Exploring teachers’ experiences in using formative assessment strategies in foundation phase (isiNdebele) home language within Kwaggafontein East Circuit.
Mtshweni, Nompumelelo Emily.
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The study explored teachers’ experiences in assessing (isiNdebele) home language in the foundation phase. Despite the 26 years of democracy, isiNdebele is the least spoken language in South Africa amongst the 11 official languages; with a 2, 1 % speaker population. The main aim of this research study was to understand teachers’ experiences in assessing isiNdebele home language using formative assessment strategies in the foundation phase. In this study, IsiNdebele is a language of teaching and learning. The Language in Education Policy (1997) stipulates that every learner must be taught in their home language in order to lay a solid foundation for the acquisition of a second language. Formative assessment is believed to be an effective assessment that is able to yield positive results in learning. However, the South African education system is faced with an inconsistent curriculum and the teachers have to adapt to every change that comes with it. The study further explored how experience gained over the years has influenced the manner in which teachers assess isiNdebele. The study employed a qualitative approach and used a case-study methodological design. Eight participants were selected observed and interviewed to generate data. Semi-structured interviews, reflective journals and semi-structured observations were used to gain in-depth knowledge on how the sampled foundation phase teachers understood formative assessment, and what strategies they used to assess the foundation phase learners. The findings indicated that sampled teachers were still rooted to the old methods of assessing and teaching. They believed more on grading learners than interacting with them. Furthermore, some teachers were not familiar with the new terminologies and were still attached to the old terms. The findings also indicate that teachers’ experiences differed as well as their understanding of formative assessment. Based on the findings of the study I recommend that there should be more studies conducted focusing on the teaching, learning and the assessment of IsiNdebele. The department of basic education should prioritise extensive training for assessment.