Addressing Challenges on Acquisition of Reading Comprehension to Second Language English Speakers

1540 Words 7 Pages
Addressing challenges on acquisition of reading comprehension to second language English speakers. Where does the gap lie?
Background to the study
In our country, South Africa, we know that we are faced with so many socio-economic issues Some of these issues are poverty, high crime, HIV/AIDS epidemic, child-headed families, abuse in the family, illiterate parents and alcoholic parents just to name a few. These social make it even harder for us as teachers, how do you teach learners when they are hungry, the parents are employed and there’s no food in the house. We are also faced with educational issues which unskilled teachers, non-parental involvement, lack of motivation from teachers, the ever changing curriculum. Let me put
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We as teachers need to give the English (FAL) as much attention as we give the home language. The reason why there is a gap between grade 3 and grade 4 is that not much foundation is given to English in grade 3 and when the learners get to grade 4, they can’t cope with the curriculum in grade 4.
According to Dreyer, L. G & Kats, L.,(1982) reading comprehension is the ability to understand any written text. I ask myself why learners that are second language speakers struggle so much with reading comprehension of text. Is it the fact that learners aren’t taught comprehension effectively e.g. the reading strategies are not taught step by step (making connections, summarizing information, generating questions, monitoring comprehension and drawing inferences) or perhaps the learners find it difficult to understand comprehension therefore the learners show lack of interest and motivation?
Reading comprehension requires learners to interpret meaning from written text by decoding words and understanding vocabulary. If we are dealing with second language English speakers, they learn comprehension in their mother tongue and in their additional language. Sometimes they are still struggling to learn comprehension in their home language and then they have to learn comprehension in English. I have observed that you can’t really move on to teach

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