Factors shaping learners' engagement with science texts in grade 8 : a study of learners' perspectives

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This investigation provides a learner perspective of the factors that affected the way in which they made meaning of science texts in Grade Eight where the medium of instruction was English. The investigation outlines the origins and objectives of the new curriculum within which the learner is located as this informs the extent to which learners have to engage independently with texts. It also describes the role of the textbook in society and education, the readability of texts and reading as factors that affect and therefore have an impact on the way learners make meaning from texts. While the aim of study was to gain a learner perspective of the factors shaping learners' engagement with texts, it also includes responses from teachers and textbook writers as these two groups have a direct influence on the way learners make meaning. The study highlights the contextual realities of where learners are at and provides strong evidence to suggest that learners' engagement with texts are affected by their low reading levels and the choices made by teachers and textbook writers in their selection and writing of texts, and points conclusively to the role of the teacher in mediating between learner and text.

Bibliography: leaves 99-105.