ECD teacher training is known to be an uneven terrain with teachers having little knowledge about children’s development in general and their language development in particular. It would be useful to assist teachers in understanding the developmental concepts that underpin the programme so they implement it with some depth of knowledge i.e. teachers need to understand the HOW and the WHY. In this way teachers will mediate the content for their learners more effectively.
Although the teachers have the requirement for teaching in an ECD environment namely an NQF 4 ECD qualification, they teach in their home language and speak English relatively adequately for the specific environment. This implies that the learners aren’t exposed to English on a daily basis and code switching was observed with the initial assessment in February and then in September.
After the pilot programme started at Blair Atholl Pre – Primary Farm School during February 2016, the 125 children and 5 teachers were assessed after the first six months to determine their progress. One might be focussed on the evidence only which will undermine the core attitude that needs to be fostered with small children and that is their will to succeed.
We aim to pinpoint specific benefits like self-esteem which forms the foundation for active learning to take place, as the starting point for any programme to be successfully implemented.
We integrate English as a medium of instruction to enable teachers and learners to interpret instructions correctly and thus build their confidence in using their 2nd Language.
Our programme is a fully integrated approach to improve literacy and competency in Grade R learners.
A. Aim of the assessment project.
This assessment project was to evaluate the impact of the Eduquest programme on English language development in a Grade R English Second Language classroom. It also aimed to pinpoint specific benefits to the children and teachers during the project.
“EduQuest offers a complete solution for any early childhood classroom, including dynamic software content, quality didactic accessories and over 400 lesson plans and ideas. While emphasis is placed on harnessing the best of technology and computer-aided instruction, there is equal emphasis on using current educational theory and providing children space to explore, learn and develop. The key to EduQuest is that these essential components are integrated in a holistic and comprehensive manner to provide children and teachers with a well-rounded learning experience.”
The project took place at the Blair Atholl School, Lanseria, a school populated by learners who come from low income or poverty stricken homes. Inherent to these contexts are limited access to: healthcare, nutrition and stimulation through toys or books. The home language is an African language with little or no English input up to the level of literacy assessment.
The teachers have the minimum requirement for teaching in an ECD environment namely an NQF 4 ECD qualification. They however, teach in their home language and speak English relatively adequately for the specific environment. This implies that the learners aren’t exposed to English on a daily basis and code switching was observed with the initial assessment in February.
The teaching environment
The classrooms were decorated with age appropriate material but overstimulated the learner’s senses and thus not effectively contributing to learning. There was more than enough space for the learners to move around in well organised classrooms with enough furniture.