SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.29 issue2Challenges facing primary school educators of English Second (or Other) Language learners in the Western Cape author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand

Article

Indicators

    Related links

    • On index processCited by Google
    • On index processSimilars in Google

    Bookmark

    South African Journal of Education

    Print version ISSN 0256-0100

    Abstract

    VAN ROOYEN, Danielle  and  JORDAAN, Heila. An aspect of language for academic purposes in secondary education: complex sentence comprehension by learners in an integrated Gauteng school. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.2, pp. 271-287. ISSN 0256-0100.

    Language for academic purposes is an important concept, not always recognised and developed within the education system. The ability to use language for learning can be difficult for individuals who are educated in a second language. They are required to master complex concepts in a language they are still acquiring. We aimed to discover how secondary school learners performed on an aspect of academic language: complex sentence comprehension. A group of 464 adolescent participants' performance on the grammatical understanding subtest of the Test of Adolescent Language was analysed in relation to their status as first or second language English learners, their grade, gender, literacy experiences, preferred modality of learning, and other factors deemed to in­fluence language acquisition in modern society. The results indicated that the majority of learners achieved within the average range. There were significant differences between the male and female participants and the junior phase ESL males achieved the lowest scores. It was concluded that it may take 8-9 years of formal schooling for some individuals to acquire the requisite academic language proficiency, particularly if they are learning in their second language. This has important implications for the teaching and assessment of second language learners.

    Keywords : academic language; complex sentence understanding; second language learners; secondary education.

            · text in English     · pdf in English