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Self-esteem enhancement for English second language learners in the foundation phase.

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This study aimed to explore the self-esteem of English second language learners in the Foundation Phase in KwaZulu-Natal. This is a qualitative study with a sample size of 13 participants; nine learners from six years to nine years and four educators in the Foundation Phase. Data was generated through semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and observation. Research showed that language barriers affect the self-esteem of learners who are non-English speakers in multiracial schools, and most learners displayed low self-esteem especially when interacting with peers in classrooms. Findings of the study indicated that there is a huge need for self-esteem enhancement for English second language learners in the foundation phase. Language was a serious challenge for English second language learners, which contributed their low self-esteem. Self-esteem issues can affect anyone irrespective of age. Learners experienced different academic difficulties, for example, repeating a grade, or continuing to the following grade without a sufficient grasp of the past grade's work. Difficult behavioral issues among English second language learners are sometimes caused by large class sizes that make educators not pay full attention to the learners with low self-esteem. The study also revealed the importance of having school remedial teachers who are qualified to assist learners with difficulties, such as learners who have low self-esteem, language challenges, lack of support from the school management team and lack of support from parents.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.