study and literature at the school indicates that pupils at Ntuthuko Primary School have difficulties in reading and writing English, the First Additional Language. English literacy is one of the key focuses in education. Therefore the purpose of this study is to determine factors that adversely affect English literacy levels at Ntuthuko primary school. The target population for this study were teachers Ntuthuko primary school. Non-probability sampling purposive sampling was used to select a total of 8 teachers. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to generate the data needed from participants to understand the research problem under study. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. The study reveals that factors that adversely affect learners' English literacy include opportunity to learn, aptitude for learning, quality of instructions and family factors. There is need to address factors that adversely affect the English literacy of learners at Ntuthuko Primary School. In addition, there is need to encourage parents to enrol their children in R to help them develop early literacy skills, support parents to develop positive attitudes towards English literacy. Parents should also be encouraged to communicate with learners while teachers should help learners reduce English learning anxiety by showing learners that it is possible to learn to write and speak English proficiently.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.