Senior Preparatory isiZulu First Additional Language
IsiZulu belongs to the Nguni languages, together with Xhosa, Swazi and Ndebele. Speakers of the Nguni group have little difficulty understanding an isiZulu speaker and vice versa. When children are speaking their mother tongue, they do not have to think about what structures to use: it comes instinctively. To be able to do that, one needs a lot of practice.
At Dainfern College we believe that the teaching of isiZulu should be an extensive experience for the pupils. We begin the implementation of the isiZulu curriculum at Grade 0 in the Junior Preparatory Phase and Grade 4 in the Senior Preparatory Phase. Dainfern College is committed to the promotion of language equity and language rights as required by a democratic dispensation. This is dependent on the availability of adequate resources and the demand for languages made by the learners. It is the College’s aim that by the end of Grade 12 learners should be proficient in speaking, reading and writing at least one of the additional languages.
The specific role of the Senior Preparatory isiZulu teacher is:
- To establish a solid foundation in the understanding of the constructs of the language through primarily focusing on sound recognition, word attack skills and the development of isiZulu vocabulary in the earlier grades, and moving on to interpretation, sentence construction and grammatical structures in the higher grades.
- To develop an appreciation for the language by using songs, poetry, fun competitions and dialogues in isiZulu.
- To improve reading and comprehension skills relevant to each grade.
- To get pupils to develop the ability to express themselves fluently in oral and written formats in isiZulu.
The emphasis will be for pupils not only to be able to express themselves but acquire the necessary grammatical structures.
The College Policy
The approach in teaching isiZulu In Grades 0 and 1 is conversational and informal. In Grades 2 and 3 formal teaching is introduced.
In Grades 4 and 5 the teaching of isiZulu is informed by the Assessment Standards and Learning Outcomes found in the National Curriculum Statement.
In Grade 6 pupils get an opportunity to choose one additional language that they do as a First Additional Language.
The First Additional Language curriculum assumes that pupils do not necessarily have any knowledge of the language when they arrive at school. The curriculum starts by developing pupils’ ability to understand and speak the language.
THE PURPOSE OF A SECOND LANGUAGE
The purpose of learning a First Additional Language is to be able to interact effectively with other South Africans. Part of being a good South African citizen is to being multilingual.
The overall aim should be for the pupil to feel confident about using this language, especially in oral communication, so that the learner enjoys being able to switch from one language to another. What they learn should help them to communicate with South Africans who speak the second additional language.
By continuously listening to the language, the pupil gradually starts using the language and in such a way starts to learn about the language unconsciously, so that the teacher has no need to teach all the sentence structures in formal lessons.
It is important in a multi-cultural society for pupils to be able to communicate and understand other communities. Pupils should be able to make themselves understood in order to:
- Create a better understanding amongst different racial groups.
- Create mutual respect and knowledge of different cultures.
- To encourage and motivate the children to explore the language to the level that each individual feels he/she can extend himself or herself.
The acquisition of language skills in the Preparatory School, should emphasise the following components:
Learning Outcome 1: Listening
The learner will be able to listen for information and enjoyment, and respond appropriately and critically in a wide range of situations. Listening to much of the additional language pitched at the right level forms the foundation for the development of all other skills. The range of situations and learners’ responses will be limited at first.
Learning Outcome 2: Speaking
The learner will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in spoken language in a wide range of situations. Learners will gain confidence in expressing themselves in a limited range of situations at first. Through listening, they will be able to use the language more creatively. Through interacting they will experience multi-lingualism as personally and socially enriching.
Learning Outcome 3: Reading and Viewing
The learner will be able to read and view for information and enjoyment, and respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in texts. Initially, the language in a text will be very simple. Reading carefully graded texts is essential for developing language, especially vocabulary. Reading is also the foundation for writing in the additional language.
Learning Outcome 4: Writing
The learner will be able to write different kinds of factual and imaginative texts for a wide range of purposes. Learners will write simple texts for communication. With the help of frames they will be able to do some creative writing.
