This research project is mainly a study of attitudes towards Afrikaans and its setworks by non-mother-tongue speakers in Grades 10 - 12 in an English Government school. The approach taken to this research was a combined one. This was as a result of gathering information through both qualitative and quantitative methods. Grade 10 - 12 learners completed questionnaires in which they indicated their attitudes which were then arranged according to qualitative research. Focus groups were also allocated that can be viewed as qualitative research. The Grade 10 - 12 learners were questioned in smaller groups as to their attitudes to language and their preferences regarding the teaching of poetry. The main research aims, answered in Chapter 4, are the following: <ul> <li>to determine whether non-mother-tongue learners in Grades 10 - 12 are negative towards the language Afrikaans,</li> <li>to determine the attitude of non-mother-tongue learners towards poetry,</li> <li>to determine the attitudes of non-mother-tongue learners regarding teaching methods, and</li> <li>to recommend which aims are acceptable when teaching poetry within a South African context to non-mother-tongue learners.</li> </ul> The research that involved the learners was completed in July 2006. One hundred Grade 12 learners were involved in the pilot study towards the end of their academic year in 2005. This study required the learners to indicate their feelings regarding their set poems. In 2006, two hundred-and-forty Grade 10 - 12 learners at the same school were involved in answering a more comprehensive questionnaire. This included: the themes they prefer; whether they ever read poetry by choice; and whether the teaching that they received at school, inspired them enough to become life-long poetry readers. The questionnaire also contained an attitude indicator which allowed learners to demonstrate whether they enjoyed something, felt neutral, or did not like it at all. This allowed their attitudes regarding teaching and assessment methods, as well as the compilation of a poetry syllabus with possible themes to be made known. After the information had been processed by the researcher’s statistic analyst, it was found that learners are generally more positive towards the language Afrikaans (61.59%), but are negative towards certain aspects of the poetry syllabus. The learners demonstrated that they did not enjoy group work. This is, however, a problem because this is a prerequisite for the Grades 10 – 12 syllabi. A recommendation was made that the educator must give thought to how he or she is going to implement group work. When learners are led in a meaningful way during group work sessions, they will feel that their interpretation is also validated. A further issue that the research highlighted as problematic are the types of poem that are currently prescribed. Learners did, for example, indicate that they did not enjoy analysing poems about death and war. However, the two poems “Begrafnis van ‘n ouma” and “Foto van man wat val” relating to these themes were positively received during the research. A recommendation is made that educators should not necessarily shy away from themes that learners dislike, but perhaps educators could spend the time looking at the type of poem on these themes that could be set. Chapter 5 suggests a model for the teaching of poetry to non-mother-tongue speakers. It offers questions suitable for Afrikaans First Additional Language and the poems were selected according to popular themes as indicated by learners. This research project suggests that non-mother-tongue learners can be motivated to enjoy Afrikaans poetry. This is dependent on the teaching methodology employed; the type of prescribed poems taught; and learners’ attitudes towards Afrikaans as a language. These factors influence their attitude towards Afrikaans in general.
Dissertation (MA (Afrikaans))--University of Pretoria, 2007.