T2 woordeskat en onderrig: integrasie van teorie en praktyk
Du Toit, Christine
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ABSTRACT T2 Vocabulary and education: Integration of theory and practice This article discusses the importance of major theories regarding input processes in second language acquisition. It presents an overview of the major strands of research in the field of psycholinguistic theories on information processes in the brain, and discusses how these theories can play an important part for effective learning of especially vocabulary in a second language. 76 Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, Jaargang 54 No. 1: Maart 2014 The past years have not been easy for teachers of especially second languages. The sociopolitical changes where the learner profiles became more and more diverse in classes as well as the implementing of a new school curriculum resulted in several challenges for teachers. Not all teachers are familiar with the teaching of a second language, and to complicate the situation further not all teachers of Afrikaans Additional Language are mother tongue speakers of this language. Language teachers are faced with the challenge of adapting their teaching methods to cope with the complexities in education. Technological and demographical changes and development as well as the implementation of the curriculum imply that teachers can no longer simply teach as they themselves have been taught. They need to know how new developments on theories of the teaching and learning of language impact on themselves, the learners, and the context. The low rate of success in academic achievement, especially with regard to the South African schools, emphasizes the need to reflect on why and how we do what we do in education. In a recent study on the teaching and learning of Afrikaans as additional language, in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District in the North West Province, it became clear that the majority of participant teachers do not link new evolving theories to their teaching practices. The cause of concern that stemmed from the research was that the majority of participating teachers was not trained in the specific teaching and learning of an additional language (specifically Afrikaans). Traditionally teachers of Afrikaans were trained to teach Afrikaans as a first language. No attention was paid to train teachers for Afrikaans as a second or foreign language. In recent years the picture of learners who take Afrikaans as an additional language has changed dramatically and today Afrikaans as an additional language must be seen much more as a foreign language rather than be compared with English as a second language; mostly because of the little exposure that learners have to the Afrikaans language, as well as the fact that the majority of learners who learn an additional language, such as English or Afrikaans, can already speak more than two languages; thus implying that Afrikaans is their third or fourth language. The aim of this article is to stress the fact that teachers can best meet this challenge if their methods and practices are informed by a sound theoretical basis. In order to make the teaching of Afrikaans as an additional language effective and efficient, teachers must be aware of theories concerned with additional language acquisition and teaching and learning practices since these theories give a fundamental motivation on why and how an additional language should be taught. The theories are derived from the perspectives of psycholinguistics and involve the processing of information in the brain: Anderson and VanPatten’s information processing theories, and Baddeley’s multidimensional memory were used. This article is an attempt to fill the gap between theory and practice in the teaching and learning of Afrikaans as an additional language. OPSOMMING Taalonderwysers word daagliks gekonfronteer met die uitdaging om hulle onderrigmetodes aan te pas by veranderende omstandighede. Tegnologiese en demografiese verandering sowel as die implementering van ’n nuwe kurrikulum het tot gevolg dat onderwysers nie bloot kan onderrig soos wat hulle altyd gedoen het nie. Die kompleksiteit van en toenemend meer diverse leerders noodsaak dat onderwysers moet tred hou met nuwe ontwikkeling op die gebied van navorsing oor bepaalde aspekte binne hulle vakgebied. Dit is in belang van die leerders dat onderwysers, meer 77 Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, Jaargang 54 No. 1: Maart 2014 as ooit tevore, hulle moet kan verantwoord oor waarom en hoekom hulle doen wat hulle doen in die onderrigsituasie. In ’n onlangse studie oor die onderrig en leer van Afrikaans as addisionele taal, in die dr. Kenneth Kaunda Distrik in die Noordwes-Provinsie, was dit duidelik dat die meerderheid onderwysers nie nuwe en ontluikende teorieë gekoppel het aan hulle praktiese onderrigvaardigheid nie. Die grootste bekommernis wat uit hierdie studie voortgespruit het, was dat hierdie onderwysers ook nie spesifieke opleiding in die onderrig van ’n addisionele taal ontvang het nie. Die doel van hierdie artikel is om aan te toon hoe sekere teorieë noodsaaklik is om onderwysers te kan ondersteun in die onderrig van woordeskatverwerwing in Afrikaans Addisionele Taal. Hierdie teorieë verskaf ’n grondige motivering vir die wat en hoe addisionele tale onderrig behoort te word.
- Faculty of Education