Challenges when writing English: a case study of Grade 8 Second Language learners in a rural school in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ndlovu, Prince Excellent.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the challenges facing grade 8 English Second Language (ESL) speakers in a rural school of Siyazimelela District in KwaZulu-Natal when writing in English. This study was underpinned by the interpretive paradigm. The intention of interpretive paradigm is to comprehend and clarify the world of the participants using their own perceptions. Hence, I used it to discover from participants’ point of view what challenges they faced when writing in English, why they face such challenges and how they cope with the challenges when writing in English. Data was generated through questionnaires, dialogues and informal letter writings. Total population sampling, a type of purposive sampling where the total population or all participants are included in data generation was used. This study was also shaped by three research objectives: To explore the writing challenges faced by Grade 8 English second language learners at a rural school in KwaZulu-Natal, to understand why Grade 8 learners at a rural school in KwaZulu-Natal face writing challenges and to explore how Grade 8 learners at a rural school in KwaZulu-Natal coped with the challenges when writing English. The findings revealed the challenges faced by ESL learners when writing, the reasons for such challenges and how they dealt with them were interwoven. Participants lacked comprehension skills, had mother-tongue deficiency which transferred itself to the ESL, lacked understanding of grammatical rules, punctuation skills and spelling, and there were inadequacies of teacher methodology which affected learners’ abilities to write in English. The reasons for ESL learners facing these challenges were linked to the fact that most of them did not attend early childhood development (ECD) centres, low self-esteem/ motivation, did not read English at home and lacked the resources needed to enhance writing. Lastly, the findings revealed that participants coped by seeking assistance from family members and fellow classmates, and sometimes, in frustration at their perceived lack of skills, they would just not write anything. The study proposes that Department of Basic Education (DBE) turns its attention on rural education particularly ECD programmes so that strong foundations for our learners are laid. Key words: Krashen Monitor Model, English Second Language (ESL), Writing, Challenges, Rural, Thematic analysis.