Learning Outcome 5: Thinking and Reasoning
This is where the learner applies the cloze procedure for choosing the words that match pictures. Learners look at pictures without any words and write the conversation about what he/she sees in the picture, telling a story using appropriate language structures.
Learning Outcome 6: Language Structure and Use
The learner will know and will be able to use the sounds, words and grammar of the language to create and interpret texts.
Sounds, grammar and vocabulary are the building blocks of the language. They should be taught in context and integrated with reading, listening and speaking.
In class the children are given opportunities to produce the language structures effectively before any written work is given. The majority of themes should strive for a balance between the oral and written components of the language.
Songs and poems: This is an exceptional technique for drilling vocabulary, grammar structures, pronunciation and new sounds. Children love to sing and recite poems. It is important to remember that:
- Pupils enjoy songs and poems. These must include newly introduced vocabulary and sentence structures.
- Songs and poems must accommodate the lesson’s needs and could be sung at various school functions.
Dialogues: This is an effective technique for practising the rhythm of a new language but needs to satisfy certain criteria:
- They should be interesting.
- They must be useful and represent practical situations and be relevant to the theme.
- The language must be acceptable, simple and meaningful.
- The learners should be able to hear and imitate the exchanges, using them in sentences.
The Substitution Table: This table is compiled by the teacher for the learners. This table should be used for listening and speaking the language. The children have to repeat the sentence structure, chorally and individually. Opportunities to substitute new vocabulary in grammatical conventions are created in order to develop oral skills.
The following teaching aids should be used during various stages of language instruction:
- Flashcards or pictures for drilling work.
- Charts or transparencies with songs, dialogues and substitution tables.
- CDs, tapes and computer games.
- The College’s Mimio facilities in all of the classrooms.
PRESENTATION OF LESSONS
Greetings or instructions should be in isiZulu as far as practical and possible.
Sound and word drill - New sounds are drilled in order to enable new vocabulary to be pronounced correctly. Once a new sound is pronounced correctly, so is the new vocabulary. Pupil’s oral work could be assessed at this stage.
Vocabulary - transparencies/flashcards of vocabulary are now shown and the new words are taught to the learners.
Sentence structure - learners repeat the new sentence following the teacher’s example with the correct pitch, tempo, intonation and sentence rhythm.
Writing - Vocabulary should be written down. This enables learners to revise and recall the work taught.
The dialogue and substitution table are drilled until pupils know and understand new grammatical structures, as this requires a lot of concentration.
Language games such as crossword puzzles and group competitions should be used.
Written work should be used to consolidate grammar exercises on both worksheets and in workbooks.
The skills booklet should be used as a guide for staff. The curriculum is flexible to allow for the addition of topics pertinent to the needs of a particular group of pupils or which are topical.
Thorough preparation is vital in the teaching of a second language. There are no rules as to the format of an individual teacher’s preparation.
Exercise books, workbooks and textbooks are used. A high standard should be set and maintained by teachers and learners. Work should be neatly presented and dated correctly in isiZulu.
Homework is set at least once per week. Homework should be a consolidation of classwork and will often include revision of vocabulary.
CONTROL OF WORK
Pupils’ books are to be monitored on a regular basis. Constructive criticism and encouragement should be given. The Head of Academics will monitor the books on a regular basis.
Continuous oral and aural assessment is to be done before, during and at the end of all lessons. Knowledge of vocabulary, structures, pronunciation, understanding, fluency of speech and reading comprehension are assessed. At the end of each theme, the knowledge of the new vocabulary and sentence structures should be assessed to determine the success of the theme.
Oral work is constantly assessed both in the Junior Prep and Senior Prep.
Mini exercises are conducted at both Junior and Senior Phase levels.
Formative assessment is executed in the Senior Prep.
Summative assessment occurs according to the requirements of the Assessment Policy.
IsiZulu should act as a springboard to learning other languages at the second additional level. It should also foster respect and understanding for different cultures.