CAUSAL FACTORS OF LOW READING STANDARDS OF THE FOUNDATION PHASE LEARNERS IN VHEMBE DISTRICT, LIMPOPO PROVINCE OF SOUTH AFRICA
Mudzielwana, N. P.
Journal Title:Journal of Research in Education and Society
This study was carried out while observing teaching practice where the matter of reading was addressed, and subsequent focus group discussions with teachers to explore the possible reasons for low reading standards among learners, a concern of the Limpopo Department of Education (LDE) as well. Teachers were also asked what improvements they could suggest to address the problem of low reading levels amongst the learners. Teachers themselves attribute low reading standards to the combined effects of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS), the Foundations for Learning Campaign (FFLC), the inappropriate use of methodology in the teaching of reading, the multi-grade teaching approach, and multilingualism. Various recommendations are made for interventions, such as tailor-made training programs to enable teachers to understand OBE principles and the reading framework, university training for reading specialists to train other teachers, the use of a multi-method approach to allow teachers to use methods they are already familiar with, ensuring adequate backup reading materials, encouraging the construction of meaning from texts rather than just the decoding of print-all without neglecting learner diversity which may need to take into account multi-level abilities and multilingualism in schools short of resources.