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An investigation into the perceptions of Grade 7 learners of the effectiveness of a guided reading programme

A minor dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of Masters in Education
Presented to the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences, CAPE PENINSULA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, 2008 / Reading is a critical tool for the mastery of all learning areas and is one of the best
predictors of long term learning achievement. Reading must be considered a
priority area in efforts to improve the quality of basic education, particularly for
learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many learners in South Africa come
from a largely oral culture in which reading of books is not common and many
come from disadvantaged communities that cannot afford to buy books.
The provincial and national systemic evaluation results (2003, 2005) for reading
showed that at least 40% of Grade 3 and 6 learners were reading below grade level.
In January 2005, in the present study, 50 % of the Grade 7 learners were reading
below Grade 7 level. Many learners were discouraged because they could not
master the reading tasks set to them. Others responded to the task with boredom and
disdain. The learners who could read seem to be the only ones who were
enthusiastic about starting and completing the reading tasks. By the end of the year,
after using a guided reading programme, all students had developed a love for
reading and many were reading on Grade 7 level.
The present empirical study is grounded in the social constructivist framework,
originating from the works of Piaget (1978), Vygostky (1929) and Cambourne
(2004). Their foundational principals together with the learning outcomes specified
in the Revised National Curriculum Statement (2002) formed the basis of this
literacy study.
A questionnaire was administered to forty-four learners at the end of a complete
year where I had used the guided reading programme. The questionnaire consisted
of ten closed questions and six open-ended questions. The results were analysed
both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The results of this study showed that the learners responded positively to reading in
groups, that learners developed an interest in reading, that they acquired reading
skills that they needed to become independent readers, all of which ultimately
improved their self esteem and self confidence.
Date January 2008
CreatorsKohler, Valerie
PublisherCape Peninsula University of Technology
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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