This article addresses the problem of poor written English amongst many South African learners who study English as their First Additional Language (FAL) at secondary school level, and the effect this has on their tertiary education and their future careers. The reasons for this poor mastery of written discourse are explored and, in particular, it is argued that the problems that have arisen are because of the communicative meaning-focused approach that has been the raison d’être of the second language syllabi for many years. This approach has also underpinned the OBE curriculum for English as FAL. An alternative method, in which the form of the language is focused upon, is explored and it is argued that this methodology would be a more successful one for South African learners and go a long way to solving the problem of the poor standard of English of matriculants.
Alison Immelman, a long-serving teacher of English, has some strong reservations about the draft new curriculum for languages (CAPS).
It was with great sadness that I learnt last week of the untimely death of Mike Merrett of Evalunet. It was Mike who designed the bannerhead for Teaching English Today and assisted with setting up the website and training me to operate it. A knowledgeable, cheerful young man who was killed in a motor car [...]
The Macmillan Dictionary Online provides useful information for English teachers, including the latest ‘buzzwords’.
Some useful websites containing excellent teaching resources are available.
Heartiest congratulations to the compilers of the document for a brave, bold breakaway from the vague waffle of the existing curriculum. The draft revised version is clear, succinct and use-friendly. It is also so, so pleasing to see the abolition of the LOs and ASs! I have looked at the draft and have some concerns, particularly – but not solely – in connection with the fourth skill, viz ‘Language structures and use’.
The Minister of Basic Education has called for submissions on the draft National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) which have been placed on its website.
Learners who are studying Ian McEwan’s Saturday for their Matric examination, and who are struggling to find information on the novel, will be interested to know that Professor Andrew Foley of the University of the Witwatersrand has discussed the novel in detail in the final chapter of his recent book, The Imagination of Freedom (2009). [...]
The 2010 English Alive was launched in Cape Town on 18 August 2010.
News for English teachers
WITS OFFERS BACHELOR OF ARTS (HONOURS) OF ENGLISH EDUCATION
The organisers of the ENGLISH OLYMPIAD are calling for entries for the 2011 competition.