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Difficulties to completing English homework : perspectives of six Grade seven learners from a township school.

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This small scale case study focused on the difficulties experienced by the six Grade seven learners from a selected township school when they were writing their English homework. Literature suggests a gap in findings on the perspectives of learners. The study utilized six Grade seven learners who had failed to complete their English homework which they had been given the previous day by their English language educator. The participants had been given a comprehension test on the previous day that they had started in the classroom and they were expected to finish it at home as their homework. Three boys and three girls were chosen from three different Grade seven sections as participants for the study. The data for this study was obtained by the semi structured interviews. The semi structured interviews were informed by drawings which were used by the learners to help them remember some of the things that they might have forgotten if there were no drawings to broaden responses to the questions. These interviews were conducted in a secluded class to avoid disturbances by the other learners. The interviews took place during one week and they were conducted for thirty minutes after school. A tape recorder was used to record the data which was later to be transcribed and analyzed. This study revealed through its findings that the learners experienced a number of difficulties when they were writing their English homework and as a result they could not finish it. Some of the findings that emerged from this study were amongst others, the lack of space at home to write homework, lack of someone to help with homework, and the house chores that have to be done by the learners when they come back from school. Findings of this study suggest that as English educators we need to give our learners an opportunity to speak out about some of the challenges or difficulties they experience when they are writing their English homework. Moreover, we need to teach our learners to plan their time properly so that they have enough time to write their homework when they come back from school since there are things that they have to do when they come back from school which cannot take a backseat or be done by their parents like the house chores. Finally, findings in this study suggest the importance of the open lines of communication between the parents the educators. This open line of communication could help close the gap that is between the educators and the parents and it can also help everybody understand what is expected from them when it comes to the issuing and the monitoring of schoolwork. This may help the educators communicate with the parents about their children’s homework and what is expected from them.


M. Ed. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2014.


Homework., Study skills., English language--Study and teaching (Primary), Theses--Education