What are the factors influencing the relationship between school language policy and the literacy proficiency of learners at Grade 7 level?

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

The foundation for academic success in formal education is based on the language and literacy proficiency of the learner. In addition, the relationship between the home language and the language of learning and teaching at school also influences the level of success the learner attains. This dissertation, a single case study, is an investigation into the factors that influence the language and literacy proficiency of learners at grade 7 level. The following have been identified as key factors in this study: the language policy of the school, the language awareness of the teachers, the teachers' interpretation of the school's language policy, and the role of language attitudes in gaining literacy proficiency. The research design was qualitative in nature and framed within an Interpretivist paradigm. My role as participant-observer allowed me easy access to the research participants, and the gathering of data using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, where necessary. One finding of the study revealed evidence of the ongoing shift from Afrikaans to English in predominantly Afrikaans-speaking communities on the Cape Flats. In other words, the stigma of Afrikaans, and more specifically of Kaaps Afrikaans, as an under-valued language persists in the attitude of parents and, through them, the learners. The dissertation concludes by highlighting the teaching strategy of code-switching and codemixing to scaffold the teaching-learning process of learners not learning through their mother tongue, as an area for further research.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 94-99).

Includes abstract.