Impediments to Literary Competence Among Pre-university Readers for Whom English is a Second Language (73476)

Session Information: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Session Chair: Virginia Yip

Thursday, 23 November 2023 11:20
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This article sought to establish factors that impede English literary competence, and to identify challenges Grade 12 teachers and learners encounter in literature. The target population were Grade 12 learners and teachers from five rural schools. The sample constituted of 32 learners and 5 teachers. Learners participated in focus group interviews, while teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. The results indicate that learners fail to explain the effectiveness of literary devices; they cannot back their answers to open-ended questions with textual evidence; they are inactive during literature lessons; they cannot read literary texts independently; and they develop a negative attitude if a text grapples with issues sensitive to them. The study recommends that teachers consciously engage learners by designing worksheets with tables to guide reading and classroom engagements. The worksheets should be populated with statements about aspects of a literary text in one column, and blank spaces that require quotations from the text to be filled by learners to support statements. Conversely, quotations from the text should populate other columns, and learners should make statements in relation to the quotations. Furthermore, storytelling from real life experiences should provide catharsis for learners to heal if a literary text grapples with sensitive issues.

Hlengiwe Mhlongo, University of Zululand, South Africa
Khulekani Gazu, University of South Africa, South Africa
Sanelisiwe Zuma, Majiya High School, South Africa

About the Presenter(s)
Professor HLENGIWE MHLONGO is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at University of Zululand in South Africa

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Posted by Kid Millie